JOAN S. LINDSEY
JOAN S. LINDSEY Joan Na'u'oe'emilika'aokalikookalanialoha (Sniffen) Lindsey was born on November 12, 1928 in Honolulu to Noah K. Sniffen, Jr. and Marie (Kim) Sniffen. Raised in Honolulu by her maternal grand- parents, she also spent significant time in Kohala with her Sniffen grand- parents. Thereafter, Joan stayed at St. Anthony's Kalihi orphanage, along with her brothers, Noah and Paul and her sister, Theresa. Joan fought her way through a tough childhood, and did very well for herself. At 15 years old, Joan dropped out of high school shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack to work at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard to put her brother through school, at Kamehameha School for Boys. She later earned her GED at Farrington High School. Joan met George K. Lindsey, Sr. through a mutual friend on the bus and they later wed on January 13, 1951. She worked for Holmes & Narver, Inc. briefly. Joan then worked for the Navy as a civilian where she also served as President of the Barbers Point Federal Credit Union. After more than 35 years of service, Joan retired as the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) (formerly Equal Opportunity Officer (EEO)) for the Command at Naval Air Station Barber's Point. Joan was then hired by American Savings Bank as an Assistant Vice President functioning as their AAO. Joan was later appointed by then Governor John Waihe'e as the AAO for the State of Hawai'i. At the end of that term, she did what she loved best. She taught hula and 'ike Hawai'i as a Kumu at Kanoelani Elementary School. She enjoyed her tenure there but left as her husband required her care. As an inspiration to others she would say, "Not bad for a high school dropout." Joan was a very progressive woman, always ahead of her time. Although her career achievements were laudable, she was best known for her love of hula. Joan taught hula from 1949, over 67 years. She first studied under her aunt, Caroline Peters Tuck, then Auntie Lena Guerrero, and studied through her 'uniki under Auntie Lokalia Montgomery. Joan was a line dancer for Hawai'i's Songbird--the late Lena Machado. She remained close to her hula sisters Pi'olani Motta and April Villa, who were there at her side until the end. As the kumu hula for the Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio, she shared her passion of hula with many generations. Her halau participated in the Queen Lili'uokalani Keiki Hula Competition from its debut at 'A'ala Park. She took a group of dancers to Japan to perform over a period of one month in the 70s. Although invited many times to teach in Japan, she felt Hawai'i is where the mana and piko of hula lives and opted to teach exclusively in Hawai'i. From its inception, she regularly participated in Hula O Na Keiki at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel on Maui including next month's event. Other venues include the Moanike'ala Festival at the Polynesian Cultural Center and Mokihana Festival on Kaua'i. She didn't participate to win, rather to give her dancers an opportunity to shine. Her philosophy was to give the most attention to the students who required it. She always saw potential in every student. Joan also judged various hula competitions, including the Merrie Monarch in Hilo. Everything she did was with the utmost humility and ALOHA. She was well-respected and loved by many in the hula community and beyond, where she was known as Auntie Joanie. In 2013, she was honored with the I Ola Mau Ka Hula award by the Hula Preservation Society; in July 2015, she received the Malia Kau award from the Moanalua Gardens Foundation, among others. Auntie Joanie taught her last hula class on Thursday evening, October 13, 2016. She fell ill the next day and passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends on October 15, 2016. What a blessing that she did what she loved most (hula) until the end. She is predeceased by her dear husband George, parents, and siblings Noah Sniffen, Paul Sniffen and Theresa Ah-Nee. She is survived by her sons George K. Lindsey, Jr. (Tricia), Bryan H. Lindsey (Lori), Robert M. Lindsey (Nova), daughter LaJoy A. Lindsey, 16 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, family, friends and thousands of students whose hearts she has touched. Memorial services on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at Mililani Cemetery, Mauka Chapel, visitation begins at 8:30am and services at 11:00am.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased