Leonard's life reflected his commitment to improving the lives of workers. He was an activist, organizer, educator, union staff member and officer, and public servant. For fifteen years, he served as Education and Political Director at the Carpenters Union (Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters), and in the 26 years prior to that, he served at the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) in various positions, including: Housing Representative and Organizer for ILWU Local 142; he was appointed as an International Representative in 1981 and served in that position for 13 years; and was elected and served as an International Vice President of the national ILWU from 1994 to 2001. In 2015, he was appointed Deputy Director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). In December 2017, Leonard became acting Director of DLIR, and was appointed Director by Governor David Ige in February 2018. At Leonard's request, he was again appointed Deputy Director in January 2019, a position he held until he retired in September 2019.
Leonard was a director and officer of the Hawaii Labor Heritage Council, an arts and education nonprofit. He served on the State Judicial Selection Commission from 1979-1981. He was a trustee of the Blood Bank of Hawaii, a member of the Labor Education Advisory Committee (LEAC) of the Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR) at the University of Hawai'i, a member of the Hawaiian Electric Company Integrated Resource Advisory Group, a member of the 90th Anniversary of Okinawan Immigration Committee, a board member of the Hawai'i Visitor and Convention Center Bureau, a board member of the Hawai'i Council for Housing Action, and a member of the national board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).
A graduate of Kalani High School (Senior Class President, Class of 1969) and Antioch College with a post-graduate degree in education from the University of Hawai'i, Leonard was also involved in the struggle to establish the Ethnic Studies Program at UH Manoa. He enjoyed regular pick-up basketball at the YMCA, playing full-court games well into his 60s. He was a UH Rainbow Warrior football fan. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family, and especially took an active interest in his daughters' endeavors.
Leonard passed away peacefully in the hospital on October 21, 2021, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Ronette Kawakami, sister Katherine O'Connor, brother William Hoshijo (Joyce), daughters Jennifer (Daniel) Leung, Andie Hoshijo, and Kai Hoshijo, and granddaughters Maggie and Charlotte Leung.
A public celebration of Leonard's life is scheduled for November 26, 2021, at 11 a.m. (Hawai'i Time), via YouTube at https://popcm.me/LeonardHoshijo.Condolences can be sent c/o Hosoi Mortuary. No flowers, please.
Donations in memory of Leonard Hoshijo can be made to the Hawaii Labor Heritage Council at P.O. Box 235493, Honolulu, HI 96823-3508.
Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary