Editor’s Scratchpad

Sunday, November 18, 2001

Loyal and lovely
until the end

When I first heard Loyal Garner's full, melodious voice in the 1960's, I thought: "Here is a star in the making." Loyal did indeed become an island star known as the Lady of Love.

Love was what Loyal Garner was all about. When The Divas -- Loyal, Melveen Leed, Carole Kai and Nohelani Cypriano -- made a surprise appearance at Ciao Mein for the restaurant's anniversary party, Loyal sounded good despite her cancer. She even took over the keyboard as she played a fine piano and could knock out solid jazz.

In September, the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii gave Loyal its Mauka Makai Award intended to make the community more aware of cancer research. Loyal was too ill to attend. Her manager, Janice Ukauka, Kai and Cypriano accepted for her in a moving ceremony.

Late Thursday night, I received news of Loyal's death. At 55, she was much too young to go. Nohelani said the Divas' concert will go on as planned Nov. 29 at the Sheraton and will be dedicated to Loyal. She had hoped to appear briefly and last week was directing the other Divas from her bed as to how it should be done. She was a star right up to the end.

--Ben Wood

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