Honolulu resident Cynthia Herbert Marnie, 93, passed away peacefully at her home in Honolulu on November 25, 2010. She was a lifelong champion of Hawaiian conservation and beautification.
In the early days of statehood, Cynthia Marnie played a key leadership role by working with legislators, the City Council and the community on major initiatives to preserve Hawaii’s beauty. She collaborated on issues related to billboards and signs, worked to enhance the Street Tree program with the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation and helped to establish a statewide Arbor Day Program. She was widely respected for her expertise on development and preservation issues.
Mrs. Marnie was born Cynthia May Herbert in Huntington, New York December 25, 1916, the third of four daughters, of Dr. V. Allen Herbert and Ella Augusta May Herbert. While a girl, her family relocated to Glendale, California where she attended school graduating from the Los Angeles General Hospital School of Nursing. Upon graduation in 1942 she began her nursing career at Puunene, Maui where she met her future husband John Mitchell Marnie a dentist who had grown up on Maui. The Marnies moved to Oahu in 1943. Cynthia worked as a public health nurse while her husband continued his practice of dentistry.
Mrs. Marnie was a long-time member of the Outdoor Circle as well as having served as Signs & Billboards Chairman, President and Life Member. She was a member of the: Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Oahu Transportation Study; The White House Conference on Natural Beauty; Chairman of Mrs. John A. Burn’s Garden Group at Washington Place; Member of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation’s McCoy Pavilion Blue Ribbon Committee; Oahu Development Conference; Waikiki Recreational Advisory Council; West Diamond Head Community Association; Diamond Head Citizens Advisory Commission; Honolulu City Council Waikiki Task Force; Citizens Advisory Committee to the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization, and a former Director of the Save Diamond Head Association.
Cynthia was a founding Board of Directors member of both the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society and Scenic Hawaii, Inc. She worked diligently to save the William G. Irwin Memorial Park (in front of Aloha Tower) and to publish the history of Kapiolani Park. She had a special interest in the preservation and non-commercialism of Kapiolani Park, which has retained its unique character and accessibility in part as a result of her tireless efforts.
In 2003 Cynthia Marnie was honored by the planting of a Royal Poinciana Tree in the Leahi Park section of Kapiolani Park to commemorate her many contributions to the City and County of Honolulu.
Cynthia was a volunteer for over 50 years, devoted to her family and keeping Hawaii beautiful. She was pre-deceased by her husband John (Jack) Mitchell Marnie. She is survived by her loving daughters Cynthia Marnie Rubin of Southport, Connecticut and Bonnie Marnie O’Donnell of Long Beach, California as well as her grandchildren Marnie Troy, Grant Rubin, Patrick O’Donnell and Marnie O’Donnell.
A celebration of her life service will be held at the Outrigger Canoe Club on December 14, 2010 from 11:00 a.m until 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society or Scenic Hawaii.