KAZUKO (“KAY”) SHIKUMA CHING
Kay passed away on June 12, 2012, in Honolulu. She was born on January 13, 1927, in Hilo. She left Hilo to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she received a bachelor’s degree and 5th year certificate in social work. There she met Donald D.H. Ching, the love of her life. They were wed in 1951, in spite of the concerns of some members of their families about a Chinese-Japanese marriage, which was unusual at that time. Underneath her quiet demeanor she was the Rock of Gibraltar upon whom Donald and her family and friends could depend. While raising five children and working as a social worker at the Department of Education, she supported Donald’s political contributions as a state legislator and a delegate to two State Constitutional Conventions, hosting dozens of campaign events and legislative functions. It is only when looking back that we can fully appreciate her strength and all that she did for her husband, family and community. Kay had the uncanny way of making everyone feel at ease and part of the family. A loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she made her family a priority and taught them the importance of respect, family, great friends and an ono, hearty meal with dessert.
She is survived by her children, Donna (Skip Bittenbender) of Honolulu, Debbie (Jack Lee) of Berkeley, California, Sandra Kimura of Hilo, Jeff and Mel of Honolulu; grandchildren, Harrison Bittenbender, Kyle and Joel Lee, Jonathan, Brandon (Yuko Mihara) and Ryan Kimura, and Emi Ching; great-grandchildren, Landon and Ella Kimura; and brothers, Jiro Shikuma (Doris) of Torrance, California, Miki Shikuma (Kimie) of Honolulu, and Takao Shikuma (Elaine) of Hilo.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 11:00am, at Diamond Head Mortuary, followed by services at 11:45am. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers or koden, donations may be directed to the Kalihi YMCA, which Kay continued to support after Donald passed.