Posted On November 23rd, 2011 -


Carleen Kehaulani Mortensen Birnie, 71, passed away on November 15 in Kailua. She was born in Honolulu on April 3, 1940 to Helen Ha’aipo Mortensen and Alfred Abraham K. Achong. She was raised by her grandparents, Julia and Carl Mortensen Sr., attending the Kamehameha Schools. When her mother married John Robert Stewart, she became an “Army Brat” who later married a “Flyboy,” enabling her to live in Alaska, California, Colorado, New Hampshire, Texas, Germany and Guam, as well as in Hilo, Volcano Village and Honolulu.

She was a life member of the Daughters of Hawai’i, a former trustee of Lyman House Memorial Museum, and had been a docent at ‘Iolani Palace.

She is survived by husband Ian, daughter Kim Ku’ulei Birnie, son Alan Keali’i Birnie, of Maui; grandchildren Camille (Laiana) Kanoa-Wong, Kalan Keahi and Connor Kupono Birnie; and two great-grandchildren, Ha’aipo and Kealoha’aina Kanoa-Wong. She is also survived by sisters Alfrieda Achong, of Honolulu, Joycelyn (Ray) Sheely, of Valrico, Florida, and brothers Hadrian and Hughland Achong, of Honolulu.

Celebration of Carleen’s life on Saturday, November 26, at 1127 Mokulua Drive, Ka’ohao (Lanikai). Visitation 1 to 3 p.m., service at 3:00. Inurnment will be at Punchbowl at a later date.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran