HENRY K. IWASA

Posted On March 20th, 2013 -

HENRY K. IWASA
Henry K. Iwasa, Jr., 75 passed away peacefully at his home in Kaimuki on Saturday February 16, 2013. Retired from the University of Hawaii at Manoa as an educational specialist in the Hawaiian Language, Arts, and Culture Department he was also a contract writer for the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts. His vocation reflected his passion for those things in life which though hard to quantify surely make life beautiful. His kindness and generosity towards The Friends of Iolani Palace, The Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band, Hawaii Public Radio, The Hawaii Literary Arts Council and most recently Kahumanu Café in Waianae and to other ‘na mea Hawaii’ (things hawaiian) to name a few has enriched us all and gave meaning to his life. Henry was also a member of the Kaimuki Neighborhood board and because of his involvement the area maintains its homely charm much as it did when Henry was growing up. He never tired of describing the Honolulu of his younger days at Aliiolani Elementary, Stevenson Middle School, Roosevelt High School and The University of Hawaii at Manoa where he majored in Political Science. He was a staff writer on the Ka Leo Newspaper. Those formative years and the inspiration from certain fondly remembered family, friends and teachers prepared him well for the many years that he lived in New York. Henry was in his element not only as a graduate student at Columbia University and later as a foreign student admissions officer but as a denizen of Manhattan more specifically ‘the Village’ and all that the Big Apple of the ’60s and ’70s had to offer. To quote Mame Dennis Burnside AKA ‘Auntie Mame’ from the eponymous movie as she lugs the frumpy Agnes Gooche up a staircase (inside joke), ‘Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. You have to live, live, live’! And Henry certainly did live. But if New York was the hors d’ourvre then France was the entree and all that comes after. Simply said Henry loved France. Armed with the latest Guide Michelin and a gaelic fluency which he credited to his most cherished friend (you know who you are), Henry ‘did’ the country from Left Bank Paris to Calvados in Normandy and Mont St. Michel down to the Loire Valley to Vichy and hence to Auvergne, Languedoc, Marseilles, Provence and wherever else the rented Citroen traversed to. There would be many more french kilometers before and after his return to Hawaii in order to care for his mother and uncle and despite his distant meanderings he secretly appreciated being a ‘local boy’. So before he leaves come celebrate his life on Sunday 24 March beginning at 12 noon at the house. No flowers. Contributions may be made to one’s own passion. There will be private services another day.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran