ANN KANG / 1955-2003

Iolani coach played
volleyball for Wahine

She led the Raiders to their
first state title in 2001; the school's
tournament will be named after her

Former Iolani girls volleyball coach Ann Goldenson Kang died knowing that you didn't have to be gone to hear people say nice things about you.

Kang, 47, died quietly in her sleep Tuesday night at Straub hospital after a 19-month battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Kang's husband, Alan, said his best friend died peacefully with family and friends at her bedside.

"She had an opportunity to have people tell her how much they appreciated her as a teacher and a coach," Alan Kang said. "She felt appreciated and it validated what she wanted to do. She loved teaching, loved the students. To have people tell her that they benefited from her ... it made her feel her life as a teacher was worthwhile.

"It was amazing to me the support and outpouring of love for her. I was glad and she was appreciative of it. She was able to know about it and enjoy it when she was alive and could talk and interact with people."

There were many to interact with after more than 20 years of coaching and teaching at Iolani. Kang was also a member of the Rainbow Wahine volleyball family after playing for Hawaii from 1976 to 1978.

Kang was diagnosed with the disease five months after coaching Iolani to its first state title in 2001. She entered the hospital with breathing problems on Tuesday.

Kang is survived by Alan, daughter Marci and son Barry.

Funeral arrangements will be handled by Diamond Head Mortuary. Kang wished to be cremated and have her ashes scattered over the ocean.

Iolani officials told Alan Kang that the annual preseason volleyball tournament Ann Kang started at Iolani will be known as the Ann Kang Invitational.


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