NICHOLAS “NICK” K.F. AUYONG
On Saturday evening, April 10, Nicholas “Nick” K.F. Auyong passed away peacefully at his San Luis Obispo, California home at the age of 81. Nick was the oldest child of Steven Quon Mung and Evelyn Kam Moi Auyong. Nick was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, and lived in the Kalihi neighborhood on School Street.
Nick attended school at Kapalama Elementary and Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School. While in middle school, Nick excelled at baseball under the tutelage of his father who coached his Little League team in the Police Athletic League. While playing Little League he was discovered by Chuck Halter, the Athletic Director of Iolani High School, who wanted to recruit him to play at Iolani. The quota was filled for sports scholarships at Iolani, so Halter rang up James Iams, the Athletic Director of Punahou High School. Nick received a scholarship to Punahou and became a varsity standout player, playing in the outfield, helping capture the Hawaii State Championship three years in a row. Nick was also the starting halfback on the football team that played in the 1957 State Championship. He played baseball, football, and basketball at Punahou. He maintained his love of sports throughout his life, reveling in the athletic achievements of his daughters and his grandchildren, as well as the treasured and maintained friendships of many teammates, some of whom he met in elementary school.
After graduating from high school, Nick attended Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) in California. It was at MPC that he met his future bride, Patricia “Pat” O’Reilly. Nick and Pat were married at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Nu’uanu in August of 1961. Their first home was in San Jose, California, where Nick was studying Engineering at San Jose State on a scholarship from the Honolulu Painting Company where he had been employed during summers in Hawaii. The young couple made their way to San Luis Obispo, Pat’s hometown. Nick initially enrolled at Cal Poly as an Industrial Technology major, switching to a Social Studies major after determining engineering was not in his future.
In 1962, Nick and Pat welcomed their first daughter Nicolette “Niki,” and then within the next two years another daughter, Natalie. Nick and Pat bought their first home in 1965 in San Luis Obispo. In late 1968, Nick and Pat’s third daughter, Claudine “Dede” was born. To support the young family, Nick worked at Atascadero State Hospital, in Atascadero, California, as a Psych Technician at night, attending Cal Poly during the day. In 1969, Nick was awarded his Bachelor of Social Science degree, and in 1970, a teaching credential. Nick’s family continued to grow with the addition of daughters, Monique in 1970, and Patrice in 1973, rounding out his “basketball team,” as he used to put it.
Nick began his teaching career as a 6th grade teacher at Santa Rosa Elementary School in Atascadero, California, in 1970. He taught 5th and 6th grade at Santa Rosa Elementary and Santa Margarita Elementary, in Santa Margarita, California, for a combined 25 years, retiring in 1995. Through teaching, friendships began that would endure for the rest of his life.
In addition to athletics, one of Nick’s passions was fishing. His fondest memories from his childhood were spear fishing off Kaawa and going fishing and crabbing at Pearl Harbor where his father and uncle worked, catching Samoan crabs, octopus and akule. His uncle and father taught him to make and repair nets which they could freely set in the harbor in the early 1950s. Nick enjoyed fishing all his life, whether off the Central Coast of California for salmon and halibut, on sand atolls off Christmas Island in the South Pacific, or flyfishing at various “secret spots” at lakes and streams in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Nevada. Nick became an artisan at tying flies for fishing and is credited by Rocky Mountain fishing authority Bill Schiess in the book “Fishing Henrys Lake” with the creation of the “California Leech” pattern, a staple for catching trophy rainbow trout at Henrys Lake.
In 2000, Nick had a fall from a ladder, confining him to a wheelchair. This did not stop Nick from fishing for another 15 years. Nick developed other interests after the accident, which included maintaining two huge aquariums in his home – including a saltwater tank stocked with tropical fish that reminded him of Hawaii. He also had a koi pond in the backyard. Additionally, Nick took up orchid gardening, maintaining at least two dozen plants of varying varieties and colors. Nick enjoyed singing and playing the ukulele and taught some of the grandchildren to play as well. Nick especially loved having family pets, starting as a boy with Queenie – a poi dog in Hawaii – to his dogs Kimo, Makai, and Lani at the end of his life. Kimo, Makai, and Lani adorned many of Nick and Pat’s Christmas cards and were rarely denied treats, table scraps, or vanilla ice cream hand-fed to them by Nick.
Many will remember Nick’s quick-witted, and joking personality, whether pulling pranks as a high schooler, donning creative Halloween costumes during his teaching days, or having his grandchildren laughing with a practical joke or pun.
Nick was preceded in death by his parents, Steven Q.M. Auyong in 1981 and Evelyn K.M. Auyong in 1992, and his sister Nola Auyong Henry of Olney, Maryland in 1987. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years Patricia, daughters, Nicolette “Niki” Muñoz (Anthony), Claudine “Dede” Auyong (Dave Svetich), Monique Speake (A.G.), and Patrice Auyong (Jack Bates), all of San Luis Obispo, California, and Natalie Hoxie (Sean) of Rancho Bernardo, California; and his sisters, Patricia Fujiwara (Clifford) of Aiea, Hawaii, and Marjorie Gonzalez (Don) of Makakilo, Hawaii. He is survived by eleven grandchildren, Allyssa Muñoz of Washington D.C.; Kyle, Will and Dana Hoxie of Rancho Bernardo, California; Lily Svetich, Rory Svetich, Brady Svetich, Duncan Speake, Holly Speake, Marco Auyong, and Scarlett Auyong, all of San Luis Obispo, California.
Nick was interred at a private family gathering at Old Mission Catholic Cemetery in San Luis Obispo, California, and will also be interred at Mililani Memorial Park in Mililani, Hawaii, on Saturday, August 7 at 10:30am, with additional ashes being scattered in the coastal waters off Avila Beach, Makapu’u Beach in Hawaii, and the secret fishing spot in Nevada.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be sent to the Auyong Family Scholarship at San Luis Obispo High School, at bit.ly/2SiA2wq, Project Surf Camp at www.ProjectSurfCamp.com, or
Notice #: 0001328056-01