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Friday, June 23, 2000

dies at 80

More obituaries

By Lori Tighe


Environmentalist and renaissance man Robert Wenkam, who fought to preserve Hawaii's beaches, volcanoes and jungles before it became popular to do so, died early yesterday in his sleep.

Wenkam, who had turned 80 on New Year's Day, died of heart arrhythmia at a Reno, Nev., conference for American travel writers.

Wenkam photographed, wrote and published at least a dozen pictorial books on Hawaii and other parts of the world.

He brought the Sierra Club to the state and was one of the first members of the state Land Use Commission.

Wenkam helped zone all of the land in Hawaii, leading to "the large open space we have today," as an original member of the commission in 1960.

"There was too much buying and selling of land. No one was watching over the future," Wenkam told the Star-Bulletin in 1998, after he testified before the Legislature to save the commission.

Wenkam was also an architect and designed numerous landmarks, including the fountain near Kapiolani Park.

"He did so many things for Hawaii a lot of people don't know about," said Tad Wenkam, one of four surviving children, who lives in Volcano on the Big Island. "He helped to save Diamond Head. A lot of parks are here because of him," the younger Wenkam said.

Wenkam first came to Honolulu in 1941 as a civil engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war he launched an advertising firm, specializing in architectural photography. He was responsible for all national advertising for the Hawaii Visitors Bureau.

He also served as Pacific representative for Friends of the Earth. He was also past president of Western Outdoor Clubs and edited its magazine.

In 1980, he told the Maui Rotary Club that he would not publish any more books on Hawaii because they encouraged tourists when too many visitors were a problem.

But he felt compelled to snap his camera and capture Hawaii's natural facets.

He worked right up until he died, finishing work on a book about Hawaii's tourism founders with Bob Allen.

"He was so healthy I don't know what he's doing dead," said a good friend, Leaetta Igoe. Wenkam rented a room from her for the past five years in Hawaii Kai.

"He told me, 'If I get to a point where I'm not active, I'm going to the beach and keep on walking into the ocean,' " Igoe said.

Henry M. Apana, 72, of Waipahu died Sunday in Kaiser Hospital. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by daughter Teri Lynn; brother Moses; sisters Elizabeth "Leilani" Spencer, Eunice Andrade and Harriet Dias, and three grandchildren. Services: 6:30 p.m. Monday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Call after 5:30 p.m. Cremation to follow. Aloha attire. No flowers.

Lola L. Arnold-Weber, 51, of Vancouver, Wash., formerly of Hawaii, a secretary for the Department of Education, died Friday at home. She was born in Vancouver. She is survived by husband Ernst Weber; parents Philip and Helen Arnold; daughter Bianca Weber; son Bjorn Weber; sister Janice Arnold, and brothers Philip Jr. and Dean Arnold. Services on the mainland.

George W. Barsky, 95, of Honolulu, a retired stockbroker, died June 4 in Honolulu. He was born in Massachusetts. He is survived by niece Dorothy Ng. Private services.

Marcelina B. Galapon, 89, of Kihei died Wednesday in Ilocos Norte, the Philippines. She was born in Ilocos Norte. She is survived by eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Memorial services: 4 p.m. tomorrow at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness, Kihei.

Dr. Fount K. "Jack" and Sylvia Hirahara Hartley, will be remembered in services on the mainland. They died Sunday. Dr. Fount Hartley, 74, of Wichita, Kan., a retired physician, is survived by son Robert; daughters Lynn Marie Merkel, Susan Jane Adams and Stacey Baum-Hartley; and brother John A. Sylvia Hirahara Hartley, 61, of Wichita, Kan. and formerly of Honolulu, a medical office manager, is survived by daughter Stacey Baum-Hartley; stepdaughters Lynn Marie Merkel and Susan Jane Adams; stepson Robert; mother Shizue Hirahara; brothers Ivan, Edwin, Arnold, Jonathan and Brian Hirahara, and sisters Vivian Hayashi, Shirlyn Young, Cynthia Pierce and Gyneve Romar. They are also survived by five grandchildren.

Esther L. Hokoana, 72, of Honolulu died Monday in Kaiser Hospital. She was born in Kainalu, Molokai. She is survived by husband Thomas; sons Harris "Black," John "Longie" and Calvin "Son" Dudoit and Randy "Blue" Fujimori; daughters Hilda "Sista" Kaupu, Tammy "Tita" Coffin and Esther "Lulu" Hokoana; mother Esther Dudoit; brothers John, Charles and Clinton Dudoit; sisters Marion Larsen, Audrey Kawaiaea, Irene Keaweehu and Janet Dudoit, 20 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Services: 8 p.m. Wednesday at Nuuanu Memorial Park Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Services: 10 a.m. Thursday at the mortuary. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples. Casual attire.

Suyeno Inasaki, 75, of Honolulu died Sunday in Honolulu. She was born in Honolulu. She is survived by sister Nobuko Acopan and brothers Kazumi and Haruo Yamamoto. Private services.

John D. "DJ" Johnson, 73, a Waikiki Yacht Club staff commodore, died June 4 in Boston. He was also a retired Aloha Airlines captain. He is survived by companion Lyn Brown and calabash sons Bruce Burgess and Paul Marshall. A Viking burial at sea and celebration of life: 5:30 p.m. July 1 at Waikiki Yacht Club.

Felicisima C. Mendez, 71, of Waipahu, a retired salesclerk for Ritz Department Store, died June 18 in St. Francis Hospital. She was born in the Philippines. She is survived by husband Tito O.; son Franklin Petalver; brother Precilliano C. Camba; sisters Raymunda C. Garcia and Avelina C. Tobias, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Wake services: 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Services: 11:30 a.m. Monday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Call after 9:30 a.m. Burial: Mililani Memorial Park.

Melvin H. Muraoka, 80, of Pearl City, a retired contractor and former proprietor of Pearl City Bowl, died Sunday in Kapiolani Hospital at Pali Momi. He was born in Pearl City. He is survived by wife Clara C.; sons Walter H. and Steven T.; daughters Elaine H. Morikawa, Lynette T. Okita and Gail C. Chomko; sisters Kiyoko Tokushige, Shigeko Ishimitsu and Toshie Inouye, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Services: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Call after 5:30 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.

Robert L.M. Nakamura, 76, of Aiea, a retired instructor for the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture, was born in Puunene, Maui. Incorrect information for an obituary published Tuuesday was provided by the mortuary.

James K. Oshiro, 80, of Honolulu, a retired mason, died Sunday in Queen's Hospital. He was born in Waianae. He is survived by wife Betty; sons Herman, Larry, Norman and Alton; daughter Paula Regidor; brothers Masei and William Chinen; sisters Joyce Nakasato and Alice Ono, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Services: 6 p.m. Wednesday at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Call after 5 p.m. Aloha attire. No flowers.

Ruby E.M. Pua'a, 61, of Mililani, who retired from Bank of Hawaii, died Monday in Honolulu. She is survived by husband Kenneth K.; daughter Kenilyn Kaiwi; sons Kenneth and Kelan; sisters Veronica Akiona, Dorothy Silva and Shirley Richardson; brother Flavious Peters Jr., five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Services: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary. Call after 9:30 a.m. Burial to follow. Aloha attire.

Gary D. Robinson, 49, of Honolulu, a Hawaii certified nurse's aide, died May 23 in Honolulu. He was born in California. He is survived by partner David Alexander. Private services.

Kyle H. Sera, 48, of Kihei, an auto mechanic teacher at Maui High School, died Wednesday at home. He was born in Wailuku. He is survived by wife Jeanne, parents Lloyd and Nobuye and sister Leigh Ikeno. Services: 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Nakamura Mortuary. Call after noon. Services: 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Kahului Hongwanji Mission. Call after 3 p.m. Cremation to follow. Donations suggested to Kyle Sera Automotive Scholarship Fund. Casual attire.

Ann H. Stomka, 91, of San Diego died Monday. She is survived by son Herbert J. Spector, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Services: 10:30 a.m. Monday at Temple Emanu-El.

Joseph F. Tom, 84, of Honolulu, who was retired, died June 14 in Hawaii Kai Retirement Community. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Mabel; four sons; three brothers; two sisters; a stepdaughter; stepsons, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Private services.

Roger F. Wilson, 23, of Virginia Beach, Va., an auto body shop manager, died June 11. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by mother Edlynn Collins; father Donald F.; wife, Sharon; sisters Kitt-Sunny Waugaman and Autumn Hensel; grandmothers Lovey Tappen Kitt and Marjorie Wilson; stepsister Crystal Most, and stepbrother Daril Caldwell. Memorial services: 6 p.m. Sunday at the First Southern Baptist Church of Ewa Beach.

George H. "Slim" Yoshino, 71, of Kailua, a retired general contractor, died Monday. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Joan; son Craig; daughter Allyson Cluney; brothers Henry, Lester and Katsu; sisters Katherine Orita and Agnes Nitta, and five grandchildren. Memorial services: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Nuuanu Mortuary. Casual attire. No flowers.

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.

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