Friday, May 11, 2001


Tribute tomorrow
for Georgia Morikawa


By Leila Fujimori

Georgia Ellen Morikawa was the bridge between the deaf and the hearing in Hawaii.

"She really was the driving and gathering force for the deaf community and one of most prominent deaf community members, creating a bridge to the hearing community," said Kathy Reimers, executive director of the Hawaii Services on Deafness.

After battling an illness she contracted in October, Morikawa, 72, died Saturday.

Morikawa headed the Hawaii chapter of the National Association of the Deaf, and received numerous local and national awards from 1973 through 2001 for community service and volunteerism.

She worked with the phone company to get a directory and other services for the deaf, said Reimers, who shared an office at the Waikiki Community Center with Morikawa for six years.

She was the full-time volunteer executive director for Aloha State Association of the Deaf from the early 1980s. After she could no longer work from the office full time, she continued working at home.

Morikawa had a vision for a deaf community center where deaf and hard-of-hearing people of all ages could come together. The deaf community has formed a task force to continue to work toward fulfilling that vision in her honor.

Morikawa was born deaf in Bellingham, Wash., and attended Oregon School for the Deaf in Salem, Ore., and Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. She moved to Honolulu in 1948 where she attended Hauole Business College and worked for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. and Hawaii Services on Deafness.

Morikawa is survived by husband Roy, daughters Lorna Mouton-Riff and Patty Sakal, son Byron, and sisters Helen Cochran, Gertrude Friberg and Ruth Heinemann and four grandchildren.

Services were to be held today 8 to 10:15 a.m. at Nuuanu Memorial Park. Burial is at 10:45 a.m. at Diamond Head Memorial Park.

A community memorial tribute will be held tomorrow from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Ka Ikena Dining Room at Kapiolani Community College.

E-mail to City Desk

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

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin