CHARLES BUNJI SHIMOMURA / 1932-2007
Former county clerk was a hit as baseball booster
Former Kauai County Clerk Charles Bunji Shimomura, recognized for promoting baseball in Hawaii, died May 11 in his Lihue home. He was 74.
He had been fighting lung cancer, his brother Daniel said.
Shimomura, known as Bunji, became Kauai's deputy county clerk in 1981, holding the position until he was appointed county clerk in 1996, and retiring in 1998.
"It was a pleasure working for him," said Ricky Watanabe, the county clerk's council services administrator.
As county clerk, Shimomura served the Kauai County Council and carried out voter registration and other election responsibilities.
Councilman Ron Kouchi worked with Shimomura since the 1980s.
"He was a very good behind-the-scenes person for making things happen," Kouchi said. "He was an integral part of a very effective team."
Born in Honolulu on Oct. 7, 1932, Shimomura graduated from Waimea High School on Kauai and served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years before being honorably discharged. He worked various jobs before working for the county clerk's office.
He often spent time on his other passion -- baseball -- giving pointers to children and raising funds for teams.
"He wasn't a guy who wanted the credit. That wasn't as important as people helping people," Watanabe said.
Shimomura received the Chuck Leahey Award in 1999 for outstanding service to baseball in Hawaii. Since the 1950s he was active in Kauai baseball with the Hanapepe AJA team and the Hanapepe Youth Baseball League and as an assistant with the Waimea High School team, where he formed the Athletic Booster Club. He coordinated building a baseball field in Hanapepe and made initial contact with Hawaii Winter Baseball League officials to have a team on Kauai.
He coached Pop Warner football and brought the University of Hawaii baseball team to Kauai three times for games against UH-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific University.
Survivors include son Dale Shimomura of Hanapepe; daughter Christie Umamoto of Granada Hills, Calif.; five grandchildren; brother Daniel; and sisters Hilda Tamura, Nancy Miyamoto of Pasadena, Calif., and Barbara Gillespe of Long Island, N.Y.
Visitation is scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Garden Island Mortuary chapel. Service is at 4 p.m. Casual attire, no flowers.