The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001335725-01
Funeral Notices


SUSAN R. O. OKAMURA
(December 31, 1962-April 12, 2021)

Susan R.O. Okamura, age 58, passed away peacefully at her home on April 12, 2021, surrounded by her loving family. She had succumbed to complications from lung and bone cancer diagnosed in July of 2020.

Susan (her family called her "Susu") was born to Robert Chosei Oshiro and Ruth O. Oshiro at Wahiawa General Hospital on December 31, 1962, the youngest of three children. She attended Wahiawa Elementary School and Wahiawa Intermediate School, and graduated from Leilehua High School. While in high school, she played on the volleyball team (at only 5’3") and excelled as a setter. As a sophomore, she worked all summer in the pineapple fields, with young and old workers, and learned that no work was below one’s dignity, and, one is not judged by the kind of work one does.

Susan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, then a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She worked at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific for 14 years as director of clinics, and later worked at the Wahiawa General Hospital as a speech pathologist.

As Susan’s interest turned toward the science of language acquisition, reading, and writing, she began her professional journey of teaching students that had reading and writing difficulties. She eventually joined the prestigious Orton-Gillingham Academy and received the level of "Certified Practitioner". Susan was also a member of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA).

In 2008, as a structural literacy and dyslexia specialist, Susan opened her practice teaching students with reading and writing difficulties. She developed Bridge the Gap educational services, which served children kindergarten through high school. She was a member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the Leadership in Learning Association of Hawaii (LDAH). She was posthumously awarded a Certification of Appreciation for volunteering services throughout the many years. Susan was involved with coaching in the Special Olympics for many years, and held garage sales to help benefit those who were in need.

Susan lived her life to the fullest, loved by many and appreciated by all she touched. She left us at the height of her career and doing what she loved most: Helping children to improve in academics, and guiding their families in the area of learning difficulties. She also believed that everything she did arose from a strong foundation in her Christian faith. She even saw God’s favor in her medical doctors and staff, knowing that all things work together for the good. Her favorite Bible scripture verse is Isaiah 43:19, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past, See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

Susu is survived by her loving husband, Eryle Okamura, her sons, Jared Munemitsu and Ethan Munemitsu, mother, Mrs. Ruth Oshiro, sister, Roberta O. Ishikawa, brother, Marcus Oshiro (wife Lauzanne L.S. Fung Oshiro), nieces, Robie Lunger (husband Chris Rice) and Randie Ishikawa.

On May 15, 2021, a celebration of her life was held, at Inspire Church in Mililani, with family and close friends in attendance.

Arrangements Provided By:
Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary LLC