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Community loses Irene Hueu Kalawaia

By Staff | Dec 18, 2020

She will be remembered for her bright smile and kindly, gentle demeanor. She will remain a fond memory of the closeness and congeniality of the Kuhua Mill Camp neighborhood where she spent the last years of her 86 years on this Earth in one of the few remaining Pioneer Mill cottages of the sugar cane era on Maui.

Irene Hueu Kalawaia passed away peacefully on Nov. 17 at her home at the age of 86. She was born in Keanae to James and Kalawaianui Hueu and Esther Kekahuna.

Aunty Irene was known as a hard worker who would do anything for anyone. She was a tough, strict lady who did not compromise, but she was compassionate at the same time.

She raised most of Aunty Sarah Ah Kuna and Uncle Hanalei Kaauamo’s keiki in Keanae. She took them to the taro patches in the mornings on the peninsula to work, brought them back home for lunch, then back to the taro patches in the afternoon. She was their second Mom and was well-known in Keanae, Lahaina and Lanai.

She is survived by her children, Leimomi (Leo) Santana, Ellsworth Kawehi Kalawaia, and Bennett Keola (Myleen) Kalawaia; brother Jacob (Rosita) Hueo; and her nine grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. And also her two trusty dogs, Bully and Precious.

She is predeceased by her siblings, James (Margaret) Hueo, Nancy (Alfred) Ihu, Sara Ah Kuna (Henry) Kaauamo, Nellie (Fred) McCarthy, Lois (Larry) Cummings, Frankie (Mariah) Hueo, Joe Emmsley, Angelina Apo, Mary L. Hueu, Mary K. Hueu, Laura Engoring, Abraham Kaina, Joseph Lanoza Jr. (Ipo), and Abraham (Betty) Lanoza.

Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 11362, Lahaina, HI 96761. (By Walter Chihara)