Henrietta was born in Honolulu, O'ahu on December 30, 1922 and grew up in Kaka'ako, Oahu. Grandma Etta worked for CS Wo and Company for 25 plus years before retiring. Shortly after retiring she began working as a caregiver for more than 16 years before retiring again. Etta loved Hula. She danced for Kumu Hula, Leinani Alama of Leinani Alama Hula Studio for many years and continued dancing into her nineties. Her signature mele hula was "Minei" and she loved performing that hula whenever the opportunity became available.
She prided herself on hard work and expected nothing less from her 'ohana. She was an active member of St. Augustine by the Sea Catholic Church in Waikiki for many years. She loved family gatherings at her Palolo home and entertained many family, friends, and visitors to her loving home. She also loved playing Paiute and the sounds of laughter filled the nights gathered for fun. Beautiful Hawaiian music filled her home as well as beautiful Hula.
Grandma Etta had five sisters and three brothers, Maka, Miulang, Elena, Helen, Harriet, Kenneth, Barney, and Abraham. Her children are Primrose, John, Leimomi, Henry, Paul, Clara, Lorraine, Joann, James Jr. and Jamie Kaleinani. She was blessed with multiple grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.
Private family services will be held on December 29 and burial on her birthday December 30, 2020 along side her husband, James Ben Billena at the National Memorial Cemetery at Punchbowl. Condolences may be sent to 1513 Palolo Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased