Shigeta started out as a singer and founded a UH scholarship
By John Berger / firstname.lastname@example.org
Shigeta briefly attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, as well as the University of Southern California and New York University, but his studies were interrupted when he joined the Marines during the Korean War. He did, however, help many others pursue their educational
goals by establishing the James Shigeta Scholarship in Asian Studies at UH.
In a 2007 interview with Sukhdev Sandhu during a film festival in his honor sponsored by NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute, the actor called the scholarship fund one of the things he was most proud of.
Shigeta explained that he was helped by various scholarships while in school, and “I thought when I did amass a little bit of money, I decided to pay back a little bit.”
Masami Hironaka, 84, of Wailea, Maui, was in an a cappella choir with Shigeta when both were at UH.
“He had a beautiful baritone voice. I was surprised he became an actor. He wasn’t the show-off type. Jimmy was the shy type,” said Hironaka, a longtime educator who started children’s choir and ukulele groups in Maui schools and offered ukulele lessons.
Shigeta began his show business career as a singer in Hawaii, joining with singer-pianist Charles K.L. Davis to perform as a cabaret act, Guy Brion (Shigeta) and Charles Duran (Davis), in 1951.
Local singer and actor Jimmy Borges remembers Shigeta as the guy who “got me into Vegas” in 1959.
“Jimmy (Shigeta)was starring in show called ‘Holiday in Japan,’ which was produced by Shirley MacLaine and her husband, Steve Parker, and he left to finish ‘Walk Like a Dragon,’ his second movie, and I got the job,” Borges said. “I thought I was going to be there for six weeks. I was there for two years.”
Borges and Shigeta finally met on the set of “The Islander,” a 1978 TV movie starring Dennis Weaver.
“We got along very well,” Borges said. “We talked about (my getting ‘Holiday in Japan’), but we were looking back at it from a long, long way back.”
One of Shigeta’s best assets was a “great voice,” Borges said.
“He spoke so eloquently and he had this ‘This is the Voice of America’ voice. His stature, his presence, was all built around his voice. Jimmy became what his voice was.”
Nancy Kwan, who starred opposite Shigeta in the 1961 film musical “Flower Drum Song,” and on stage in 2004 in “Love Letters” in Los Angeles, described him as “a very lovely man, great to work with. We were all very proud of (the movie).
“It’s a fun film, and James was a big part of it.”
July 9, 2014
Richard “Bo” Wong, 79, of Mililani, a retired United Airlines mechanic and a Marine Corps veteran, died in Mililani. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by companion Sarah Tate-michi; son David; hanai son Tracy Tatemichi; hanai daughters Lorraine Wichman, Laverne Waugh, Lorna Alisna and Livia Tatemichi-Higa; brothers Lawrence, Donald, Clarence, Clinton and Edward; and a grandchild. Visitation: 5 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Services: 6 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.
July 5, 2014
Clyde Andrew Kwong Won Wong, 82, of Waipahu, a retired Honolulu Shipyard pipe fitter welder, died in Waipahu. He was born in Wailuku. He is survived by daughters Shirley-Ann Santiago, Carol-Jean Johnson and Sandra-Lee and Lee-Ann Wong; brothers Wilfred Wong and Raymond Gurczynski; sisters Joy Wong and Carole King; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Visitation: 11 a.m. Saturday at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary. Services at noon. Burial: 2 p.m. at Hawaiian Memorial Park. Online condolences: hawaiianmemorialparkmortuary.com.
July 16, 2014
Hazlett Thomas Weatherwax, 64, of Honolulu, a retired city firefighter, died at home. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife san shoppell, son Kana’i, daughter Shelley, mother Mildred K. and brothers Wallace and Wendell. Email email@example.com for Aug. 10 service information and online condolences. Palaka and aloha attire. No flowers. Donations suggested to Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarship Fund or any other charitable organization. Incorrect information in an obituary published Saturday.
July 4, 2014
Masao Watasaki, 92, of Honolulu, a retired U.S. Postal Service accountant and an Army Military Intelligence veteran who served in World War II, died in the Queen’s Medical Center. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Helen M. and daughter Faye M. Muramoto. Private services.
June 27, 2014
Vivian Eliu Tuaefe, 49, of Waipahu died in the Queen’s Medical Center. She was born in Honolulu. She is survived by daughters Tonga Tuaefe and Losaline Aleki; sons Chris Fetisone and Junior Aleki; mother Pisa Taimi; brothers Vesi, Auave and Butch; sisters Debbie, Clara, Pisa, Lina and Lena; and a grandchild. Visitation: 9 a.m. Monday at Moanalua Mortuary. Services: 11 a.m. Burial: 2 p.m. at Valley of the Temples.
March 4, 2014
Edwin Noburo Taniguchi, 64, of San Diego, an Army veteran, died in San Diego. He was born in Hono-lulu. He is survived by brothers Benson, Glenn and Clyde; and sisters Doris Davis, Jean Kitchen, Amy Chun and Glory David. Private services. No flowers.
June 21, 2014
Tsuruko “Doris” Taira, 97, of Pearl City died in Kuakini Geriatric Care. She was born in Kukuihaele, Hawaii. She is survived by numerous nephews and nieces. Private services.
July 18, 2014
Melody Catherine Stevenson, 57, of Kapaa, Kauai, a Wyndham sales agent, died at home. She was born in Akron, Ohio. She is survived by daughters Amber, Naomi and Jasmine; son Clifford; brothers Dana, Danny and Kelly Green; sister Paula; former husband William; and a grandchild. Celebration of life: noon Sunday at Hanalei Black Pot.
July 17, 2014
Dr. Carl Weston Scheer, 83, of Aiea, a retired radiologist and former business partner of Radiology Associates, and former assistant attending radiologist and assistant professor of radiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York City, died in Pali Momi Medical Center. He was born in Berkeley, Calif. He is survived by wife Yen Tran, daughters Suzanne Benfield and Lisa Nylen, and four grandchildren. No services.
July 16, 2014
Pat “Grammy” Sasaki, 64, of Honolulu, a state Department of Health administrative officer, former state Office of Aging director and co-author of “Pidgin to Da Max,” died in the Queen’s Medical Center. She was born in Honolulu. She is survived by husband Randy, son Russell, daughter Michelle, mother Barbara Takata, sisters Pianta and Sandra Arrowood, and a grandchild. Services: 2 p.m. Aug. 9 at Kilohana United Methodist Church. Casual attire. No flowers. A portion of monetary offerings will be donated to Mid Pacific Institute.
July 23, 2014
Susan Johnson Roney, 59, of Kailua, a homemaker, died in Honolulu. She was born in Murray, Ky. She is survived by husband Peter A., sons Benjamin and Jack, daughter Anne, parents June Farley and Charles Johnson, brother Nick Johnson, sister Bonnie J. Houk and three grandchildren. Celebration of life: 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Roney residence.
July 3, 2014
Haruko Rojas, 83, of Kamuela, Hawaii, a retired bookkeeper for Coca-Cola in San Francisco, died in Honokaa, Hawaii. She was born in Honolulu. She is survived by sons Deane and Keith, daughter Sharon Yamamoto, brother Jerry Irei, sister Fusako Irei, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Visitation: 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Services: 10:30 a.m.
June 7, 2014
Charles Patrick Ramelb, 48, of Huntington Beach, Calif., a Del Taco facilities manager, died in California. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Mary Ann; sons Damien K. and Dane K.; daughter Devin L.; parents Lee and Judy; brothers Anthony, Jon and Russell; and sister Lianne. Visitation: 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Church, Waipahu. Mass: 10:30 a.m. Casual attire. No flowers.
June 28, 2014
Ronald Crespo Rabang, 52, of Honolulu, an Island Princess employee, died in Kuakini Medical Center. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by brothers Irineo Jr. and Roland. Visitation: 9 a.m. Saturday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, makai chapel. Services: 10:30 a.m. Burial: 1:30 p.m. at Mililani Memorial Park. Casual attire. Flowers welcome.
July 17, 2014
Albert Torres Perry Sr., 80, of Hilo, a retired Oahu Country Club superintendent, died at home. He was born in Kapaau, Hawaii. He is survived by wife Shirley Ann Sarajina Perry; sons Albert T. Jr. and Jonathan L.; daughters Corinne Perry Clement and Leigh’Ann Perry Pruski; stepsons Ramsey and Robin Tumacder; stepdaughter Iwalani Grim; brothers Andrew, Daniel, Louie and Richard; sister Julia Badua; 20 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. No services.
July 20, 2014
Roberto Estrada Paras, 78, of South San Francisco, Calif., a hotel industry houseman, died in San Mateo, Calif. He was born in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Philippines. He is survived by wife Cayetana S., daughters Mary Ann Paras-Lee and Estrellita Paras-Harrington, and two grandchildren. Visitation: 5:30 p.m. Monday at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary. Services: 6:30 p.m. Burial: 1 p.m. Aug. 5 at Hawaiian Memorial Park. Online condolences: hawaiianmemorialparkmortuary.com.
July 6, 2014
Zane Udell Northam, 86, of Papaikou, Hawaii, an Army Air Force radar technician and a federal government employee at Hill Air Force Base, died in Pohai Malama. He was born in Garner, Texas. He is survived by wife Aloha L., daughters Zana U. Anderson and Valerie L. Kitchen, brother Elmer, seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Urn committal at a later date.
June 26, 2014
Akira Murakami, 92, of Honolulu, a retired U.S. Postal Service postal inspector and an Army veteran, died. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by daughters Lynne Lee, Monica Overly and Merryl Young; sisters Nancy Arakaki and Dora Adachi; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Private services.
May 23, 2014
Muriel Uilani Maxwell, 52, of Waianae died at home. She was born in Honolulu. She is survived by parents Ralph Maxwell and Manuel Maldonado; daughter Tyler L. Singelman-Maxwell; brothers Manuel Maldonado, James Apo and Everet and Ioane Kini; and sisters Ipo Ramos, Jo-Ann Shimoda, April Maldonado, Carmelita Maldonado, Lisa Frank and Lenahala “Lei” Kini. Services: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Oahu Cemetery Chapel. Casual or aloha attire. Lei welcome.
July 26, 2014
Mohinder Singh Maan, 72, of Honolulu, president of Diversified Exterminators, died in Pali Momi Medical Center. He was born in Punjab, India. He is survived by sons Harpal and Harvinder, hanai daughter Seema Singh, hanai son Rampal Singh, brother Davinder, sister Malkit Nota and four grandchildren. Visitation: 2 p.m. Friday at Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary. Services: 3 p.m.
June 26, 2014
Alice Puanani Lemn “Nani” Lono, 67, of Waimanalo, a retired Gomes Bus Co. bus driver, died in Honolulu. She was born in Hono-lulu. She is survived by husband Wayne E. Sr.; sons Wayne E. Jr., Wade K. Sr. and Shayne K.; daughter Amber Sydney N.K.; brothers Ward J. Jr. and Thomas C. Lemn; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Visitation: 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary. Services: 6:30 p.m. Online condolences: hawaiianmemorialparkmortuary.com.
June 29, 2014
Norman H.S. Lee, 81, of Honolulu, a retired real estate company property manager and an Air Force veteran, died in Oahu Care Facility. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Patricia Jean, daughter Monique Appleton, sister Sylvia, nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Private services.
June 29, 2014
Carol Ann Kato, 70, of Waianae, a retired Waianae Intermediate School teacher, died in Honolulu. She was born in Kona. She is survived by husband Hideo; sons Michael, Ryan Y. and Kevin; brother Grant Uehara; sisters Aileen Kuboyama, Laura Kaku, Taggie Okino and Stella Uehara; and a grandchild. Visitation: 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Mortuary-Waipio, mauka chapel. Services: 6:30 p.m. Casual attire. Flowers welcome.
July 12, 2014
Tomiko Kaneshiro, 87, of Honolulu, owner of the Japanese Seventh-Day Adventist Health Center, died in Honolulu. She was born in Waipahu. She is survived by sisters Fumie Toyama and Misayo Nishimura, and brother Toshimitsu. Private services. Additional information for an obituary published Sunday.
June 21, 2014
Herbert Tomiyoshi Kaneshiro, 85, of Hono-lulu, a retired U.S. government mechanical engineer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and and Army veteran, died in Kuakini Medical Center. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by son Aren; daughter-in-law and caregiver Sandra; brothers John, Tsuneo, Eric and Bert; and a grandchild. Private services.
July 22, 2014
Makoto Kamemoto, 93, of Honolulu, a retired electrician for American Electric and an Army veteran, died in Ho-nolulu. He was born in Wailuku. He is survived by son Mark, daughters Lori E. Kamemoto and Kathy Yamada, brothers Mitsugi and Stanley Y., and sisters Ruth M. Okazaki and Joyce S. Endo. Visitation: 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. Services: 3:30 p.m. Casual attire.
July 26, 2014
Emilia Cadiz Galiza, 98, of Wailua Homesteads, Kauai, a homemaker, died in Hale Kupuna Heritage Home. She was born in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. She is survived by sons the Rev. Villamor and Jesus, daughter Shirley Carlson, stepsister Andrea C. Garcia, seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Graveside services: 3 p.m. Saturday at Kauai Memorial Gardens.
July 24, 2014
Evelyn Puaala Kapono Poepoe Ferreira, 74, of Wailuku died in Maui Memorial Medical Center. She was born in Hana, Maui. She is survived by sons Abel Kapono and Bully Ferreira; daughters Shirley Kepani, Tammy Ann Kaililaau and Lottielois Kapono; brother Ambrose Kapono; 15 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Visitation: 9 a.m. Friday at Ballard Family Mortuary. Services: 11 a.m. Cremation to follow. Online condolences: ballardfamilymortuaries.com.
July 8, 2014
Rosalina Acoba Encarnacion, 74, of Kailua, a registered nurse, died in Honolulu. She was born in Pahala, Hawaii. She is survived by husband Jose “John”; son Ronald; brothers Rico, Albert and Nando Rombaoa; sister Leonarda “Lee” Rombaoa-Descalzi; and a grandchild. Visitation: 10 a.m. Friday at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Kailua. Services: 11:30 a.m. Inurnment: 3 p.m. at Hawaiian Memorial Park. Aloha or casual attire. Online condolences: borthwickoahu.com. Additional information for an obituary published Saturday.