Amelia Ana Kaopua Bailey “Tutu”

Posted On April 4th, 2012 -


Lei mau ia kakou i kona aloha pau ole. Master lei maker, Amelia Ana Kaopua Bailey, “Tutu,” passed away peacefully at her home in
Manoa on Tuesday, March 27th, surrounded by family. She was born to James Kaopua Sr. and Kamila Amina in Kalihi on November 20, 1922. Amelia graduated from Kamehameha School for Girls in 1941, and the University of Hawai`i, Queen’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1945. She married Dr. Robert F. Bailey, a family medical doctor in 1946, and raised five children.

Amelia worked twenty years for Punahou School as Costume Coordinator and received the “Old School Award” for outstanding service to the school community. She was an active member of Hui Hanai, Queen’s Nursing School Alumni Association, Queen’s Hospital Auxiliary, The Garden Club of Honolulu, Aha Hui Kaahumanu, Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club, and the Daughters of Hawaii, where she started the lei booth at the annual “Day at Queen Emma Summer Palace.” She annually contributed her lei and wreath-making talents to the Queen’s Festival of Trees, the Art Academy’s Kamaaina Christmas, the Honolulu Marathon, and numerous other Honolulu fundraisers and events. She also taught lei making to school children, halau, Garden Club members, women prisoners at the Waimanalo Correctional Unit, and hundreds of Punahou School students, parents, faculty and friends
through her annual workshop for the thriving Haku Lei Booth she founded for the Punahou School Carnival.

Tutu will always be remembered for her generosity in being there for others, gracious aloha, elegance, hard work, avid learning, warmth, creativity, hula, music, and gifts of beautiful lei for every occasion. In recent years, Amelia wrote, “I look on past and present experiences with pride for all have added to the process of
growing into being a kupuna. I feel blessed, enriched, and productive. Memories abound and life is beautiful.”

Amelia is preceded in passing by her parents, eight Kaopua siblings, husband, Robert F. Bailey, son Robert Clifton Bailey, and son-in-law Gary Blaich. She is survived by her children, daughter Beryl Blaich, sons James, Speedy (Pauline,) and John (Karla) Bailey, daughter-in-law Fahy Bailey; eight moopuna, Brooke (Johnny ) Wiskerchen, Mehana (Kilipaki) Vaughan, Meleana (Will) Estes, Kaulana Bailey, Mike Coots, Nicole (Bobby) Galchutt, Britten and Lindsey Bailey; and five great-grandchildren, Gavin, Micah, and Makana Galchutt, and Pikomanawakupono and Piinaemalina Vaughan; husband James W. Beatty; brother Glenn Kaulukukui, sister Marcella Brede, and countless dear friends. A memorial celebration of Tutu’s life will be held on Saturday, April 7th at Punahou School Chapel at 2PM. Visitation with family before and after service, begins at 12:30PM. Please carpool. Arrangements are being handled by Borthwick Mortuary ( In lieu of wreaths, please wear lei as Tutu always did. Donations to Punahou School’s “Dr. Robert F. and Amelia Bailey Endowed Scholarship Fund, ” (1601 Punahou St., Honolulu, HI 96822), would be gratefully received, as would memories emailed to

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran