homepage logo

Community loses Maureen Ariyoshi

By Staff | Oct 28, 2010

Maureen Setsuko Ariyoshi and Henry Mitsuji “Bruno” Ariyoshi married in 1956.

They say that beside every good man, there is a good woman. It is also said that atop every loving family, there is a caring mother.

Thus stands the legacy of Maureen Setsuko Ariyoshi, who passed away on Oct. 10, 2010, after a prolonged battle with a rare disease. She was 74.

She is survived by her husband, Henry Mitsuji “Bruno” Ariyoshi; sons Reed (Dyan) and Eric Ariyoshi; daughter Faye (Dean) Makishima; brothers Daniel and Donald Oki; sisters Ichiko Kawashima, Thelma Kanemoto and Frances Kawaguchi; and grandchildren Alyssa and Jarern Ariyoshi.

She was predeceased by her brother, Takeshi Oki, and sister, Emiko Nakamura.

On Oct. 19, a standing room only gathering at the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission honored Mrs. Ariyoshi in a traditional Buddhist ceremony. Led by emcee Pat Endsley and officiant Rev. Mari Nishiyama, the service illuminated Maureen Ariyoshi’s life of dedication and care to her husband and to their children.

Her life manifested and defined the women of her generation that held their top priority to be the nurturing of the family unit during their 54 years of marriage. Indeed, it was Mrs. Ariyoshi that stood by Mr. Ariyoshi’s side, as he carved a career as renowned educator and football coach at Lahainaluna High School and raised their children to successful, contributing lives.

As a couple, they turned their Wahikuli homestead into an immaculate, picturesque Japanese landscape, with a similar interior that most homemakers only dream of.

Where Front Street may be the business center of Lahaina, the “village’s” heart and soul reside in this place called Wahikuli. It is here that the generations of Kukahiko, Kawaguchi, Kutsunai, Tihada, Endsley, Kupau, Watanabe and Ariyoshi families molded the future of the community as its religious leaders, educators and coaches. And it was the matriarchs of these families — like Maureen Ariyoshi — that lived as the heart to supply the loving, motherly touch to the collective personality of Lahaina.

Like the smooth, delectable red velvet cake she baked for special occasions, the glow of giving and sweetness of this lady of Lahaina emanated forth through the twinkle in her eyes and the glitter of her smile. It is in the beauty of her spirit that future generations of the Maui community will live in happiness, and we are eternally grateful to her for this. Our sincere condolences go out to the Ariyoshi family in her passing.

From “Hihotoke Ni Idakarete”: Mihotoke ni idakarete… Kimi yukinu tama no ie… Misukui o mini kakete… Shimesshimasu kashikosayo. Embraced by the Buddha… You have departed to the Compassionate Land…. By example teaching the way to salvation… How grateful we are!”