PATSY SHINTANI CHUN / 1913-2008
Educator preserved Finance Factors legacy
Patsy Shintani Chun, a former educator and widow of one of the six founders of Finance Enterprises, died in her home Wednesday. She lived in Diamond Head and was 94 years old.
Chun served on the board of the Finance Factors companies until her death.
"She contributed a lot to keeping the company alive," said Daniel B.T. Lau, the last surviving founding member and chairman and secretary of Finance Factors.
"She was healthy and peppy and less than a week later, she was gone," said her son, Patrick Chun, chief executive officer of Finance Realty. "It was kind of stunning for us."
Born in Koloa, Kauai, on Nov. 8, 1913, to Japanese immigrants who worked on a plantation, Chun graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in management and psychology.
After graduating, she traveled to the mainland as an educator despite the risk of her relocation to an internment camp, Patrick Chun said. She worked a few years as a teaching assistant in Kansas.
Chun married Mun On Chun, the son of Chinese immigrants, in the early 1940s.
Mun On Chun and five other businessmen founded Finance Factors in 1952. Patsy Chun became a board member for the companies after he died in 1995.
Chun worked as a teacher in Hawaii, helping gifted and handicapped children.
She had a love for children and for the company's employees.
"She was a people person," Patrick Chun said. "She just loved people and she was extremely caring and generous."
Chun also served as an administrative assistant in Hawaii for U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong, another founding member of Finance Factors.
She was an intelligent and vivid woman who wrote many letters to the editor of the local papers, said her daughter, Linda Chun Bergman, an administrator at the University of Minnesota.
"The things that she valued, she spoke about with great passion," she said. "Very few people ever met my mother and didn't remember her."
Chun was also involved in Central Union Church and the Mun On Chun Scholarship Program that helps provide an education for underprivileged children.
"She was very feisty and a lively person," said Patrick Chun.
She kept herself busy by doing crossword puzzles in ink everyday, reading extensively, and watching politics on CNN and Fox News, he said.
"She was the guru of the family," he said. "She kept the family together."
Besides her son and daughter, Chun's survivors include her sister Tamiyo Iwamura, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Services are Tuesday at Central Union Church. Visitation is at 4 p.m., with the service at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Finance Factors Foundation or ASSETS School in memory of Patsy Shintani Chun.