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West Maui community saddened by the loss of May Fujiwara

By Staff | Apr 27, 2017


West Maui lost a community leader and truly amazing person with the passing of May Fujiwara last week. She was 85.

May was probably best known here as a driving force in the Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club, advocating for transportation programs and activities to get fellow seniors out of their homes and enrich their lives.

Kind, smart and persuasive, May was involved in most important projects on the West Side.

President since 1996, May and members of the Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club successfully lobbied for the West Maui Senior Center that “offers so many services to our seniors, including exercise programs, hula lessons and arts and crafts,” she told the paper in 2010.

May and her peers lobbied for the West Maui Hospital and Medical Center now under construction, supported the Lahaina Complex After School Enrichment Tutor Project and, through making and selling lei on the Baldwin Home lawn, awarded scholarships to seniors in Lahainaluna High School’s Health Occupations Students of America career pathway.

You would see her at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, testifying with her seniors at county budget hearings, volunteering with the Kaanapali 2020 community-based planning process and working with Lahaina Bypass Now.

The list of groups and projects May was involved with would fill up this page.

Along with her accomplishments, May will be remembered for speaking her mind. She opposed the very volatile genetically modified organism (GMO) ballot initiative in 2014; staged a roadside rally to support police in August, when tensions were high in Mainland communities after police-involved shootings; and told the state not to bungle the management change at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Lahaina Hongwanji Mission in a Facebook post summed up what many are feeling in the community right now.

“As outspoken and passionate as she was for our community of life, the one word I would use to describe May Fujiwara would be… humble. LHM extends our support to the family of May… now and forever.”

May worked tirelessly to help improve West Maui. She will be greatly missed.