JUNE TAKEKO SHIMOKAWA
76, passed away on Saturday, May 14, 2011.
June grew up on the Big Island and received her high school and college education in Honolulu. She then went on to spend many years on the mainland, working with the YWCAs in Ohio, Washington and the Western Region, and with the United Methodist Church in New York City. She returned to Hawaii in 1985 to lead the Oahu YWCA and then to develop programs to promote peace and justice with the American Friends Service Committee. June retired from her careers in social work but never retired from her social activism. She was a tireless advocate for the disadvantaged and minorities, and tackled social issues ranging from nuclear awareness to Kanaka Maoli rights.
June’s courage to meet the challenges in her life on her own terms sing of her integrity. An intent listener and committed social activist, June radiated warmth in her gentle unassuming but determined manner. Caring deeply and passionately about equality and social justice, she never hesitated to put her faith into action. June’s curiosity and attention to the physical needs of others (safety, shelter, sustenance) mirrored her curiosity and attention to her own spiritual calling.
Her joy in life and appreciation of simple things touched the hearts and lives of many.
June’s ready smile, infectious laugh, and quiet dedication to making this world a better place remain impressed in the hearts of her late sisters Michiko (Suyenaga), Yuriko (Tsunehiro), Sumiko (Brandon) and surviving sisters Atsuko (Hasegawa) and Hideko, brother James, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and a large ohana of friends and colleagues.
A celebration of June’s life will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at Harris United Methodist Church. Visitation will be at 9:30 am, followed by the service at 10:30 am. Casual attire. In lieu of flowers, donations in appreciation of June’s life may be made to Harris United Methodist Church, or to Hawaii People’s Fund, an organization that was special to June, which promotes justice and social change in Hawaii.