The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001353927-01
Funeral Notices


Teacher, published poet, world traveler, bon dancer, and Scrabble whiz Carol Yoshinaga of Kailua, Oahu, died on December 9, 2021. Carol was born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawai`i Island, while her parents Ernest and Hazel were teachers at Konawaena School. The family moved to Kane`ohe when she was a toddler. She earned her master’s degree in secondary education, English, and taught for 33 years at Kailua H.S., University of Hawai`i, and Kalaheo H.S. For 25 years at Kailua H.S., she was a coordinator of the award-winning Community Quest program, a school-without-walls which allowed students to use the community as a classroom. She and her team colleagues were well-known for their coordinated Halloween costumes, dressing up as the Flintstones one year and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for another. Carol gave knowledge, guidance, and the occasional haircut to decades of Kailua H.S. Surfriders.

Her last teaching job was at Habilitat, a world-renowned residential rehabilitation facility in Kane`ohe. Her affiliation with Habilitat continued for all the years after she retired, as she conducted craft classes, assisted the kitchen crew, and helped create flower arrangements for Habilitat’s annual fund-raising lu`au.

Carol was an active member of the Honolulu Scrabble Club and enjoyed competitive play and great camaraderie at Kahala Mall on Wednesday nights. After orthopedic issues prevented her from continuing hula with Kuhai Halau O Mapuana Pa `Olapa Kahiko, Carol took up bon dancing. She was an active member of Honolulu Fukushima Bon Dance Club and Ko`olau Sakura Odori Kai. She enjoyed not only weekly bon dance classes at Makiki District Park and Kane`ohe Community Center but also dancing on weekends during obon season in Hawai`i. In 2017, the Honolulu Fukushima Bon Dance Club was honored by Fukushima City, Japan, with an invitation to lead the bon dance festival there. Carol and her bon dance troupe had the opportunity to explore Fukushima as well as other exciting cities in Japan during their extended stay. In 2019, she reached one of her bucket list goals of having attended bon dances at every one of 32 venues on O`ahu.

Carol traveled the world and spent one summer taking classes at the University of London, with opportunities to explore England, as well as Ireland, Wales, and Scotland on weekends and extended stays. She especially enjoyed a spring trip to Australia, where she loved watching platypuses diving and meeting marsupials such as wombats. She also loved felines of every kind, wild and domestic, and made it a point to adventure to Kenya, Tanzania, and Thailand, where she could see and interact with big cats such as cheetahs, leopards, lions, and tigers in their natural habitats and in sanctuaries.

She loved raku pottery, poker, craft fairs, plants and trees, Animal Planet, UH men’s basketball, and Christmas carols. She loved holoholo-ing to new places in the Islands to find interesting shops and eateries. She loved spending time with family and friends.

She is predeceased by dearly-loved oldest brother, Gene (Sally). She is also survived by other beloved brothers Mel (Jane) and Les (Pat); cherished nephews and nieces Mike (Amy), Lori (Gregg Porter), Darcie (Lyle Nakashima), Jon Kimo (with daughters Kiana and Kyra), and Reyn (Shari). She also leaves behind several dear cousins and their families and many fun and loving friends.

A celebration of life to honor Carol may be held at a later date. No koden please.

Arrangements Provided By: Oahu Cemetery