Kauai ex-mayor's aide, notedBy Star-Bulletin staff
solo hula dancer Lani Custino dies
Lani Custino, hula dancer from a well-known family of entertainers, died Tuesday in Las Vegas, where she had lived since August 1996. She was 66.
Born in Honolulu, her career also included time as the late Kauai Mayor Tony Kunimura's secretary in the early 1980s -- and as secretary to the late Philip Gialanella, when he was publisher of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and president of the Hawaii Newspaper Agency.
Earlier, she had worked as an aide to Kunimura when he was in the state Legislature. But she was best known for her poetry-in-motion hula art, as one of Hawaii's leading solo hula dancers.
Her mother was the late hula legend Vicki I'i Rodrigues. Also, Lani studied hula under the famed Iolani Luahine.
Star-Bulletin entertainment columnist Ben Wood once referred to the relatives as a "family of wonderful singers and dancers." Lani and other family members were longtime regulars on the "Hawaii Calls" radio show.
"Their mother, Vicki, was on the first broadcast in 1935," Wood said. The family had been entertaining for seven generations, he wrote.
" 'We all sang together as kids,' " brother Boyce Rodrigues told Wood. " 'When mama said to dance or sing, we knew we better do it.' "
Custino also is survived by daughters Luika Arellano and Vicki-Lani Kekuawela; sisters Nina Kealiiwahamana and Lahela Rodrigues; another brother, John Rodrigues; and eight grandchildren.
Services are pending.
Paul P. Baker, 72, of Honolulu died last Friday in Honolulu. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Julia, daughter Janet Lee and sister Katherine J. Mason. Private services.
Feliza F. Balantac, 86, of Ewa Beach died April 9 in Kaiser Hospital. Born in Solsona, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, she is survived by sons Eugenio, Sergio, Zamuel and Manuel; daughters Nora Wipp, Vicky Guzman, Nena Pattugalan and Rona Balantac; brother Jovencio Fahigal; sisters Catalina Tomas, Aurora Bernabe, Josefa Parilla and Venancia Dumlao; 18 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Wake services: 7 p.m. Sunday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Mass: 9:45 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph Church, 94-675 Farrington Highway. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Mililani Memorial Park. Casual attire.
Conrado E. Baldogo, 87, of Kailua died last Friday at home. Born in Pinili, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines, he is survived by sisters Rosario Calucag and Juana Pagdilao. Wake services: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mililani Downtown Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Services: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the mortuary. Burial: Mililani Memorial Park.
Ronald Y. Bertlemann, 66, of Keaau, Hawaii, a retired automotive mechanic and owner of Hilo Auto Electric & Carburetor Service in Hilo, died Monday in Hilo Hospital. Born in Kealakekua, Hawaii, he is survived by wife Edith K.; sons Larry K.M. Bertlemann and Glenn A. Thompson; daughters Chris A.K. Leon Guerrero, Emmy U. Chong, Leo L.P. Maekawa, Ronnie K. Fergerstrom and Christine B. Plunkett; mother Emma Y.; sister Genevieve Jon Cran; 17 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Services: 10 a.m. Monday at Church of the Holy Apostles. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2. Aloha attire.
Adren J. Bird, 71, of Laie died Tuesday in Queens Hospital. Born in Ririe, Idaho, he is survived by wife Josephine; sons Russell and Adren; daughters Kathleen Grover, Cynthia Smith and Jennifer Young; sister Gaylynn Carter; 16 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Services: 10 a.m. Monday at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Third Ward, Laie. Call from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Burial: Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.
James H. Brown Jr., 74, of Hilo, a former motorpatrolman for the Hawaii County Police Department, died Sunday in Hilo Hospital. He was also the founder and general manager of the Homestead Rangers Baseball Teams. Born in Hilo, he is survived by wife Ethel C.; son Sanford J. Sonny; daughter Sandra L. Saldana; brother Francis L.; sister Leionaona B. Lau; four grandsons; three granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren. Wake services: 7 p.m. Monday at Dodo Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Services: 10 a.m. Tuesday at the mortuary. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2. Casual attire.
Robert A. Faurot, 67, of Makakilo died Saturday. Born in Boston, he is survived by wife Evelyn; sons R. Kekoa, Jon, Warren, Chris and Eric; daughters Pamela Scharsch, Kaiulani Pyper and Mary Pescaia; brother Chapman; sister Loyal Davis; 21 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Services: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Nuuanu Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Mass: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Community of Blessed Damien the Leper Church, Barbers Point Naval Air Station. Call after 10:30 a.m. Burial: Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. Aloha attire. No flowers.
Bernard L. Huihui Jr., 73, of San Francisco died March 29. He is survived by children Michael, Shirley-Ann, Bill, Lolly, Albert, Lokelani, Leona and Otto; mother MaryAnn; sisters Lita, Alicia, Sybil, Sonya and Mona-Ann; brother Stanley; 17 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Memorial services: 8 a.m. Sunday at Waikiki Beach fronting Waikiki Outrigger Hotel.
Robert Keliikoa, 56, of Mililani, owner of Kelly Foods, died Saturday at home. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Barbara; son Kelly Boy; daughter Robin Schade; sister Paulie Ann; brothers Lloyd, Clifford and Samuel; and four grandchildren. Services: 7 p.m. next Friday at Borthwick Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Mass: 11:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Patricks Catholic Church. Call from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Burial: Diamond Head Memorial Park. Aloha attire.
Katherine K. Kuwasaki-Cassell, 53, of Mililani died Saturday in Queens Hospital. Born in Honolulu, she is survived by fiance Steven W. Anderson; sons Rand-Alan K. and Reid-Allen Kala Cassell; parents Leroy and Katherine Kuwasaki; brother Leroy Kuwasaki Jr.; sisters Phyllis Griep and Stephanie Jamile; and maternal grandmother Florence Hoke. Wake services: 7 p.m. Monday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Mass: 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. John Apostle and Evangelist Church, 95-370 Kuahelani Ave. Call after 9:30 a.m. Burial: Mililani Memorial Park. Casual attire.
Mary P.K. Lee, 71, of Waimanalo, a school bus aide, died April 7 in Castle Hospital. Born in Honolulu, she is survived by sons Michael Haddad and Samuel C.K. Lee Jr.; daughters Maelin Ibara and Helena and Sonya Lee; companion Denver Kesner; brothers Stanley and Ernest Kanoa; sisters Elizabeth Drake and Sarah Jenkins; 15 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Services: 11 a.m. Monday at Hosoi Garden Mortuary.
Valeriano F. Martin Jr., 66, of Honolulu will be remembered in services 10 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of the Mount. Additional information for an obituary published yesterday provided by the mortuary.
Henry K. Mukai, 89, of Kailua, a retired proprietor of Mukai Store, died April 6 in Castle Hospital. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Ethel A.; sons Eugene S., William A. and Edwin T.; daughters Jean T. Tokita and Elaine T. Shinsato; and 10 grandchildren. Private services.
Yoshio Oroku, also known as Big John or Steve,83, of Wahiawa, a retired welder from Schofield, died last Friday at home. He was also a veteran of Company K, 442nd Infantry. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Anna M., son Steven Y.; daughter Carolyn S. Taguchi; sister Gladys Y. Kim; and five grandchildren. Memorial services: 2 p.m. Sunday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel.
Takio Sadanaga, 92, of Papaikou, Hawaii, a retired supervisor for the former Onomea Sugar Co., died Tuesday in Hilo Hospital. Born in Onomea, Hawaii, he is survived by wife Ayano; son Scott; brothers Charles and Kiyoshi; sisters Tatsuko Matsumoto and Akio Kitagawa; sister-in-laws Shizuno and Priscilla; and brother-in-laws Richard Takase and Neal Kawamoto. Services: 5 p.m. Tuesday at Dodo Mortuary. Call after 4 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.
Fumiko Tamura, 79, of Honolulu died Monday in Kuakini Hospital. Born in Eleele, Kauai, she is survived by daughters Jean C. and Ann Y.; and sisters Joyce Y. Ichiyama and Shirley M. Sumida. Services: 4 p.m. Sunday at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, 1727 Pali Highway. Casual attire. No flowers.
Khoa Xuan Vu, 65, of Honolulu died Sunday in Straub Hospital. Born in Vietnam, he is survived by wife Lieu Hoang; sons Khanh, Kim and Khue; daughters Quy Perry, Quyen Juliusburger and Loan Vu; and eight grandchildren. Services: 1 to 3 p.m. Monday at Borthwick Mortuary. Cremation to follow. Aloha attire. No monetary gifts.
Daisy K. Watanabe, 69, of Pearl City died Sunday in Kaiser Hospital. Born in Honolulu, she is survived by husband Masakatsu; son Dale M.; brothers Takeo, Satoshi and Toshio Kanda; sister Yuriko Yuasa; and two granddaughters. Memorial services: 6 p.m. Monday at Mililani Downtown Mortuary. Casual attire. No flowers.
Dr. Teruo Tom Yoshina, 93, of Sunnyvale, Calif. and formerly of Honolulu, a pediatrician, died Monday. Born in Laupahoehoe, Hawaii, he is survived by wife Shizue; daughters Peggy Cunningham, Susan Tanioka, Elizabeth Yokota and Barbara Hayashida; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Memorial services on the mainland.