Ira Whitney Harris, who retired in 1989 after 25 years as a professor and dean in the University of Hawaii's library system, died Monday at his Palm City, Fla., home. He was 75.
Ira Harris, 75, guided growthBy Helen Altonn, Star-Bulletin
of UH library
I was kind of amazed when I heard ... that he died, said Larry Osborne, who was recruited by Harris as a professor in the UH Library and Information Science Program in 1982.
He was one of those people you always expect to be here, Osborne said. Everybody knew Ira was a sweetheart ... He was just an exceptionally supportive person. He did his best in guiding my career. I would have been better off in following his advice a little more.
Osborne said Harris was dean of the UH Graduate School of Library Studies when it was moving from a small program to a relatively important one nationwide.
It became the School of Library and Information Studies and is now the Library and Information Science Program.
Harris joined the UH in 1965 as research associate in the University Library and director of the Undergraduate (Sinclair) Library.
He was appointed assistant dean of the Graduate School of Library Studies in 1969 and was chosen as dean in 1975 after a nationwide search.
He resigned as dean in 1982 to return to the classroom as a professor.
He served as acting university librarian in 1982.
Harris was born in New York and earned a doctoral degree from Rutgers University in 1965.
He served in the Army during World War II.
After retiring from the UH, he moved to Florida where he spent his time largely working with antique automobiles, Osborne said.
He loved antique automobiles. He had a Model A Ford that he doted on.
He was a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America, the Treasure Coast Vintage Auto Club, the American Library Association and the Sunshine Squares.
He was a volunteer with the Martin County Literacy Council and president of the Friends of the Martin County Library.
Survivors include his wife, Alice; daughter, Deborah Lee Harris of Jupiter, Fla.; son Alan of Kahului, Maui; and three grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Friday at the Forest Hills Funeral Home in Palm City.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Martin County Literacy Council or Martin County Library Foundation, both at 2351 SE Monteray Road, Stuart, FL 34996.
Guilhermo Alboro Jr., 71, of Lanai City, a retired truck driver for Dole Pineapple Co., died Friday in Kuakini Hospital. Born in Lahaina, he is survived by wife Maria C.; sons Guilhermo Willy and Niall A. Alboro and Jaime Cabalo; daughters boro and Veronica L. Kollar; brothers George Gallarde and Fuzzy and Domingo Alboro; sister Vicky Los; 23 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Call from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Ballard Family Mortuary. Wake: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at Sacred Hearts Catholic Church. Mass: 9 a.m. Saturday at the church. Call after 8 a.m. Burial: Lanai Cemetery. Aloha attire.
Robert L. Allen, 82, of Waikoloa, Hawaii, owner and operator of a tropical fish breeding company, died Sunday at home. Born in Washington, he is survived by son Peter, brother Charles, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Private services.
Clarence M. Aoki, 60, of Honolulu, a Matson Terminals Inc. refrigeration mechanic, died June 1 in Kaiser Hospital. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Jane H., son Chad M., daughter Lori Lynn L., parents Masanao and Satsuyo, brother Roy T., and sister Anne. Private services.
Robert H. Barrett, 75, of Honolulu, a retired warehouse manager with General Motors, died Thursday in Honolulu. Born in Colusa, Calif., he is survived by son Henry, brother Jack, and a granddaughter. Memorial services: 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Elks BPOE Honolulu, Lodge 616, 2933 Kalakaua Ave. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, donations suggested to Honolulu Elks 616, Elks Major Project for the Handicap Children.
John Jack Behnke, 59, of Honolulu formerly of French Polynesia, a resident manager of a building, died May 31 at home. Born in Los Angeles, he is survived by wife Karen, father Bob, sister Kathy Mainburg, and brother Mike. Private services. Scattering of ashes and flowers at sea.
Fely G. Billena, 72, of Honolulu, a retired paramedical assistant II from Leahi Hospital, died May 23 in Honolulu. Born in Pangasinan, the Philippines, she is survived by husband Epifanio Peping; sons Edmund and George G.; daughters Eppie E.G. Billena, Elizabella B. Dulay and Elsie Banis; brother Marcelo Gulla; sister Dominga Ramos; and four grandchildren. Wake: 7 p.m. Friday, Mililani Downtown Mortuary. Call 6-9 p.m. Services: 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples. Casual attire.
John F. Braz, 80, of Honolulu, who retired from the state Department of Taxation, died Thursday in Hale Ola Kino Care Home. Born in Hilo, he is survived by brothers William and Ernest; and sisters Olympia Lonsinger and Bernice Alsheimer. Services: 9:45 a.m. Monday at Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Hawaiian Memorial Park. Casual attire. No flowers. Donations suggested to Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association or Kuakini Geriatric Care Inc.
Samuel L. Chastain, 77, of Hauula, a retired accountant with the University of Hawaii, died May 25 in Honolulu. He also worked on Coconut Island. Born in Akron, Ohio, he is survived by children Samuel L., Melvin P., Clifford C. and Joseph G.; 10 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Services: 10:45 a.m. Monday at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples. Aloha attire.
Alvin D.S. Richard Chun, 85, of Honolulu, a retired supply inspector at Hickam Air Force Base, died last Wednesday in St. Francis Hospice. Born in Waialua, he is survived by daughters Linda Uyechi and Cynthia Chun, brothers Stan and Harold, sisters Bernice Ahn and Bertha Kennison and grandsons Ryan and David. Private services.
Edric K. Copp Jr., 50, of Honolulu, employed with Aloha Airlines, died Monday in Kaiser Hospital. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Candace, daughters Christine and Susan, mother Anne, and sisters Alison Gaspar and Moana Sheehy. Services: 7 p.m. tomorrow at Nuuanu Memorial Park Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Cremation to follow. Inurnment: 9:30 a.m. Friday at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl. Casual attire.
Rodney Buddy Feary, 66, of Kaneohe, a structural iron worker, died May 27 in Hawaii. Born in Moanalua Gardens, he is survived by wife Florence, son Rodney Jr., daughter Connie Cravalho, and four granddaughters. Memorial services: 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Kaneohe. Call after 8 a.m. Inurnment: Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. Aloha attire. No flowers.
Anthony R. Gutierrez, 35, of Waipahu, owner of Tony G's auto parts and computer services, died May 27 in Waipahu. Born in California, he is survived by wife Marivic M., stepson Ray M. Malasig, daughter Ashly Monique M., mother Linda L., and brothers Richard Ledesma and Walter Pavloff. Rosary: 7 p.m. Friday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Mass: 9:45 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Church. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: Mililani Memorial Park. Casual attire.
Sylvia M. El Syd Harding, formerly of Honolulu, died April 24 in San Marcos, Calif. She is survived by children Judith E. and John J. Jr., six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Services held. Dinner at Outrigger Canoe Club later. No flowers. Donations suggested to St. Clement's Church or the American Cancer Society.
Frederick Hebert, 85, of Kula, Maui, who worked for Grove Farm Plantation, died Saturday at home. Born in Paia, Maui, he is survived by wife Bonnie B.; daughters Frances Drennen, Suzanne Hodges and Laurie Murray; son Jay; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Private services. Donations suggested to Hospice Maui or American Cancer Society.
Muriel H.L. Isherwood, 94, of Hilo, a retired principal and teacher, died Saturday in Life Care Center of Hilo. Born in Hilo, she is survived by son Myron O. Jr., brothers Albert and C. Arthur Lyman, five granddaughters, and three great-grandsons. Services: 3 p.m. Friday at Haili Congregational Church. Call after 2 p.m. Private burial. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, contributions suggested to the Lyman House Museum or a favorite charity.
Elizabeth J.H.K.U.U.K. Kala, 67, of Kailua-Kona, a pantry II employee at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, died Sunday in Kona Community Hospital. Born in North Kona, Hawaii, she is survived by sons Harry, Gary and Gordon; daughters Julia Kamanawa-Kala, Muriel Labruyere, Hattie Kala, Lavania Watai and Crystal DeSilva; sister Kapeka Kaholo; 15 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Services: 11 a.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the top of Kalani Street in Kailua-Kona. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: Kona Memorial Park. Casual attire. No flowers.
Laavasa Mataafa, 74, of Aiea, a retired flat worker for American Sanitary Laundry Co., died May 31 in Kapiolani Hospital at Pali Momi. Born in American Samoa, she is survived by sons Val Laolagi, Meafeu Laolagi and Faitaua, Saumalu, Taleni and Pule Mataafa; daughters Lalelei Tialavea, Leaga Figueroa, Laavasa Eliu and Sulu Fidow; brother Tupelu; sisters Fao Afoa, Arieta Tupuola and Faalagilagi Timu; 39 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren. Services: 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the First Samoan Full Gospel Church, 3814 Salt Lake Blvd. Call after 2:30 p.m. Services: 9:30 a.m. Monday at the church. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: Sunset Memorial Park.
Joseph J. McAleavey, 60, of Honolulu will be remembered in services 2 p.m. Sunday at the Newman Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Casual attire. No donations or flowers. Additional information for an obituary published Jan. 5 provided by the mortuary.
Adolph J. Duffie Mendonca, of Lodi, Calif. and formerly of Honolulu, May 26 at home. He was a real estate developer, small business owner, rancher and real estate appraiser. Born in Kalihi, he is survived by wife Violet; children Yvonne Mendonca Johns and Duff and Elise Ann Mendonca; four grandchildren; and three great-granddaughters. No services. Memorial mass in November. Burial: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.
LeRoy Murch, 70, of Ewa Beach, a retired lieutenant of the U.S. Navy, died Friday in Honolulu. He was also a lecturer at the University of Hawaii, West Oahu. Born in San Jose, Calif., he is survived by wife Yvonne; sons Randall and Douglas; daughters Lynn Gould, Nancy Romanowitz and Cheryl Hicks; sister Madelyn Lowrey; and 12 grandchildren. Memorial services: 10 a.m. Friday at Barbers Point Chapel. Inurnment services: 3 p.m. at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl, with military honors. Business casual attire. No flowers. Donations suggested to University of Hawaii Foundation, Roy Murch Scholarship Fund for UH/West Oahu; P.O. Box 11270; Honolulu 96828-0270, or charity.
Kathleen M. Oshiro, 74 of Aiea, who retired from Speedy's Supermarket and Daiei formerly at Pearlridge, died last Wednesday in Kapiolani Hospital at Pali Momi. Born in Honolulu, she is survived by husband Robert N., sons Roderic H. and Alexander T., daughters Shirley Ann Mansinon and Devonne Crowton-Roberts, hanai daughter Emily Wandasan, sisters Jane Wong and Helen Lee, brother Harold Iyo, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Memorial services: 6 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call after 5 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.
Claudette K. Paiva, 53, of Makakilo, owner and cook of Side Door Snack Shop in Pearl City, died Friday in Kaiser Foundation Hospital. Born in Waipio Valley, Hawaii, she is survived by husband Alex R.; sons Alex R. Jr., Rick K., Daren J. and Johansen K.; mother Rachel Thomas; brothers Abraham, Clement, Mana and Milton Lau Kong, Harry Young and Byron Thomas; sisters Joyce Spencer, Daisy Domingo, Nani Loo, Joleen Reucia and Rosalind Tokushi; and 10 grandchildren. Memorial services: 11 a.m. Friday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call after 9:30 a.m. Casual attire. No flowers.
Harry M. Papa Smith Jr., 59, of Waipahu, who retired from Ameron, died May 29 in St. Francis-West Hospital. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by wife Margaret T., son Harrickson, daughter Marvena Fiu, brother Manuel, sisters Rosaline Smith and Naomi Corjasso and four grandchildren. Wake services: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Cremation to follow. Casual attire. No flowers.
James V. Soto III, 29, of Las Vegas, formerly of Waianae, died May 24 in Valley Hospital in Las Vegas. Born in Honolulu, he is survived by son James V. Soto IV; daughters Jadene and Valarie; parents James V. Jr. and Betty Ann; brother Edward; sisters Sarah Soto and Margaret Mesa; and grandmothers Ramona Soto and Margaret Sepulveda. Wake services: 7 p.m. Friday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Services: 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the mortuary. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: Mililani Memorial Park. Casual attire.
Makoto Mako Tanaka, 78, of Kula, Maui, a retired janitor at Pukalani Elementary School, died Sunday in Maui Memorial Hospital. Born in Hamakuapoko, Maui, he is survived by wife Fujiko, daughter Kay Correa, mother Haru, brother Richard, sisters Florence Yotsuya and Betty Shishido, and a granddaughter. Memorial services: 5:30 p.m. Friday at Makawao Hongwanji.
You can also search the Hawaii State Library System's
Hawaii Newspaper Index online for older obituaries at:
The index, which goes back several decades,
is available via Telnet software.