The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001154544-01
Funeral Notices


Howard Chock Wah Lau, 80, passed away on November 16, 2018 at the ‘Ilima at Leihano in Kapolei, Hawaii, with both of his children at his side. He was born in Honolulu on January 6, 1938. After a long career rising up to the rank of Nuclear Supervisor at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Howard maintained an active retirement pursuing his lifelong interest in firearms, tinkering in his garage making things for the house, gambling trips to Las Vegas and in her time of need, caring for his wife of 46 years, Frances Mayumi (Kuwahara) Lau.

Howard was a strong, opinionated, honest and straightforward man, never afraid to tell you what he wanted and expected of others and of himself. Direct and determined, once he decided to get something done, his extraordinary mechanical creativity and vision allowed him to fix, make or modify everything from a protective cage for his prized Hawaiian chili peppers to a custom 9-person poker table. He designed and made countless things in his garage in Pearl City where the family lived from 1973 to 2015. While Howard was satisfied with saying more with few words, he was deeply and fiercely devoted to his loved ones, preferring to communicate more by action and deed, including the many heartfelt cards he frequently sent out to his family and friends across the state and on the Mainland.

Howard is survived by his son, Kenneth, daughter Tammy, daughter-in-law Jennifer Ayers, brothers Warren (Bobbie) and Calvin (Sharon) and sisters Barbara (Ronald) Okada and Lorraine (Dexter) Chin as well as nine nieces and nephews and their respective families. He was predeceased by wife Frances, parents Edward and Ellen Lau and sister Pat (Craig) Nakayama.

Howard’s doctors deserve to be thanked publicly for their many years of care and concern. No one could have had better doctors, especially Dr. Jeffrey Chung, Dr. Randall Nitta, Dr. Deborah Glenn, Dr. Michael Chun, Dr. Ken Arakawa, Dr. Jared Sugimoto, Dr. Kalani Yamamoto, Dr. Troy Tanji, Dr. Abhijeet Koli, Dr. Glenn Wong, Dr. Stephen Lee, Dr. John Cho, Dr. Jeffrey Wong and Dr. Laura Miller. The family also wishes to acknowledge the caring assistance and expert support provided by St. Francis Hospice, in particular, Dr. Naomi Morita, social worker Maty Beasley and hospice nurse Emma Vicente. A special thank you to all the staff at the ‘Ilima at Leihano for their extraordinary kindness and kokua for the family until the end and afterwards. The ‘Ilima staff and friends he made there added immeasurably to his last few years. He was happy at the ‘Ilima.

A Celebration of Howard’s Life will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at Mililani Memorial Park, Makai Chapel at 6:00 p.m. Visitation begins at 5:00 p.m. At Howard’s request, no potted flowers or plants please. Aloha attire. A private inurnment will be held later.