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Thursday, July 27, 2000

Harry Hayashi,
‘Mr. Pagoda,’ dies

More obituaries

By Lori Tighe


Known as "Mr. Pagoda," Harry Hayashi often went from table to table in the Pagoda Floating Restaurant, chatting with regular customers he had befriended over the years.

It was Hayashi's personal touch, from caring for the employees to stocking the famous koi pond, that molded the restaurant as a local landmark.

Hayashi, 83, died Monday from lung-cancer complications.

He didn't own the hotel -- his brother Herbert did -- but Hayashi ran the restaurant and became a popular Pagoda fixture.

"He was like a father to us," said Pagoda restaurant manager Herbert Yamato. "He taught us how to fish. We were a tight group, me, the chef and Harry. He set up Molokai trips where we did shoreline fishing and camped under the stars."

Hayashi, born in Waimea, Kauai, originally worked as a produce manager for Times Supermarket on King Street. He went to work in 1965 for his younger brother, Herbert, also known as H.T., who founded the Pagoda and two other hotels under HTH Corp.

He held several food and beverage management positions at HTH, until he found his niche at the Pagoda.

The longtime general manager and executive vice president of the floating restaurant, Hayashi never really retired. He worked until this year when cancer forced him to quit.

"Any employee would tell you he was a very kind man with a good heart. He always looked out for employees," said Rob McPeek, hotel manager.

"He was a humble, generous, great man. If employees were going through problems, he listened and tried to help any way he could."

Hayashi, who loved fishing, caught about five small papio, a saltwater fish, and threw them in the restaurant's brackish koi pond in the 1970s. The papios bred over the years to 15 strong.

"People were amazed that the saltwater papios could live with the freshwater koi. Today they are humongous; they weigh 80 pounds," McPeek said.

Among the dozens of employees Hayashi hired, Anna Yin joined the Pagoda Floating Restaurant in 1982.

"He was like a father to me. I could not believe he was such a nice guy. He knew his customers so well and treated his employees so nice. If we had a problem, he would help," said Yin, who tends bar.

Another longtime employee, Esther Kalamau, called him "the reason why I'm still here."

Hayashi is survived by his wife, Jung Shik Na; five children, Merle Hidani, Dennis Hayashi, Rosanne Yamashiro, Nathan Hayashi and Heather Hayashi; brother Herbert; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be at noon tomorrow at Hosoi Garden Mortuary.

Barry J. Castellano, 44, of Wahiawa, a senior network controller for Verizon, died Saturday in Wahiawa General Hospital. He is survived by wife Patricia; sons Landon and Michael; daughters Kelly and Naomi; parents Albert "Sonny" and Ropena "Ruth"; brothers Floyd and Ivan, and sisters Arlita Malenky, Clovita Ledward, Doretta Madeira, Estella Tavares, Gina Kumia and Joella Castellano. Mass: noon Saturday at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. Call after 9 a.m. Burial: 9 a.m. Monday at Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. Casual attire.

Frank A. Ferren, 96, of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, a retired draftsman with General Electric, died July 14 at home. He was born in Ipswich, Mass. He was also an inventor/designer of emission calculators. He is survived by son Dr. Frank A.; daughter Virginia Bowman, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Private services. Donations suggested to Keauhou Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, 78-6957 Kamehameha III Road, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740.

Mary Harris, 70, of Kaneohe, who retired from Dupont and Carter Hawley Hale Stores, died Monday. She was born in Mount Airy, N.C. She is survived by daughter Debra Harris-Kaye; sisters Betty Wood and Irma "Mickey" Crowell; brother Jesse Deatherage, and three grandchildren. Services were private.

Asayo Hayashida, 94, of Pearl City died July 17 in Wahiawa General Hospital. She was born in Keaau, Hawaii. She is survived by daughters Tomoko Chikazawa, Kiyoko Hamanaka and Tsuyuko Kitagawa, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Services were private. No koden.

Situa "Sam" Igafo, 60, of Waianae, a heavy equipment operator, died July 19 in Waianae. He was born in American Samoa. He is survived by wife Elaine; sons Billy, Sabastian and Maloa; daughters Kim and Elaine L.; hanai son Sam Neemia; and sisters Leafa Hunkin and Lupe Siapo. Services in American Samoa.

Edith H. Ikene, 70, of Kaneohe died July 16 in Kailua. She was born in Honolulu. She is survived by husband Paul; daughter Sandra, and brothers Masashi and Paul Fukumoto. Services were private..

Mitsue I. "Mitzi" Kuwae, 73, of Honolulu died last Thursday in Kuakini Hospital. She was born in Makawao, Maui. She is survived by daughter Marlene M.K. Baker; brother Cy Izumi, and sisters Darling Chee and Millie Clark. Services: 7 p.m. Sunday at Chaminade University, Eiben Hall. Casual attire.

Nicetas A. Laquihon, 90, of Waianae died July 5 in Leeward Nursing Home. He was born in the Philippines. He is survived by sons Leon and Dansen; daughter Emillita L. Roque, 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Committal services: 10 a.m. Monday at Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. Aloha attire. No flowers.

Robert A. Leblanc, 81, of Hilo, Hawaii, a retired fire protection engineer, died yesterday in Hale Anuenue Restorative Care Center. He was born in Chicago. He is survived by wife Virginia M.; daughters Kathryn Olinski and Sara Ann Crull; brother Richard; sister Ruth Rytlewski, and four grandchildren. Services: 12:15 p.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Call from 11 a.m. to noon. Casual attire. No flowers.

Herbert T. Matsunaga, 67, of Honolulu, a consultant/developer, died Sunday in Queen's Hospital. He was born in Hilo, Hawaii. He is survived by wife Lois; daughters Marilyn and Cathy Plot; sister Irene Oyama, and brothers Ichiro, Richard and Raymond. Inurnment services with military honors: 8:30 a.m. Monday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.

Mary H.P. Niu, 60, of Laie, former co-owner of Niu's Laie Chevron Service, died July 19. She was born in Wairoa, New Zealand. She is survived by husband Sione; sons David, Sione Jr. and Shaun; daughters LaRae Sullivan and Chantelle; brother Baden Powell Pere, and five grandchildren. Services: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Laie North Stake Center. Call from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Burial: Laie Cemetery. Sunday attire.

Mildred Y. Okimoto, 87, of Honolulu, a retired diner owner, died Sunday in Kaiser Foundation Hospital. She was born in Honolulu. She is survived by brother George Kuwada and sister Sumiyo Kashiwamura. Services: 3 p.m. Saturday at Nuuanu Congregational Church. Call after 2 p.m. Burial: 10 a.m. Monday at Diamond Head Memorial Park. Aloha attire. No flowers. No koden.

Rebekah A. Rabellizsa-Young, infant daughter of Jacob Young and Raeana Rabellizsa, died July 17 in Kapiolani Hospital for Women and Children. She is also survived by grandparents Alvin and Mary Young, Carl Rabellizsa and Rosanna Delenia. Private services.

Marie K. Ray, 83, of Waianae, a retired cook, died July 16 in Honolulu. She was born in Arkansas. She is survived by daughter Lisa; son Michael; sister Dorothy Tisdale, and six grandchildren. Memorial services: 11:30 a.m. Monday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl. Casual attire. No flowers.

Ruelyn D. Rivera, infant daughter of Ruel and Rhesty Rivera, died Friday in Kapiolani Hospital. She is also survived by grandparents Rodrigo and Encarnacion Dadis and Eugenio and Clarita Rivera. Services: 1 p.m. Monday at Nuuanu Mortuary. Call after 11 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples.

James M. Robertson, 72, of Honolulu, a retired police officer, died Monday in Ewa Beach. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Hildegard B.; daughters Uilani R. Souza and Melanie M. Robertson; son John B.; sisters Elizabeth K. Terry, Mary Robertson and Melvia I. Rodrigues; five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and extended family Cheryl Johnson. Services: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary. Call after 9 a.m. Inurnment: Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.

Kamakana'u'ukumaikeakua Rodrigues-Kurkowski, infant daughter of Leiana M.K. Rodrigues and Steven Kurkowski Jr., died last Thursday in Maui Memorial Hospital. She is also survived by grandparents Douglas and Kawika Souza and Terry and Steven Kurkowski. Private services.

Alice A. Ruiz, 64, of Kaneohe died July 19 in Kaneohe. She was born in Paia, Maui. She is survived by companion Bernard Champlin; sons Adello, Carlos, Steven and Richard; daughters Mary, Margaret and Alice Jean Ruiz, Carmen Entendencia and Michielle Lee Fong; stepchildren Tina, Donna and James Champlin; brother John Andrews; sisters Annie Martin and Beverly Estrella, 30 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Services: 7 p.m. Sunday at Nuuanu Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Services: 10 a.m. Monday at the mortuary. Call after 8 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples.

Lucile P. Watkins, 89, of Honolulu died Friday in Garden Grove, Calif. She was born in Long Beach, Calif. She is survived by son Richard A.; sister Grace Stubbins, two grandsons and two great-granddaughters. No services. Scattering of ashes in Honolulu. Donations suggested to any cancer organization or to the Blood Bank of Honolulu.

Robert J. Williams, 24, of Honolulu, a computer technician, died Sunday. He was born in Burnaby, Canada. He is survived by parents Robert and Pamela; brother Clayton; sister Priscilla, and grandparents George and Florence Kinneard and Erika Williams. Services: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kahala Ward. Call after 8 a.m. Burial: Laie Cemetery. Aloha attire.

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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