Aileen was raised in Honolulu. Her parents were Helen Kunewa and John Heu. She went to school at Kauluwela, Kawananakoa, and McKinley, where she graduated in 1956. She loved hula and Hawaiian music. She began learning hula at the age of 12, under the tutelage of her cousin, Lani Kalama, continued dancing in her teens with Lena Machado, and kept dancing all the way until her passing as the eldest member of Halau 'Ilima Ku Kahakai.
She worked at Ideal Construction, Inc. and Partitions Hawai'i. She was best known for her generous heart, no-nonsense demeanor, and joyous laugh. She treated her employees like family, and always looked out for the well-being of everyone. She always had an ear for those in need of counsel, and gave straight forward feedback that encouraged growth and strength.
She was spiritually grounded and a devoted catholic. Prayer was daily practice and she put God first and foremost in everything she did. She would play solitaire every day, and kept her brain sharp. She was never idle or lazy, and would often get irritated when she could not physically do as much as she wanted in her later years.
She loved to travel. Some of her favorite places were Kula, Nu'uanu, Switzerland, Greece, Monaco, Croatia, Paris, and Las Vegas. Her favorite places to be was her two homes - Waiko'olihilihi and Hale Pulama 'Ohana. She had genuine friendships and had a beautiful support system within her close circle of friends.
She enjoyed making floral arrangements and decorating Christmas trees, and had a true talent for both. She would sing all the time, was extremely humble, and was full of life. Her spirit now lives free with her Creator and 'ohana. Aileen will be truly missed by those left behind. She was and will forever be so amazing and loved.
A private burial was held on Dec. 5. It is encouraged that any gifts in her honor be made to any of the following organizations: St. Theresa Catholic Church, The Kidney Foundation or the American Heart Association. Cards may also be sent to her Nu'uanu residence. Mahalo nui. Aloha ke Akua.
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