Obituaries
Wednesday, July 2, 1997


‘Incisive’ editor
Bill Ewing dies

By Rod Ohira
Star-Bulletin

William H. “Bill” Ewing was a Southern gent with an eye for news and an appreciation for life in the fast lane.

Ewing, who died Monday night in a retirement home in Yazoo City, Miss., at age 93, worked for 29 years at the Star-Bulletin as a political reporter, city editor, managing editor, editor and assistant to the publisher.

He was editor of the newspaper from 1960 through 1965 when the Star-Bulletin had the largest circulation in the state.

In a 1963 article for Honolulu Beacon Magazine, Cobey Black described Ewing as a “first-rate newspaperman whose career is a microcosm of the evolution of journalism over the past four decades.

“Bill was the dashing press man of the ’20s and ’30s when personalities dominated the news, when disasters and deeds of daring filled the headlines and reporters lived dangerously.

“In the war years of the ’40s, he was among the war correspondents and top- flight broadcasters who awakened in the public an international consciousness that was reflected in the cosmopolitan news coverage of the ’50s.

“In the ’60s, he has joined theranks of editors and political columnists who relay

news in depth -- the thinking man’s era of journalism.”

By the mid-1950s, Ewing was opening new doors for reporters.

“We must have been one of the leading newspapers in the country for hiring women reporters,” said Star-Bulletin reporter Helen Altonn, who was hired by Ewing in October 1955.

Author Tomi Knaefler, a former Star-Bulletin reporter, remembers the ethical standards Ewing established for his reporters.

“We couldn’t accept gifts or free trips and he set those standards at a time when it was a common practice to accept that kind of thing,” Knaefler said. “When he did it, I thought it was good for us.”

A.A. “Bud” Smyser, who succeeded Ewing as managing editor and then editor, said his longtime friend was a “demanding and incisive editor.”

“He wrote the best, most incisive commentary the Star-Bulletin ever carried,” Smyser said.

In her article, Black points out one encounter involving Ewing and an unnamed Star-Bulletin staffer, who was assigned to interview a lion tamer.

Anxious to please her boss, the young reporter entered the lion’s cage and did a firsthand story.

“You mean you went right into the cage with the lion,” Ewing asked the young reporter.

“I nodded with pride,” she recalled.

“Right into the cage?” he asked again. “Yes,” she replied.

Finally, Ewing said, “And you didn’t get any pictures?”

The young reporter with a photographer in tow returned to the cage, Black said.

The Associated Press sent him to Hawaii to cover the Massie murder case and he became the news service’s local bureau chief. Four years later, Ewing joined the Star-Bulletin.

The ashes of Ewing, who was born in Jackson, Miss., will be flown to Hawaii for inurnment at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl at a later date.

Survivors include his wife, Bettye Ann, of Mississippi; and sister, Ethel Danford, of Honolulu.



Mae Loebenstein's
service will be a music fest

By Mary Adamski
Star-Bulletin

There’s a request list of specific music to be performed at the Monday service to celebrate the life of Mae Ulalia Loebenstein.

The longtime entertainer and kumu hula, who died Monday, left her own instructions for “lots of singing and dancing and no sad music.”

Loebenstein, 86, also requested that “na punahele,” the lead dancers of her halau, Ka Pa Hula O Kauanoe O Wa‘ahila, be listed with her survivors “because they were family to her,” said her granddaughter Maelia Loebenstein.

Her dancers, kumu hula from other halaus and other Hawaiian entertainers participated in an continuing concert outside her Queen’s Hospital room during her final two days after suffering a aortic aneurysm.

Friends may call after 9:30 a.m. Monday at St. Patrick Church, where a Mass will be celebrated at noon. Burial will follow in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.

The family requests that aloha attire be worn, and that in lieu of flowers, donations me made to the Mae Ulalia Loebenstein Scholarship Fund.

She is survived by her daughter, Albermae L.K. Stewart; granddaughter, Maelia L.K. Loebenstein; na punahele Anela Akana, Gerilyn Ma‘a, Hiwa Vaughan, Shirley Tesoro, Jaylin Winchester and Ulalia Woodside. Also surviving are sisters Lani Apana, Manu Brand, Kahili Cummings, Lala Faris and Leiana Woodside, and brothers Henry, Chester, Alec, Malu and Collins Long.



Basilisa L. Babila, 79, of Hanamaulu, Kauai, died Saturday in Wilcox Hospital. Born in Laoag City, the Philippines, he is survived by sons Domi Orial and Nestor and Crescencio Babila; stepson Chris Jr.; 21 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Mass: 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Kapaia. Call from 9 to 10:15 a.m. Private inurnment. Casual or aloha attire.

Sosima S. Castillo-Balbirona, 72, of Wahiawa died Monday in Wahiawa General Hospital. Born in Hilo, she is survived by husband Joe; sons Michael Castillo and Kenneth and Steven Balbirona; daughters Sierra Kuroda, Lucille Birgado, Tommie Lynn Castillo, Terry Ann Jones, Pamela Lee and Maggie Ramirez; brothers Marcos Neri and Thomas, Benny, Narciso, Walter and Gabriel Baquiro; sisters Laraine Oliveros, Candie Springer, Faye Todd, Candy Tomisa and Simiona Fernandez; 14 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. Memorial services: 7 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.

Dorothy L. “Dotty” Collis, 86, of Honolulu, died Saturday in Queen’s Hospital. Born in Hoylake, England, she is survived by husband retired Adm. John L.; daughters Dixie Quin, Diana Shuman and Patricia Hochman; and son Ted. Memorial Mass: 10 a.m. Saturday at Star of the Sea Church. Private inurnment.

John R. Cosner Jr., 57, of Lawai, Kauai, an administrator at Southern California Gas, died Thursday in Wilcox Hospital. Born in Philadelphia, he is survived by friends Enrico Santelli Jr. and Scott Schwieger.

Eleanor de Waal, 99, of San Clemente, Calif., and formerly of Hawaii, a secretary at the Veterans Hospital, died Saturday. Born in Omaha, Neb., she is survived by daughter Marlene; two grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Services on the mainland.

Castor R. Fernandez, 85, of Honolulu, a retiree of Queen’s Hospital, died June 22 in Tripler Hospital. Born in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, he is survived by wife Dorothy P.; sons Castor Jr., Randolph P., Leonard P. and Edmund P.; daughters Sharron L. Aana and Aurora P. Fernandez; half brother Bernaldo Garvida; half sisters Henoveva Garvida, Agripina Vaa and Adela Garvida; 20 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. Mass: 11 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist, Omilo Lane. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples.

John Freeman, of Honolulu, who served in the U.S. Navy in Korea, died June 17 in Honolulu. Born in Needham, Mass., he is survived by companion Walter I. Christie. Private services.

Adeline E. Goetz, of Kailua, a retired traffic manager with U.S. government, died June 9 in Kailua. Born in Chicago, she is survived by sister Louise Hulsley; brother John L. Hock; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Services: 1 p.m. July 12 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Kaneohe. Scattering of ashes: Heeia Kea Boat Harbor. Casual attire. No flowers. Leis welcome. Donations suggested to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 45-725 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744 or Lyon Arboretum Association, 3860 Manoa Road, Honolulu 96822.

Lionel K. Hanakahi, 58, of Honolulu will be remembered in services 3 p.m. Tuesday at Kawaiahao Church. Call from 1 to 4 p.m. Private burial. Additional information for an obituary June 20 provided by the mortuary.

Satoru Hirayama, 87, of Honokaa, Hawaii, a retired assistant buyer for Hamakua Sugar Co., died last Wednesday at home. Born in Paauhau, Hawaii, he is survived by wife Tsunayo; sons Herbert and Clayton; daughters Betty Abe, Kay Nishimura, Alma Fujikawa and Sharon Costa; brothers Bob, Naoto and Hideo; 13 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Private services.

Laura H. Kato, 50, of Lahaina will also be remembered in memorial services 4 p.m. next Tuesday at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin Honolulu Temple, 1727 Pali Highway. Additional information for an obituary yesterday provided by the mortuary.

Hajime “Haija” Kojiro, 72, of Honolulu, a retired painting contractor, died June 23 in Kuakini Hospital. Born in Koloa, Kauai, he is survived by sons Sanford H. and Lance M.; brothers James, Walter and Herbert; and two grandchildren. Services: 2 p.m. Saturday at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Casual attire. No flowers.

Leilani F.C. Kuhiiki, 62, of Waianae, died Friday in Liliha Health Care. Born in Honolulu, she is survived by sons Joseph Jr., Robert and Leroy; daughter Sylawette; sister Neola Valante; 15 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Services: noon Saturday at 87-112 Laiku St., Princess Kahanu Estates. Call after 9 a.m. Aloha attire. No flowers.

