Saturday, February 6, 1999

Pacific historian
Russ Apple, 78,
restored isle sites

By Mary Adamski


Russ Apple “was in love with Hawaii, in love with the history,” said Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent James Martin.

Apple, who retired in 1981 as National Park Service Pacific historian, shared his knowledge of Hawaiian history and legends in his “Tales of Old Hawaii” column in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin from 1969 to 1986.

He died yesterday at his home near the park. He was 78.

He was with the park service for 30 years, starting as a ranger at Kilauea Volcano. He was the first superintendent at Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau (City of Refuge) national park in Kona in the 1960s. “He was the one who drove the restoration of the site,” Martin said.

“He was this tremendous resource, he had a lot of knowledge that was never written down,” Martin said. “If there was anything I needed know about the park ... I tapped Russ.”

Martin said one of Apple's last projects was tracing the Ala Kai trail, to be developed as a national trail following the first primitive road system around the Big Island.

Phyllis Fox, former executive director of Historic Hawaii Foundation, said, “The Volcano House restoration stands as a living monument to him.” Apple was involved in restoring the hotel opened at Kilauea crater in the 1870s.

Since retiring, Apple had been writing a history of Hawaii and lecturing at Volcano Art Center.

“He had a way of getting you into history, he made it believable that it's about real people,” said his wife, Virginia Mcdonald Apple.

Apple graduated from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and earned a master's degree from the University of Hawaii and his doctorate in Pacific history from Columbia Pacific University.

His work took him to Guam, Samoa and other Pacific islands. He also served six years at Mount Rushmore National Park.

Apple is also survived by sons Kuahiwi Apple, Philip, Bill and Michael Brooks, daughter Ann Brooks-Hormann, and seven grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Alexander Martin
fought AIDS, fear
with poetry, plays

By Harold Morse


Alexander Martin III, playwright, poet and AIDS activist, had no illusions when he contemplated his life-taking illness.

“Some days, I feel like I'll live to be 90, and then something will remind me I have AIDS,” he said in 1995. “I'm hopeful for each new day that I can open my eyes and see the mountains. With AIDS you only have todays, you can't count on tomorrows. So by speaking out, I just hope to make a difference by getting people to open their hearts and minds.”

Martin, a Hauula resident, died Jan. 20. He was 37.

A staged reading of his play “The Paradise House” was performed in 1994 at Diamond Head Theatre. The drama is based on Martin's experience with AIDS.

A staged interpretation of his book of poetry, “The Buddha Has AIDS,” also toured Japan, and he attended an international AIDS conference in Yokohama.

The Dallas-born Martin received the University of Hawaii Ernest Hemingway Memorial Award.

He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Barbara and Dave Ericson; father, Alexander Martin Jr.; and sister, Victoria Steindorf.

Services will be held 5 to 7 p.m. today at Buddha Buddha, a former retreat at 53-086 Halai St., Hauula.

Bullet Alex Amisone, 25, of Honolulu, a missionary for the Mormon Church, died Sunday in St. Francis Hospital. He was born in American Samoa. He is survived by parents Eseroma and Fetaomi; brothers Eseroma Jr. and Stan; sisters Sarai, Oreta L. and Caroline; and grandmother Saeni Vasai. Services: 10 a.m. Monday at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: American Samoa. Casual attire. No flowers.

Bullet Mikiko Hirohata, 92, of Kaneohe died Tuesday in Castle Hospital. She was born in Waipahu. She is survived by sons George N., Vincent, Lawrence T., Kenneth K., Milton M. and Roy M.; daughter Eva S. Yamashita; sisters Jane A. Todo, Grace K. Shigemura and Sumiko Kubota; 16 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Services: 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Casual attire. No flowers.

Bullet Thelma L. Kealoha, 66, of Waianae will be remembered in services 7 p.m. Wednesday at Borthwick Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Incorrect information for an obituary published Thursday provided by the mortuary.

Bullet James P.K. Keaweehu, 81, of Honolulu died Jan. 30. Incorrect information for an obituary published Thursday provided by the mortuary.

Bullet Curtis K. Laa, 48, of Waianae, a self-employed landscaper and a former Oahu Country Club worker, died Jan. 26 in St. Francis Hospital. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Elizabeth M.; son John; hanai son Raul; daughters Maria Komatsu, Laurie-Ann Laa and Raedana Garcia; father Joseph; brothers Joseph Jr., Claude and Timothy; sisters Leona Prudhomme, Eunice Simpson, Leatrice Johnson, Selene Kaipo and Lois Nichols; and a grandson. Services: 7 p.m. Monday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call 6 p.m. No flowers.

Bullet Philip S. Laybon, 55, of Honolulu died Monday in Tripler Hospital. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Rebecca A.K.; daughters Rebecca “Kuulei” Bolosan, Deborah Spotkaeff and Georgia Ann “Kaimi” Nagasawa; brother Clarence; sisters Sylvia Keamo, Stella Costello and Sheila Bolton; and three grandchildren. Services: 10 a.m. Wednesday at Mililani Downtown Mortuary. Call 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Burial: Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. Casual attire. No flowers.

Bullet Jude G. Leyson, 72, of Hilo, a retired house painter, died Wednesday in Hale Anuenue Restorative Care Center. He was born in Papaikou, Hawaii. He is survived by sons Kim, Jude Jr., Adrian and Errol Leyson and Harlan Sakuda; daughters Karla Yamada, Georgia Leyson, Janice Caravalho and Georgeanne Baynes; brothers Julian and Cresencio; and 10 grandchildren. Services: Wake 7 p.m. Tuesday at Dodo Mortuary and Mass 9 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Call 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and 8 to 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. Burial: Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2. Casual attire.

Bullet Alexis C. Ramones, infant daughter of Randy and Denise Ramones of Pearl City, died Tuesday in Kapiolani Hospital. She is also survived by sister Bobbie Pittman; grandparents Gregorio Jr. and Beverly Ramones, Janet and Ed Miyamoto, and Robert and Diane Pittman; and great-grandparents Gregorio Ramones, Masako Nishimura and Ruth Pittman. Services: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Borthwick Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Private burial. Aloha attire.

Bullet Hatsume Tanaka, 95, of Makaweli, Kauai, died Thursday in Kauai Veterans Hospital. She was born in Waimea, Kauai. She is survived by sons Michio “Bucky” and Wataru; brother Yoshito Kokubo; sisters Misato Nishiyama, Jean F. Kuraoka, Tomiko Akamu and Momoe Mondschein; and three grandchildren. Services: 4 p.m. Monday at Waimea Higashi Hongwanji. Casual attire. No flowers.

Bullet Teru Watanabe, 90, of Honolulu, a retired sales representative for Pola Cos metics, died Tuesday in Kuakini Hospital. She was born in Laie. She is survived by children Esther W. Kaya and George T., Thomas T., Flora T. and Loyd K. Watanabe; brother Shinichi Nakagawa; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Services: 6:30 p.m. Monday at Mililani Downtown Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.

Bullet Paul F. White, 68, of Ewa Beach, a retired major from the Honolulu Police Department, died Wednesday at home. He was born in Kankakee, Ill. He is survived by wife Betty; sons Alex, Paul Jr., Robert and Randolph; 15 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. Services: 11 a.m. Monday at Borthwick Mortuary. Call from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Private burial. Casual attire.

Bullet Genevieve Y. Yoshida, 76, of Waipahu died Jan. 30 in Kapiolani Hospital at Pali Momi. She was born in Ewa. She is survived by sons Glen K. and Gerald M.; daughters Joy Okazaki and Amy Kawakami; sisters Barbara Miyagi and Molly Tomita; and 10 grandchildren. Services: 6 p.m. Monday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Call after 5 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin