Obituaries for Sunday, September 19, 2021


Norine M. Kusaka

Norine M. Kusaka, 64, from Lihu’e, died at home on July 21, 2021. She was born on November 5, 1956 in Lihu’e. She was the owner of the NMK caretaker service.

She was preceded in death by father Yukitoshi H. Kusaka and brother Dwayne Kusaka.

She leaves behind partner Valerie Nagano, mother Fely Kusaka, brother Royden (Weena) Kusaka, nieces Taylor, Jaylynn and Jayde, nephew Kimo and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A drive-by celebration of life will take place on Saturday, September 25th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the pavilion of Niumalu Beach Park

Distance and mask are mandatory.

Flordelina ‘Deling’ ‘Mama D’ Detoning Agustin

Flordelina “Deling” “Mama D” Detoning Agustin, 72, from Puhi, died on September 2, 2021 in the Straub Clinic and Hospital. She was born on August 15, 1949 in Maayon, Capiz, Philippines and was the retiree of the Agustin Nursing Home.

Her husband Paustino Agustin, her parents Lodgario and Maria Detoning and brother Rodrigo Detoning preceded her in death.

She leaves behind son Tim (Britnai Sanysidro) Agustin, daughter Darlene (Tunu) Afele, grandchildren Tiara (Brendan) Rose, Kekoa Agustin, Tianne (Dominick) Abalos, Tialei Agustin, Tia Agustin, Kaikoa Agustin, Ka’inoa Sanysidro-Agustin, Bristen Nagao, Ashlei (Kyle Nuivo) Nagao, Joshua Nagao, Blayze Afele and Rayne Afele, great-grandchildren Kala’i Abalos, Aurora Rose, Orion Rose and Emi Nagao, sister Florentina Dolfo and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life will take place on Saturday, September 25th, in the Aloha Church, with a tour from 8:30 a.m. and a service at 10 a.m. The funeral will follow at the Kaua’i Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home.

Due to COVID-19, social distancing and masking are mandatory.

Kaua’i Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home helps the family prepare.

Jose Evangelista Bulatao Jr.

“Somewhere over the rainbow, high up, there is a land that I once heard of in a lullaby.” Jose Evangelista Bulatao Jr. sang his lullaby “Jesus loves me, I know that because the Bible tells me”, after saying the Lord’s Prayer. Then he closed his eyes when he traveled to this country on August 15, 2021.

Jose E. Bulatao Jr. was born on October 6, 1936 in Koloa and was preceded in death by parents Jose Evangelista Bulatao and Guadalupe Ledesma Bulatao, youngest sister Rosalind Barbara Bulatao Franklin and nephew Jack Odo.

He leaves behind the sisters Millie (David / Duke) Wellington from ‘Ele’ele, Mabel (Maybelle) Jean (Kaoru / Jackson) Odo from Kalaheo and nieces and nephews with namesakes Wellington, Odo, Griffith, Reynolds, Dang, Leeloy, Iannucci , Parongao, Ponce, Melendez, Franklin, and Fahnestock clans, including many relatives of the Bulatao and Courtezan families.

He built up his visionary skills in early childhood, which continued into adulthood. He did this from his most wonderful sources of energy.

After graduating from Waimea High School, he received a fully funded Kekaha Sugar Plantation Scholarship to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he earned an apprenticeship degree while also being listed on the Dean’s List of High Performers. This gave him the opportunity to be invited to the prestigious honorary membership of the Phi Delta Kappa.

Returning to Kaua’i, he taught English at Kaua’i High School, then moved to his alma mater, where he nurtured the school spirit by coaching the Pep Squad and directing pieces of music.

Many years later he accepted the position as a language teacher at Kauai Community College. He was delighted to find that his classes were being filled by former students and those who had heard of his amazingly effective teaching style and service to the community. He valued Aloha’s bonds with newly arriving families around the world. He shared his talents by also training Miss Kaua’i, Miss Hawai’i, Miss Kaua’i Filipina, and Miss Hawai’i Filipina candidates with their speeches and talents. He also enjoyed seeing his letters to the editor in The Garden Island newspaper.

He presented his artistic vision as the founder of the infamous dance group Bailes de Jose, which performed nationwide and on the mainland. His dancers made a promise to keep his legacy alive to promote Filipino culture. It was his passion to increase his enjoyment of music, dance, and the performing arts.

His happiest moments were at family gatherings. The family gathered around him with guitars, saxophones, trumpets, clarinets or flutes. and accompanied him with his incredible ability to play the piano. They all sang in harmony, followed by laughter as stories were told. The family feasted on delicacies, and the end of the meal was usually rounded off with a bowl of Jose’s chicken and papaya soup. It was the “ahhh” moment of satisfaction.

He will be remembered for all of his contributions, which he humbly did without even thinking of drawing attention to himself. He was always addressed as “Mr. B”, a gracious nickname given when the contacts shouted, “If you want to be successful, go to Mr. B!”

A celebration of life and ministry will take place at a later date.

Garden Island Mortuary is helping the family make the arrangements.

Conchita Guillermo

Conchita Guillermo died on September 9, 2021 at the age of 63 at Garden Isle Rehabilitation & Healthcare in Lihu’e. She was born on March 23, 1958 in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Philippines. She worked in the hotel industry as a housekeeper.

She was preceded in death by son Harold Santos.

She leaves behind husband Delfin Guillermo, son Michael (Merry Rose) Santos from Pangasinan, Philippines, daughters Jeniffer (Giovani) Santos from Pangasinan, Philippines, daughter-in-law Gerlyn Santos from Pangasinan, Philippines, 10 grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family walking tour will be held at the Garden Island Mortuary on Saturday, September 25, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by a Celebration of Life. The family suggests casual wear and welcomes flowers.

Due to COVID-19, social distancing and face masks are required.

Garden Island Mortuary is helping the family make the arrangements.

Richard ‘Rick’ Prowse

Richard “Rick” Prowse, born on December 23, 1949, died on October 7, 2020 at the age of 70. He has been a fisherman, surfer, freediver, boat captain, water safety instructor, lifeguard, first aid and CPR instructor, and a junior lifeguard trainer. He also volunteered for the American Red Cross, the US Coast Guard Aid, the American Heart Association, and the St. Catherine Church Food Pantry.

Born and raised in the beach communities of South Mission, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla, San Diego, he attended St. Brigid’s Academy and graduated from La Jolla High School in 1968. His father Art was a boater, fisherman, and hunter, and had an early influence on Rick’s love of the sea, boats, and fishing.

His father died suddenly while Rick was in high school. His mother Florence (“Sandy”) was a cute lady who widowed Rick and raised older brother Chris while she had a full-time job in the aerospace industry.

After high school, Rick traveled around Mexico surfing and fishing, using the Spanish skills he acquired during the asparagus season by running labor camps for migrant farms in Washington state. He moved to Hawaii in the mid-1970s and lived on the north coast of O’ahu until he moved to Kaua’i in the early 1980s. He taught marine rescue and boat safety courses and played a role as the director and trainer for Kauai’s first Junior Lifeguard program. He spent many years driving tour boats on the Napali Coast, in the early days when inflatables were first adapted for sightseeing. During his nearly 40 years on Kaua’i, Rick’s bodysurfing skills achieved legendary status in many of the island’s top surfing spots. Tall and lanky Rick became known in the cast as “Stretch”.

He was a kind hearted soul and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his partner and girlfriend Phyllis Graff and survived brother Chris Prowse and niece Carrie Prowse.

A memorial and paddle-out are on Saturday, October 9th, at Anini Beach Park at 8am. Please be prepared to observe all COVID-19 safety and health measures in effect at this time.

Pacific Beach Mortuary and St. Catherine Church are helping the family prepare.


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