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"SHIRLEY" SUMIKO ARAKI KAI

December 19, 1931 April 26, 2019
"SHIRLEY" SUMIKO ARAKI KAI
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Obituary for "SHIRLEY" SUMIKO ARAKI KAI

“Shirley” Sumiko Araki Kai
87, passed away on April 26, 2019. She was a kind, loving, and generous daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, friend, co-worker, and business associate. Shirley lost husband Clive and daughter Lynette in 1992 and 1990, respectively. She is survived by daughter and caregiver Deborah R. Kai Sakamoto, 5 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.
Shirley was born in Lanai City, Lanai, HI on December 19, 1931 to Nikahachi and Tejiu Araki. She was the youngest of the family —had 3 brothers and 4 sisters. She moved to Oahu and graduated from McKinley High School. After marriage, she became a supervisor/buyer to a large, locally owned department store and lavished both daughters with Cinderella brand dresses. She then changed professions and worked as a bookkeeper for a premier luau entrepreneur. She enjoyed her job keeping 4 sets of books affiliated with the luau operations, a florist, a lei-greeting business, and local entertainers. She was meticulous and was known by the CPA to balance all 4 books to a tee every month!
A lifelong fashionista, Shirley returned to the retail industry and worked part time at Liberty House/Macy’s in retirement. Her generosity remained second to none as she continually gifted all family members with the latest clothing and shoe styles.
Shirley was also a hands-on mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She happily obliged when asked to make her specialty meals including meat jun, mushroom chicken, and fried rice. She reminded everyone to never go hungry because the body needed “brain food” to survive.
Shirley enjoyed traveling and visited Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, and many U.S. destinations including multiple visits to the Ninth Island. She loved music, dance, and entertainment and attended at least 50 live concerts in Vegas from Sinatra to Engelbert (her favorite) to Celine Dion.
Shirley fell ill in mid-February and participated in the Hospice at Home program with daughter Debbie as her caregiver. Her wish was always to remain at home. Although Dementia symptoms ultimately overtook her body, she was still aware of Hanafuda values and flash card answers because of her accounting background. She sailed peacefully into the sunset with family members from 3 generations by her side on April 26, 2019. As 20-year-old, great-granddaughter Chloe described, “A nice, strong person carefully lifted her like a delicate bride and carried her away to a happy place.”
The family would like to acknowledge appreciation to Bristol Hospice, the Queen’s Geriatric House Call Program, Nuuanu Mortuary & Memorial Park, and to Shirley’s professional team consisting of Coach Koj, June, Stephen, Marie, Diane, Tiff, and Dr. Jon + 2. Private Celebration of Life held.


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