Amy M. Miyamoto, 68, of Hilo, died June 22 in Queen’s Hospital. Born in Papaikou, Hawaii, she is survived by husband Alvah; sons Len and Kurt; daughter Laura Kuwahara; sisters Shizue Masaki, Chieno Nozaki and Etsuko Shishido; and three grandchildren. Private services.

Ramona M. Moilanen, 66, of Honolulu, died May 24 on Oahu. Born in Managua, Nicaragua, she is survived by mother Alicia Martin; daughters Joann Gerber and Katherine and Michelle Stennet; sons Michael and Robert Stennet; and sisters Marcia Wheller and Judith Cuppens. Donations suggested to American Lung Association and American Cancer Society.

James O. Niess, 89, of Kihei, Maui, a retired editor of Modern Medicine Magazine, died Monday in Maui Memorial Hospital. He also worked in public relations at Sister Kenny Institute, Minneapolis. Born in Rapid City, S.D., he is survived by sons James and Daniel G.; and two grandchildren. Private services.

George Y. Ota, 82, of Aiea, a retiree of Honolulu Zoo, died Friday in Aiea. Born in Lahaina, he is survived by wife Doris T.; daughters Sharlene Y. Rohde and Jerilynn Miyaji; sister Jessie; and three grandchildren. Memorial services: 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Casual attire. No flowers.

Ernest Palacol, 59, of Lawton, Okla., a retired U.S. Army master sergeant who was born in Ookala, Hawaii, died Sunday at home. He is survived by sons Ernest Jr. and Pio K. Palacol and Danny Sam; daughters Velma K. Dalton, Evelyn M. Kahihikolo, Vinona K. Galiki and Christie K. and Michelle K. Palacol; sisters Dinah Tabucbuc, Nina Ishiki and Presca Bruce; 17 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Services on the mainland.

Judy Ann Pang, 55, of Honolulu, co-owner of Tidy Tile Co. and manager and trustee of Masons Local No. 1, died June 24 in Pearl City. Born in Honomu, Hawaii, she is survived by husband Donald K.H.; daughter Leeann E.P. Crabbe; brother Gerald Rose; and sister Dolores Newcomb. Services: 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Diamond Head Mortuary. Call after 10 a.m. Burial: Diamond Head Memorial Park. Casual attire.

Lindsey D. Pascua, 38, of Fredericksburg, Va. and formerly of Hilo, died Thursday in Fredericksburg. He was a bass player with the Mad Tom band and had also played with the Larry Dupio Band and Two Guys From Puna Band in Hilo. He was also a cement mixer for Colonial Concrete. He is survived by wife Carolyn; sons Justin, Phillip and Stuart; father Pete; mother Connie; brothers Darren and Aleki Pascua and Ivan Imai; sisters Allison DeGuzman and Jody, Felisa and Christine Pascua; grandfather Lacio Canda; and stepgrandfather Francisco Rillon. Services on the mainland.

Edward H. Pestana, 75, of Honolulu, a retiree of the federal civil service and Aloha Airlines, died Sunday in Queen’s Hospital. He was also a member of 442nd Regimental Combat Team and was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals. Born in Lahaina, he is survived by sons Melbourne, Dr. Paul “Kimo” and Edmund; daughters Sharmaine Paik and Helene Kippen; brother James; sister Jeanette Izumi; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Services: 11:15 a.m. Monday at Borthwick Mortuary. Call from 9 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Burial: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl. Aloha attire.

Mary R. Phillips, 76, of Kapaa, Kauai, a retired salesclerk, died June 25 in Wilcox Hospital. Born in Paukaa, Hawaii, she is survived by sons Alfred S. Rapozo and Rodney, Donald Jr., Robert, Raymond and Eric Phillips; daughter Diane Rapozo; sisters Helen Vierra, Katherine Alcoran, Annie Camacho, Dorothy Ah Sing, Shirley Cecconi and Rose Marie Martinez; brother Robert Rubio; 14 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Services: 1 p.m. Saturday at Kapaa Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 4-1731 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa. Casual attire.

Julian D.S. Sagabaen, 96, of Waipahu died June 12 in Pearl City Nursing Home. Born in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, he is survived by wife Teodora; and daughters Cherrie Simpliciano and Maybelle Sagabaen. Mass: 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Church, 94-675 Farrington Highway, Waipahu. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples.

Helenita A. “Helen” Salcedo, 63, of Waipahu, died June 20 in Waipahu. Born in Vintar, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, she is survived by husband William; son Jay W.A.; daughters Shirley D.A. and Gina Marie G.A.; stepson Wilson I.; stepdaughter Rosalina S. “Saling” Tuquib; brothers Vicente, Nicolas and Julian Agcaoili; sisters Delfina A. Dela Cruz and Gloria A. Lazaro; and four grandchildren. Wake: 7 p.m. tomorrow at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call 6-9 p.m. Services: 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the mortuary. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Mililani Memorial Park. Casual attire.

Shizue Sampaga, 90, of Kekaha, Kauai died Thursday in Kauai Care Center. Born in Mana, Kauai, she is survived by daughters Satsuko Tanaka and Marion Hayashida; sons Fujio Katayama, Leslie Muranaka and Dennis Sampaga; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Private services.

Hugh Shearer, 71, of Hawaii, a corporate and securities lawyer, died June 22. He was a partner of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, chancellor emeritus of Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii and incorporator of St. Andrew’s Priory School and St. Andrew’s Cathedral Foundation. He also established the Hugh Shearer Law ’51 Scholarship Fund for financial aid to Stanford Law students. He is survived by sister Patricia L. White. Services: 5 p.m. next Wednesday at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. No flowers. Donations suggested to St. Andrew’s Cathedral Foundation, Queen Emma Square, Honolulu 96813 or Hugh Shearer Law ’51 Scholarship Fund, Stanford Law School, Development Office, Crown Quadrangle, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-8610.

Ernest E. Silva, 53, of Honolulu, owner of W.C. Distributors, died June 25 in Bayonet Point, Fla. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Roberta L.; daughters Gayelyn Savoie, Darlene Dijos and Renee Tulonghari; son Terry Starkey; mother Virginia F.; sisters Donna Soares, Vivian Spencer and Mildred Duarte; and 11 grandchildren. Services: 11:45 a.m. tomorrow at Diamond Head Mortuary. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: Diamond Head Memorial Park. Casual attire. No flowers.

Bessie Steele, 85, of Corning, Kan., mother of Richard D. Steele of Honolulu, died Sunday in Eastridge Care Home in Centralia, Kan. Born in Bucklin, Kan., she is also survived by sons Walter E. and Robert L.; daughter Mary L Simmons; 19 grandchildren; and 56 great-grandchildren. Services on the mainland.

Alvin Y. Sugiyama, 51, of Waianae, an employee of Neneu Sandwich Stand, died June 18 in Kapiolani Hospital at Pali Momi. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by mother Natsuko; and brother Leslie N. Private services.

Charles H. Taketa, 78, of Honolulu, a retired city Road Maintenance Division planner, died Monday in Kuakini Hospital. Born in Olaa, Hawaii, he is survived by wife Nancy Y.; son Ernest K.; daughter Lynn T. Yap; brothers Jitsuo and Masaru; and two grandchildren. Memorial services: noon Sunday at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Private inurnment. Casual attire. No flowers.

Kwai Ming Tom, 83, of Honolulu, a retired postal superintendent, died Friday in Honolulu. He was also former president of Chee Kung Tong Society, See Dai Doo Society, Chinese Labor Association, Hawaii Ballroom Dance Association and the Tom Association. He is survived by wife Rose; son Dr. Philip K.B.; daughters Sylvia Tanabe and Yvonne Ching; sister Pearl Loo; and six grandchildren. Services: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Nuuanu Mortuary. Call after 11 a.m. Burial: Hawaiian Memorial Park. Aloha attire. No flowers.

Paul K. Uyeno, 74, of Hilo, a retired kitchen supervisor with Holmes & Narver in Kwajalein and Johnson Island, died Thursday in Hilo Hospital. Born in Hilo, he is survived by brothers Richard, Albert and Keiso; and sisters Nancy Nishimura and Joan Yamasaki. Services: 2 p.m. Saturday at Dodo Mortuary. Call after 1 p.m. Cremation will follow. Casual attire.

Masaji “Scratchy” Yamaguchi, 84, of Waipahu died Monday in St. Francis-West Hospital. Born in Waipahu, he is survived by wife Molly K.; daughters Claudia Haraguchi and Jocelyn Nakata; sisters Yoshiko Taniguchi, Flora Ichishita and Harriet Watanabe; and four grandchildren. Memorial services: 5 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Casual attire. No flowers.




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