Mary Eleanor Kong April 24, 1929 - March 28, 2017 Our beloved Mary Eleanor (Braddock) Kong, was born on April 24, 1929 in Ripley, Mississippi. She graduated from Blue Mountain College and pursued her Master's Degree in Church Music at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. It was there that she met and married her husband, the Rev. Daniel H.C. Kong, a native of Hawai`i. Together they served churches in Shakertown, KY; Wahiawa, HI and Honolulu, HI. In addition to raising four daughters, Mary took an active roll in each church pastored by Dan. She directed children's, youth and adult choirs. She also volunteered in the nursery, taught classes, and served as church pianist and organist. As her daughters became older, Mary enjoyed working at Liberty House as a sales associate, developing lifelong friendships with many of her customers. Mary's leadership extended beyond her positions within the churches Dan pastored. At Hawai`i Baptist Academy she directed the High School and Handbell Choirs, and later became Development Director. She also provided many talents as Director of the Women's Missionary Union for the Hawai`i Pacific Baptist Convention. At the age of fifty-five, Mary embarked on a new adventure, pursuing her life-long desire to play the harp. She became a professional harpist, performing for weddings, funerals, several hotels, coffee houses, private parties and conventions. She especially enjoyed volunteering her talent for many community events, including the annual Memorial Tree Service for Kapi`olani Medical Center for Women and Childrenan event for which she played seventeen years. In 2008, Mary moved to the Island of Maui where she resided with daughters Verdine and Eddy who shared in her care until death. Mary was predeceased by her husband, Daniel H.C. Kong, her infant daughter, Tommye-Lei Kong, and her parents, Verdie Welch Braddock and Thomas N. Braddock. She is survived by daughters, Danette Kong, Verdine Kong (Geri Valdriz), Edna "Eddy" Kong, and Betty-Jo "BJ" De Fries (James); brother Dr. Thomas N. Braddock (Martha); sisters Betty Jo Henry and Emma Marie Braddock; sisters-in-law Esther Noguchi and Eileen Lovelace; dearly loved grandchildren, Hope Kanani De Fries, Daniel Keala De Fries and Riverson Poole. Mary is also survived by many nieces and nephews whom she adored. Mahalo to the many people who lovingly cared for Mary including Bevanne J. Bowers, the staffs of Maui Adult Day Care Center, and `Ohana Care Maui, Islands Hospice Maui, Dr. Donelle Williams and her staff, Dr. David Lee, the Longs Drugs Pharmacy in Wailuku and the numerous friends, loved ones and people whom she considered her own sons and daughters. You are invited to join in the Celebration of Mary's life at Keawala`i Congregational Church, 190 Makena Road, Maui, Hawai`i on April 22, 2017. The celebration will take place from 10:30am to 1:00pm. A second Celebration will be held at the Olivet Baptist Church, Honolulu, Hawai`i on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Visitation will take place at 2:30pm and the service will be at 4:00 p.m. Because Mary was open and loving to all people, you are encouraged to dress as you choose. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maui Adult Day Care Center, The Alzheimer's Association Aloha Chapter- designated to its Maui Office, and the Dan and Mary Eleanor Kong Scholarship Endowment Fund (Hawai`i Baptist Academy). Mary touched many lives. She was a gift to everyone. We remember her twinkling blue eyes, her radiant smile, and gentle spirit. May we live to be as graceful, loving and kind as she was.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased