Mary Juanita Hagan TiwanakMARY JUANITA HAGAN TIWANAK "A SAD FAREWELL" MARY JUANITA HAGAN TIWANAK, beloved soul mate and wife of 50 years of Eugene Napua Tiwanak, died in peace at 7:15 p.m., September 15 in The Maurice J. Sullivan Family Hospice Center at St. Francis West following a six month arduous battle with brain cancer. After more than a month in acute and rehabilitation hospitals, Eugene cared for "Nita" at home. And during the past four and a half months, Nita underwent radiation therapy and two series of chemotherapy-predictably, always with a smile. She was admitted to the St. Francis inpatient hospice program just four days before her death. The youngest of five, Mary Juanita was born January 2, 1947 in Loretto, Kentucky and later moved with her family (Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Hagan; sisters Patricia and Mary, brothers David and Ronald) to Louisville where she attended Holy Rosary Academy, an all-girl high school. She married then 2nd Lt. Eugene N. Tiwanak immediately after graduating from high school in June 1964. The couple had met the year earlier while "Lt. Eugene" was attending Armor Officers Training School at Ft. Knox, KY. Mary Juanita cared for daughter Leighanne Kuulei Medeiros (Mark; children: Conor, Callan, Corin) and son Sean (Maile) while Eugene served six years in the U.S. Army including two combat tours in Vietnam (1965, 1968). Youngest son Mark (Alison; children: Jonah, Sam, Hoku) was born in 1970. While raising a family, Mary Juanita managed to graduate with highest honors from Leeward Community College; and later attended West Oahu College before graduating, again with highest honors, from University of Hilo on the Big Island when Eugene served as Hawaii County Managing Director for Mayor Dante Carpenter. Nita later went on to earn her MS in Administration from Central Michigan University (CMU). A self-assured business woman, Mary Juanita began her long career in residential real estate in 1973 at Kometani Realty under the guidance of Harold Kometani, and, later, James Kometani. In 1991 she ventured into the residential appraisal business under the tutelage of Second Opinion Hawaii guru, Norman Mau, and received her CRA/MRA/EAC certification in 1993. She formed her own highly successful business, Appraise It! Hawaii in 2003; and immediately assisted daughter, Leighanne, and daughter-in-law, Maile, obtain their professional CRA certification and start their own businesses- A'A Appraisal and Aloha Appraisal, respectively. Active in the community and government, significantly Mary Juanita served eight years as member and Chairperson of the Hawaii Paroling Authority; member, Aiea Neighborhood Board; member, Board of Directors-Village West Community Association; and member, Board of Directors-Garden Grove Community Association. Of special recreation note, Nita enjoyed her Saturday mornings golf at Honolulu Country Club, and fellow golfers often joined her familiar post-round toast: "Release the Hounds!" Mary Juanita's Family express their gratitude to the Sisters of St. Francis and St. Francis Healthcare System for their prayers and sustaining support during her entire cancer ordeal. Funeral services will be October 2 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Pearl City. Visitation, 8:30 a.m.; 9:30 eulogy; Mass at 10 am. Casual attire; no flowers. Private internment of ashes will be at a later date at the National Cemetery of the Pacific-Punchbowl. Memorial donations suggested to St. Francis Hospice Program.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased