Jane Mieko Malama, beloved and devoted wife of the late Joseph Malama, passed away at home peacefully in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 1, 2020. She was the much-loved mother of daughter Sandy (Chad) Bara and son Lance Malama.
Mom was a homemaker by choice, deciding to channel her time and energy into tending to the many needs of a growing family. She did countless things for us and gave everything of herself to make our lives easier and give us a good life. Her caregiving took on a new dimension in later years when Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Taking on this demanding role demonstrated her compassion, empathy, patience, devotion and mental fortitude as she did this for 14 years.
Although Mom appeared to be a quiet, serious and unassuming introvert, those who spent time with her experienced her witty and somewhat droll sense of humor first hand. She was a life-long reader who still subscribed to the Star Advertiser which she read every morning during breakfast. Even when she could no longer read aloud or understand the articles, she seemed to find comfort just in the act of paging through a newspaper or magazine and looking at the pictures and printed words.
She led a very modest life and found pleasure in simple things like listening to her tape cassettes on her Walkman and reading paperback mystery novels. Her diverse taste in music ranged from popular music of the 40’s through the 70’s, Broadway show tunes, classical, and Spanish language. Mom enjoyed listening to talk-radio and watching the news and was not afraid to voice her opinions on a variety of topics. She regularly watched several detective programs on her favorite KIKU station.
She loved Audrey Hepburn, Gordon Lightfoot, and feeding birds. Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches, potato chips, fried foods of all kinds, were her favorites. This is surprising, considering that she hovered around 80 pounds for most of her life. She made the BEST stove-top rice and spaghetti with meatballs. She was, in fact, a very capable cook, having made delicious home-cooked meals for her family, daily. True to her humble nature, though, she dismissed this compliment with the wave of her hand, as she would when any of her positive attributes were recognized.
While we knew that Mom had an appreciation of Vincent Van Gogh, it was only in the last year of her life that Mom’s own artistic gifts came to light, when her caregiver, Debra, gave Mom a brown color marker and a picture of various cartoon animals to copy. She took to drawing these very naturally, and for several months after, she produced many drawings of increasing complexity, which she seemed to draw with relative ease. This ability would have probably remained hidden her entire life, but we are glad that she was able to enjoy her new-found pastime if only for a short while.
Mom was a kind-hearted, soft-spoken and thoughtful person, who always did what she could to help others in need and also contributed to numerous charitable causes for decades.
From neighbors and medical staff, to the courtesy clerks at the Pali Safeway to the things that her classmates wrote to her in her high school yearbook, she was described as "sweet," a "sweet lady," and a "sweetheart." She was, indeed, a special person. We will remember her for all her endearing and quirky qualities, and we will miss her very much.
A special mahalo to Pohai Nani Services@Home and caregiver, Debra Uehara, for her compassionate care and for bringing Mom’s artistic talent to light. Thank you, also, to the Saint Francis Hospice team for their care and support during Mom’s final days.
A private service and interment was held at Nu’uanu Memorial Park and Mortuary. Messages of condolence are welcomed at at www.nmplimited.com/obituaries.
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Notice #: 0001307147-01