Of Pearl City, Hawaii, passed away recently at the age of 92. He was born in Kona, Hawaii. His parents, Nobujiro and Chiyo Hakoda, emigrated from Fukuoka, Japan. They named Konao after his birth place. So his name, Konao, stands for Kona boy. Konao was the oldest of eight sibllings. His parents owned a general store, a coffee farm and the former Kona Soda Works. When he was growing up, Konao and his siblings would awaken at 3:00 a.m. to work on the farm before going to school and after returning from school they worked till dark. Konao graduated from Konawena High School –class of 1936. He attended the University of Hawaii and graduated in 1940, majoring in Business and Economics. During his senior year he needed only 12 credits to graduate so he worked for Dr. Andrew Lind, a noted sociologist at the University of Hawaii on a study that became a noted source on the immigration of Japanese to Hawaii and America.
Shortly after the start of World War II, Konao volunteered and joined the newly formed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He served in Italy and France and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Man’s Badge. He was assigned to the Headquarters Company and authored many of the recommendations for awards and medals for the 442nd , which turned out to be the most decorated combat unit in American history. Konao also became almost fluent in the French and Italian languages. Many years after the war he would take his wife, Doris, to visit some of the battlefields where many of his comrades from Hawaii perished.
Konao retired at age 62 from a career as an insurance and real estate agent and as a business manager. During his retirement, he enjoyed traveling with his wife to all parts of the world. They traveled throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S several times. He also was one of the original volunteers for the Honolulu Heart Program and the Hawaii Cancer Study.
Konao is survived by his wife of almost 68 years, the former Doris Mori whose parents owned the Mori Drug Store in Captain Cook, Hawaii. He is also survived by sons Harvey and Gary, daughter in law, Mary, grandchildren: Wendy Oshiro and Mark Hakoda and two younger siblings, Dan and Kenneth Hakoda.
A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011, with viewing at 5:00 p.m. and an observance at 6:00 p.m. at the Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Aloha attire. Internment will be at Punchbowl National Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.