Posted On June 19th, 2011 -


Marilyn Blaisdell ’48 Ane, veteran Punahou School Kindergarten teacher and wife of the late legendary football coach, Charles Ane ’49, passed away peacefully at home on June 13, 2011. She was 80.

The daughter of former Honolulu mayor Neal S. Blaisdell and wife Lucy, Marilyn inherited a love of athletics from her father and a love for teaching from her mother. At Punahou, she presided over the Punahou Girls Athletic Association, which sponsored non-competitive interscholastic games, reigned as May Day Queen and rallied School spirit as a cheerleader. Her zest and charm caught the eye of football star Charles Teetai Ane, Jr. ’49, whom she later married.

Marilyn received her bachelor’s degree in social work and psychology from the University of Southern California. After living in Detroit during the 1950s, Marilyn persuaded her husband to move the family back to Hawai’i so that their three children would know their grandparents and have the opportunity to attend Punahou.

“The School meant so much to my mom,” said son Neal ’74. “She thought there were so many great qualities at Punahou in terms of education and a sense of tradition. She wanted us to experience that.” Marilyn joined Punahou School in 1965 as a teaching assistant, becoming a kindergarten teacher two years later, after completing her master’s in education at the University of Hawai’i.

Beyond her innate love of children, Marilyn found creative ways to celebrate ‘ohana. She launched such School traditions as Kindergarten Christmas caroling, the Flaming ‘P’ and Kupuna Day, and helped with the lu’au for new faculty. These beloved customs have become part of the fabric of the Punahou experience. In 2007, the Punahou Alumni Association recognized Marilyn with its highest honor, the “O” in Life Award.

Marilyn was a talented teacher and in 1975 received the Outstanding Elementary Teachers of America Award. Her greatest gift, however, was the enduring impact she has had on the lives of her students, many of whom have named her as their most influential teacher.

Marilyn spent her final weekend at the Punahou Reunion, reveling in the camaraderie of schoolmates and leading a rousing cheer of “Strawberry Shortcake!” “That’s Mom,” said son Kale ’71. “She loved the tradition and she loved being the torchbearer for the spirit of the school. That’s her way of sharing with everybody.”

In his message to faculty and staff, Punahou President Jim Scott wrote, ” ‘Tutu’ Ane will be greatly missed. As we mourn her passing, we also know that her spirited embrace of life will continue to live on in all those who have been graced by her inimitable presence.”

Marilyn is survived by Kale, Punahou associate director of athletics; daughter Malia ’72, who has taught third grade at Punahou and recently was named K-12 Hawaiian Studies Director at the School; and Neal, a kumu at Ka Waihona o ka Na’auao. Tutu also was blessed with seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren whom she loved dearly. Her beloved husband passed away in 2007 after a stellar career as a football standout at Punahou, USC and in the NFL, and as a renowned high school football coach in Hawai’i.

Services will be held Friday, June 24 with visitation from 3 – 4:30 p.m. and service to follow at Thurston Memorial Chapel on the Punahou School campus. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Charles Teetai Ane, Jr. ’49 and Marilyn Blaisdell ’48 Ane Endowed Scholarship.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran