Harry Toshio Tanaka
May 15, 1921 to December 19, 2017 Harry grew up in Kalihi and was the student body president and valedictorian of the Farrington class of 1939, the very first Farrington graduating class. His studies at the University of Hawaii were interrupted by World War II, during which time he volunteered first for the Hawaii Territorial Guards, then the Varsity Victory Volunteers, and finally the United States army. In the army, his many years of Japanese school allowed him to serve with distinction in the Military Intelligence Service translating documents and interrogating prisoners. His service brought him to Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. After five years in the army, he resumed studies at the University of Hawaii and graduated in 1939. He then moved across the country to New Haven, and graduated from Yale Law School in 1952. In New Haven, he met his future wife, Helene, who was doing graduate work at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Returning to Honolulu, they married and Harry began his clerkship under Judge J. Frankin McLaughlin in the US District Court. He then became an associate with Tsukiyama and Yamaguchi, which became Yamaguchi and Tanaka. He practiced civil law for over 20 years and was also on the Board of Directors of Servco for 10 years. In 1982 Harry was appointed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals by Governor George Ariyoshi, and helped shape the court in its early years along with judges Jim Burns and Walter Heen. They served together until Harry's retirement in 1991. Harry spent his retirement years doing volunteer work at the court, traveling, gardening, reading, helping with childcare, and in his final years caring valiantly for his ailing wife. They were members of Waiokeola Congregational Church for over 60 years, and derived great strength from fellowship there. Harry is survived by children Lynne Toyofuku (Robert), Alan (Joni), grandsons Stephen Toyofuku and Christopher Tanaka, younger sister Betty, younger brother Richard (Kay), and many wonderful nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his older sister Haruko. His wife, Helene, passed away this past September; so after a short time apart, they are together again in heaven. Harry loved the law. He loved his family and friends. He will be remembered for his integrity, ethics, wit, kindness, and love of a good beer. Harry will be greatly missed by all those whose lives he touched so deeply. There will be a celebration of Harry's life at Waiokeola Congregational Church on Saturday, February 24th at 2:30 p.m.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased