Shizumi Kunioka passed away peacefully on October 3, 2022. She was born in Makaweli, Kauai, Hawaii, the fourth of five children. She leaves behind sisters- in-law, nieces, nephew, great-nieces and great-nephews. Her nieces and nephew have very fond memories of spending parts of their childhood summers with her. Later in life, Shizumi and her sister spent many holidays in California with their brother, Sadayoshi, sister-in-law (Hiroko), nieces, nephew, and great-niece. Miyono, her sister, passed earlier this year.
She attended Waimea High School and received a Bachelor of Arts in Home Economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She also enjoyed supporting the Rainbows in football, baseball and women’s volleyball.
She worked for 36 years as a cafeteria manager for University High School in Honolulu. She developed recipes with know-how and love, using the ingredients supplied. She recently reminisced about the first time she served her hamburger pizza. It was so popular, that she and her staff rushed several times to make more so all of the students could have a hot lunch. Her Spanish rice was one of her most famous entrees and the recipe most requested by her students. The school, students and alumni threw her a retirement party, where she arrived in a Cloud Nine Rolls Royce. She was presented with a plaque "University High School Jr. Rainbows presented to Shizumi Kunioka with deep aloha for the 36 years of dedicated service to all the students, faculty, and friends of University High School. Rarely does one person touch the lives of so many during their careers; you not only nurtured us by serving over 3,000,000 lunches, but you have also taught us the values of hard work, being responsible, and having concern for others, which have helped us throughout our lives. For your years of service with love to all of us, Mahalo! September 12, 1982." She was invited to countless luncheons, class reunions and alumni events after she retired which she enjoyed. Her former students were amazed at her sharp memory, she never forgot a face or name.
After retirement, she and her sister Miyono loved to travel. For decades, they travelled to Las Vegas for annual class reunions with their Waimea High School classmates. Other places included Russia (during the cold war), New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, numerous European countries and cruises. She recently celebrated her 100th birthday with phone calls and FaceTime. Her students from the Class of 1963 also visited her and presented her with a collage of old photos and newspaper articles.
Shizumi’s family would like to thank the Hale Ola Kino staff; Wendell Lee and Nadine Uratsuka; Jeff and Vivian Chang and family; Fred Nitta; and her students for their care, help and support.
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Notice #: 0001403431-01