Eleanor Akiye Akiyama
Eleanor Akiye Akiyama102 - Eleanor's family was able to spend precious time with her before she gracefully and peacefully passed on June 23, 2021. She was under the compassionate care of Maunalani Nursing and Rehab Center (Maunalani) and Islands Hospice where she was known for her hearty laugh and pleasant disposition. Eleanor was born on October 21, 1918 to the late Toichi and Shigeno Johiro. Being the eldest of 10 children to immigrant parents, she sacrificed her education beyond Grade 7 to help raise her siblings during America's "great economic depression." Hard work followed her as her only skill was domestic work.

Eleanor's first job outside of her home was seven years in the Jefferson School Cafeteria, followed by the Halekulani Hotel. When the new Kahala Hilton Hotel opened in 1964, she was excited to be one of its first employees to be hired as the hotel was located closer to her home. She enjoyed 19 years of employment in the hotel's "employee's dining room" and retired in 1983.

Eleanor married Thomas Akiyama and was blessed with five children. She made sure each one of her children enjoyed all the social activities of high school life and further education which she never experienced. She was an excellent cook and enjoyed having all family gatherings in the home her husband built for her. She was a devout Buddhist and an active member of Palolo Hongwanji Mission and Shingon Shu Hawaii. She started every day with a chant in front of her shrines. She enjoyed the sun while working in her yard and tending to her orchids. She enjoyed her travels to Japan and visits to family and friends on the mainland. After her retirement, she accompanied her husband on his numerous trips to Las Vegas, where she learned the game of craps to be near him in the casinos.

Eleanor adored her grandchildren who, with their friends, gathered at her home almost daily and filled it with fun and laughter. They were instantly at her side when she needed help. When great-grandchildren entered her life, they were her pride and joy. She loved her family and her family loved her back. She is dearly missed, but fond memories of her will live on forever in our hearts.

Eleanor was lovingly cared for by her two grandsons until she lost her mobility after a fall at age 98 and entered Maunalani. Unfortunately, when Covid appeared, her two daughters' daily visits were discontinued. We thank Maunalani for surprising Mom with a virtual Happy 102nd Birthday celebration, which included proclamations from Governor Ige and Mayor Caldwell. She also got airtime on Hawaii News Now which generated hundreds of well wishes from all over the country. When asked what she credited her long life to, she chuckled and simply said "hard work."

Eleanor is survived by her children: Shirley Arakaki (James), Sandra Fasone, Dennis Akiyama and James Akiyama. Grandsons: James Arakaki, Jr. (LiAnn) and Jason Kim. Granddaughters: Kathleen Arakaki, Deborah Kim (Darrel), Joanne Takahashi (Ryan), Lindy Lee (Robin) and Marisa Bellevue (Sheldon). Great-grandchildren: Jessica and Jayden Arakaki and (step) Kyler Shigemi; Christopher, Michael and Anthony Amaral; Mia and Nico Takahashi; Allison, Dustin and Ryan Lee; Maile and Chaz Bellevou. Sisters: Yoshiko Kawakami, Clara Matsuzaki and Edna Tanigawa. Brother: Melvin Johiro (Joyce). Sisters-in-law: Nancy Johiro and Lorraine Johiro. Numerous nieces and nephews.

Eleanor was predeceased by husband Thomas Shigeo Akiyama, daughter Iris Kim, granddaughter Arlene Vagatai, brothers Nobuichi, Hideo, Mitsuo, Albert and Leslie Johiro, as well as her fur-baby "Kuma."

The families of Eleanor Akiyama are truly grateful to those who have reached out to us during this difficult time with prayers, gifts, support and words of encouragement.

Due to the pandemic, private services were held.

Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased