Barbara Masae Sumida
The manager of a historic farm and an artist, Barbara Masae Sumida died on February 14, 2020. She was born on July 3, 1954, the youngest of the four children of the late Masaru and Norma Sumida. Barbara grew up on the family's Sumida Farm at Kalauao Springs, O'ahu, where her grandparents, Moriichi and Makiyo Sumida, began cultivating watercress in 1928. Barbara helped greatly to carry the farm through its third generation. Barbara attended public schools in 'Aiea, graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute, class of 1972, and earned a bachelor's degree in Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai'i. Barbara had a lifelong passion for creating art. She worked as an illustrator at the University of Hawai'i Press then went on to succeed her mother as the office manager of Sumida Farm and served the family and business for the rest of her life. Meanwhile in her continuing life as a visual artist, under the tutelage of Mark Brown, she painted landscapes and seascapes of O'ahu. With her eye and heart Barbara captured the beauties especially of the seashores backed by mountains and towering clouds in the changing light of day in Hawai'i, the natural setting for human activities she depicts on shore and at sea. Barbara regularly painted outdoors with her fellow artist Frances Wong. Barbara's works of art have been recognized with many exhibitions and awards, the latest being the Wahi Pana: A Sense of Place, the President's Award of the Association of Hawaii Artists, for Barbara's painting, "K'ilioloa Heiau," the wahi pana, sacred place, at Kane'ilio Point, Pka' Bay, O'ahu. Surviving Barbara Sumida are her daughters Kelsey McHugh (Kainoa Willacker) and Marika McHugh. Barbara is also survived by her sister Charlotte of Paris, France, her brother in Seattle Stephen (Gail Nomura), and brother David, co-manager at Sumida Farm. Her nieces and nephews are Emi Suzuki (Kyle), of Seattle, and Nicholas (Travis Wayne), Matthew (Ashley Hosmer), and Anna of Los Angeles, and grand-nieces Clare and Alice Suzuki. In the recent decades of Barbara's life are her hoa kane Sonny Villanueva and her hanai brother Matt Kahapea of the community of Sumida Farm. Among them in this community, the workers in the field too are grateful for how Barbara has blessed their lives. In a private ceremony her ashes will be returned to the ocean she so loved.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased