The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001408750-01
Funeral Notices


Sandra Pascua Tanahara, a retired teacher and health care administrator, passed on December 16, 2022. She was 77.

She was born in Haiku, Maui, to Severo and Rose Pascua on January 20, 1945. Sandra was one of six children, three girls (Sandra, Rosita and Juanita), and three boys (Severo, Jr., Anthony, and David). Her parents and all of her siblings except Rosita passed before she did.

From her earliest days, Sandra was a voracious reader. Books were her passport to worlds and opportunities beyond the small villages of upcountry Maui. She was the first in her family to earn a college degree, a BA in English from the University of Hawaii – Manoa.

Shortly after starting her college studies at Maui Community College, Sandra met and married Herbert M. Tanahara, better known to his many friends on Maui as ‘Sparrow." He was a mason, and the couple moved to Oahu for Sandra’s studies and Herbert’s employment opportunities. By then, they had a daughter, Kris, who became the focus of their life.

Sandra had bookkeeping skills, and got a job keeping the books for the Convalescent Center of Honolulu. This led to helping launch Hawaii Select Care, and being named administrator of the nursing home in Liliha.

In retirement, Sandra became the teacher she had initially hoped to be when she got her undergraduate degree. She taught adult literacy at Kaimuki Community School for Adults, and later spent time reading to residents at Lunalilo Home.

She also joined the National Writers Association to pursue her dream of writing. Sandra found her voice writing poetry. Her work was published in five anthologies, and she also published a book of her own poetry, "Poems for Mom."

Sandra is survived by her daughter, Kris (Floyd Takeuchi), and sister Rosita Pascua, and nieces and nephews. Her husband, Herbert, passed in 2020. She was also was predeceased by her parents, Severo and Rose Pascua, and four of her siblings, Juanita, Severo, Jr., Anthony and David.

A private memorial service was held. Sandra was interred with Herbert at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary