Category Archives: Obituaries

Many families find themselves unable or unwilling to pay the very high fees to publish obituaries of loved ones in Honolulu’s daily newspaper. They can be published here for free. Just email your text, along with any photos you would like to include to ian(at)

Remembering Raymond Pae Galdeira, Sr.

Raymond Pae Galdeira, Sr., passed away on Saturday, May 23, 2015, according to an email I received from one of his grandchildren. He had been living in Las Vegas for several years.

Galdeira was a key figure in The Hawaiians, a civil rights and Hawaiian advocacy group that played a key role in the growth of Hawaiian social and political activism beginning in the late 1960s and through most of the 1970s.

It was Galdeira and The Hawaiians who backed Big Island rancher Sonny Kaniho’s civil disobedience against leasing policies of the Hawaiian Homes Commission in May 1974.

It was two years before the first protest landing on Kahoolawe. George Ariyoshi was serving as governor but would not face election until later in the year. Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians were becoming increasing restive and politically active, with long-term problems of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands becoming key issues for many.

Kaniho’s protest, backed by The Hawaiians, was part of the organization’s broader campaign to reform the commission.

These photographs were taken early on May 18, 1974, as Kaniho and supporters prepared for their protest. In the top photo, Galdeira is at the center, with the white shoes, explaining the plan for the landmark protest. Later that morning, the group moved up to a pasture in Waimea. Under the watchful eyes of employee’s of Larry Mehau’s Hawaiian Protective Association, the group removed a gate and entered the pasture, later driving up to a higher elevation.

Pae Galdeira in white shoes

And Galdeira smiles broadly in the bottom photo as arresting officer Leningrad Elarionoff, who later served on the Hawaii County Council, explains the situation. He took our names and identifying information, and we were later served with summonses to appear in district court in Waimea on trespassing charges.


The efforts of Galdeira and The Hawaiians eventually led then Gov. Ariyoshi to appoint of one of their own, Georgiana Padeken, as director of the department and chair of the commission. The move was seen by many as a turning point in the commission’s history.

In a statement while a candidate for OHA trustee in 2002, the late Darrow Aiona recalled this period:

During the early years of the Hawaiian Renaissance I was deeply involved with my active brothers and sisters Francis Kauhane, the late Georgiana Padeken, Pae Galdeira, Gard Kealoha, Doug Ng, Alvina Park and others as we challenged the Hawaiian Homes Commission to put more lessees on Hawaiian Home lands, even if the lands were not developed. Our activism is seen as having some bearing upon the eventual establishment of OHA.

Galdeira, Kaniho and others involved in The Hawaiians also founded the Hawaiian Coalition of Native Claims, which later became the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. Identified in a resolution adopted by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in 2003 as founders were Randy and Mel Kalahiki, Gail Kawaipuna Prejean, Roy Ula Kawelo, Steve Morse, Winona Rubin, Georgiana Padeken, Darrow Aiona, Alvina Park, Irene DuPont, Pae Galdeira, Sonny Kaniho, and Roland Mahiai.

If you’re a long time reader, some of this might look familiar to you. That’s because back in 2006, I noticed the obituary of Earl Pae Galdeira, and thought he was Pae Galdeira of the Hawaiians. I was relieved at the time to find out that it was his brother, but it provided an opportunity to look back.

And now, with Pae Galdeira’s passing, I’m doing it all again.

See also:

Sonny Kaniho claims homestead land in Waimea (Photographs)

Trial in Waimea: August 13, 1974 (Sonny Kaniho & Friends)

Margaret Renton Chesney, 1923-2014

We were notified on Friday morning that Meda’s mother, Margaret Renton Chesney, had passed away early that day in the facility where she had been cared for over the past several years. Meda and her sisters decided to share this remembrance via our blogs, Facebook pages, etc. in lieu of a paid obituary.

Margaret Renton Chesney

Margaret (Margo) Renton Chesney, passed away peacefully at age 90 with her family at her side on Friday, February 7, 2014 in Belmont, California.

Margo was born on June 4, 1923 in Honolulu, Hawaii to parents James Lewis Renton and Meda Menardi Renton. She spent her early years at Ewa Plantation, where her father worked as chief engineer and, later, mill superintendent. Her grandfather, George F. Renton Sr., served as manager of Ewa Plantation from 1898 to 1920, and was succeeded by her uncle, George F. Renton Jr., who was manager from 1920 to 1937.

Chesney and her family moved to the “mainland” in 1931 and settled in Portland, Oregon.

Margo attended high school at St. Helen’s Hall in Portland, Oregon, where she graduated in 1940, a year ahead of her class. To pursue her passion for both math and music, she traveled east for college and musical studies, selected Goucher College in Baltimore, MD., in part because of its proximity to the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

In 1944, she graduated with majors in Physics, Math, and Music. She met Robert William Chesney, a student at Johns Hopkins University, in a physics class that was offered to the women students at Goucher. After their graduation, they married and moved to Oklahoma, where Bob landed a job as a geologist in the oil fields around Woodward.

In 1947, the couple had their first child, a daughter, Meda.

Chesney in 1947Less than three months later, a tornado–still ranked as one of the most damaging in Oklahona history–swept through Woodward. The Chesney’s home was destroyed. Mother and child were initially caught in the rubble, but were able to escape and were rescued. [Photo: Margaret Chesney and daughter, Meda, in early 1947. More background on her experience of the Woodward tornado is available.]

With the terror of the tornado fresh in their minds, the family left Oklahoma and moved back to Baltimore. They had three more children, Margaret Ann, Robert Lloyd, and Anna Mae.

The couple divorced and Margo moved back to Portland, Oregon in 1962 with the children. She taught math briefly in the public schools and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Counseling. She wove together her love of math and psychology working as a math teacher and counselor in high schools in Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Later she served as a Career Counselor for Washington State.

She maintained her love of music, first directing the junior church choir at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton, Maryland and another in Portland. She also enjoyed making beautiful embroidered pieces, needlepoint and weaving. She donated her works to the church and gave beautiful gifts to family and friends. She always had a strong commitment to social justice, and worked to find affordable housing for the needy in Baltimore, counseled men about resisting the draft during the Vietnam War in Portland. In 1990, she was named Unitarian of the Year for her “outstanding support and dedication” and her many contributions to the First Unitarian Church of Portland, including service on many committees and as editor of the church newsletter.

Margo moved to the Bay Area in 1993 where she continued to spend time with family and friends while living in San Mateo, Burlingame and Belmont.

Margo is survived by her daughter Meda Chesney-Lind and her husband Ian Lind of Honolulu, Hawaii; daughter Margaret Chesney Anderson and her husband David Anderson of Menlo Park, California; son Robert Lloyd Chesney and his partner Thinh Jones of Portland, Oregon; and daughter Mae Chesney and her partner Peter Rothblatt of San Francisco, California. Margo is also survived by granddaughter Crystal Chesney Thompson and her husband Derek Thompson; grandson Brian Chesney; and great-granddaughter Kaelyn Thompson. She was preceded in death by her loving brother, James Menardi Renton in 2012.

We’ve been blessed to have this amazing woman as our mother, friend and confidant. She met life’s challenges and loved life’s gifts in ways that inspire us to do the same. May she rest in peace.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who cared for Margo, spend some more time with those they love.

Another friend passes: Jay Broze

I got word last weekend that a good friend from college days had passed away.

Jay Broze, legally Vincent Jay Broze, died on September 19, presumably in Walla Walla, Washington, where he and his wife returned just a couple of years ago.

We all attended Whitman College together. Jay and I joined the same fraternity, and managed to keep in sporadic touch over the years. Meda and I were lucky to spend quality time catching up with Jay when we were in Walla Walla in 2011.

More than anyone I know, Jay intentionally created and constantly recreated an amazing persona. He was a brilliant person who always amazed me with his ability to create the world he wanted to inhabit and position himself just where he wanted to be. He defined himself more consciously and more fully than anyone I’ve known.

Word of his death was accompanied by an email trail showing it had passed through layers of other friends from the period, many of whom obviously stayed in closer touch with each other than I.

I had to track back to the beginning of the chain of messages.

A great friend & very gallant gentleman, Jay Broze, “went West” early this morning, dying quietly in his sleep after more than a week bearing up bravely to the last stages of cancer. He died surrounded by family, and friends who maintained a a vigil night & day over the last few days of his life, offering support and encouragement to Jay which he gave them right back. Those of you who knew Jay know just what I mean. There is no good side to his passing, no homey homilie that I can think of; he leaves a hole in my life & in the lives of all his friends that no one will come along to fill. He leaves this World with many projects yet to be finished or even to be started.

Jay also earned a fine obit in the Seattle Times. Here’s one section, just to give a flavor of this very unique person.

After receiving a BA in History at Whitman College ’69, he went on to earn an MA at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, with

a concentration in Arabic Studies. He found both college and graduate programs enormously stimulating and they set the tone for his lifelong inquiry into practically everything. He returned to the Northwest once more and found work as a copywriter for George Lowe at Kraft Smith and Lowe. As Georg Lowe remembers it:

“Jay fit in perfectly- Johns Hopkins University- history degree–no agency experience, but he could write. A man of broad interests and powerful intellect, he could also discourse – brilliantly – on just about any subject…..Always fun, always brave, smart, and willing under any and all conditions. ”

Inquiry, writing, sailing, skiing, flying, and having fun would be the hallmarks of the rest of his life.

In the mid-seventies, Jay mailed an unsolicited story to SAIL magazine about the de-masting of a boat off the Washington coast. As Keith Taylor, editor at SAIL during that splendid era, tells it, “…I know it came across my desk and it was a wonderful piece. I seized on it like a hungry dog clamps onto a juicy bone. From then on Jay covered the America’s Cup for SAIL until I departed in ’88. His last assignment for me was Fremantle in ’87 when the Aussies unsuccessfully defended the Cup. His name was on the masthead of SAIL through the ’70s and ’80s. In ’83 in Newport, RI, he was one of the insiders who first understood what Aussie designer had achieved with Australia II’s winged-keel.

…. (He had) a wonderful wry quirky view of the world that endeared him to all he met. His ability to walk down a dock and greet old sailor friends, and make new ones, was unrivalled.”

Helen Yonge Lind 1914-2013

My mother died this morning at about 7 a.m. in a hospice house in the back of Palolo Valley.

The first photo was taken on Kahala Beach in late 1941. The second taken on Easter Sunday, 2012, during a visit to our home in Kaaawa.

1941 photo

2012 photo

Before her recent decline, she wrote her own obituary.

Here’s what she wrote, more or less. The original was written in her own hand.

Born Honolulu. Graduate Kamehameha School for Girls (before coed), and UH Manoa. Former instructor in Food Science, UH-Manoa. Also former secretary, Hawaiian Historical Society.

Survived by son, Ian Yonge Lind and wife, Meda, of Kaaawa; daughter, Bonnie (Lind) Stevens of California and Honolulu; granddaughter Christine (Lamont) Kemp and son, Kimo Lamont of Manteca, CA, and several great granddaughters.

Memorials to the Helen Yonge Lind Scholarship Fund
University of Hawaii Foundation
2444 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

Aloha to Darrow Aiona (photographs) and an era of modern Hawaiian community activism

About 1980I was very sorry to hear Darrow Aiona died suddenly just a few days before Christmas. Darrow was a very familiar figure in our lives, and his passing sent me digging for old photos. I came up with this batch of pictures which include a couple of Darrow.

That’s Darrow, with his pipe, talking with the late Judy Napoleon of Molokai. The occasion was a party for attorney Robert “Gil” Johnston at the home of the Rev. Charles Hopkins in Kaaawa.

I’m guessing this was around 1980. I know it was well before we moved to Kaaawa, which was in 1988, because I recall thinking that it seemed like a very long way to drive for a party. And it was after Gil left Hawaii in 1975 to teach at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he later served as dean. Gil had previously served as head of the Legal Aid Society in Hawaii for a couple of years around 1970, then went into private practice, where he represented Native Hawaiian community groups and activists. Hence the attendees at this small event.

In addition to Darrow, there are a lot of important people from that early period of modern Hawaiian activism who are no longer with us, including Judy Napoleon, Randy Kalahiki, Georgina Padeken, and Alvina Park, plus others I don’t recall or didn’t know.

I wish the scans were better, but I was working from old snapshots.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the look back.

Aloha, Darrow.