Edna and David of Da Hawaii Seniors Club lead a group of members of the Seniors Club in E. Ku'u Morning Dew in celebration of the life of fellow member Donald Izumihara. Courtesy photol.

Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club celebrated Donald Izumihara’s life on July 2, 2021

Donald Izumihara. Photo courtesy of David Ethington.
Donald Izumihara. Photo courtesy of David Ethington.

Members of Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club gathered at Heritage Park in Cerritos, California, on July 2, 2021, to celebrate the life of their late Co-President Donald “Don” Izumihara. Donald served as Co-President of the club in 2020 and in 2021, until his passing on June 14, 2021. Donald was preceded in death by his wife, the late Noriko Kosaka on May 2, 2013. He is survived by his son, Kyle, twin daughters Kay Izumihara (husband Leo Danaher), and Nora Izumihara (husband Keith Carter). He is also survived by grandson Zachary Kost, his brother Charles Izumihara, his sister Judy Kunitake, and nephews and nieces, Scott, Todd, Michelle and Janelle.

Club members have not been able to meet in- person because of COVID-19 quarantines, so this was the first time in over 16 months that many members were able to meet in person outdoors at Don’s Ohana reception at Heritage Park. The Izumihara family catered delicious Hawaiian style food from Back Home in Lahaina in Carson, California, for the reception after Don’s burial at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. Club members helped to prepare for the reception by decorating tables with red tablecloths, ti leaves, and flowers. Members also donated desserts, water, soda, paper goods, and additional entrees, including manapua.

Master of Ceremonies Danny Chang introduced the guest speakers at the reception, Don’s daughter Nora, his grandson Zachary, and club member Hedy Harrison Anduha. Nora recalled how Don was always away at work earning what was needed so that she, her sister Kay and brother Kyle could participate in many different activities. Zachary talked about his relationship with Don by phone from Pennsylvania, and in person when he visited him. Hedy told of how she and Don belonged to the Farrington Alumni Association and how she got him to join Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club.

The twin sisters Kay and Nora thanked everyone who helped to prepare for the Don’s reception by presenting orchid leis to them. Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club President, Carmelita Tiongson was part of the decorating committee including Mary Jane Fujimura, Carol Yamaguchi, Marion Tesoro, Amy Tong, Winona and Danny Chang. Carmelita presented colorful red, white, and blue, yarn finger leis to the Izumihara family members in honor of her Co-President, Don.

Danny Chang introduced Hedy Harrison Anduha, kumu of the club’s hula dancers, Na Kupunawahine O’ Cerritos who danced three hulas. Club musicians joined in the celebration by accompanying with ukulele and guitars the singing of songs led by different people.

Club members joined in singing songs that were led by different members: M.C. Danny and Winona Chang sang I’ll Remember You; Frank and Gladys Yoshii sang Dahil Sayo; David and Edna Ethington sang E Ku’u Morning Dew and Kokoni Sachi Ari; Larry Anduha sang Lovely Hula Girl while Hedy danced the hula to the song; and the A’ala Park Serenaders sang Sen no Kaze ni Natte for Don. A friend of the family, Stacie Toji, dance a solo hula in honor of Don.

Don’s Celebration of Life ended with everyone holding hands in a circle and singing Hawai’i Aloha and a heartfelt Aloha O’e led by Frank Yoshii and the club’s musicians.