Harriet Yoshiye Tanaka Tavares, 99
February 9, 1921 – May 17, 2020
Harriet Yoshiye Tanaka Tavares peacefully passed away on the 17th of May, 2020 at Island Hospice in Kahului. She was born in Hana, Maui, on February 9, 1921 to Jiro and Mina Tanaka, the youngest of eleven children. She attended Hana School, then attended Mid-Pacific Institute on Oahu and graduated in 1940.
After graduation, she returned to Hana and worked as a secretary for the Hana Police Station where she met Sergeant Hannibal Tavares. They were married in 1942 and had three children:
Charmaine Tavares, Sharon (Brian) Klaschka and Gary (Diane) Tavares.
She was the “rock” and glue of the family, supporting her husband and children in everything they were involved in.
Harriet was an active, fun-loving person who was loved by many. Her personality brought sunshine into everyone’s life. She was especially active in group activities.
She attended the University Extension Program in Hali’imaile for many years and became proficient in many arts and crafts media. She also attended the weekly “Lunch and Learn” program at the UH Extension Program at Maui Community College with her sister Miyoko Sumida. She excelled in the quilting classes and one year was awarded 3rd place for her Hawaiian design pillow in the Maui County Fair.
Harriet and her husband, Hannibal, were married for 56 years. They enjoyed traveling the world - Japan, the Philippines, Portugal, the Azores, Spain and Canada, as well as throughout the mainland visiting their relatives scattered across the country.
Everyone knew of her excitement and joy travelling to the mainland to see her family and friends in Nevada, Oregon and California, and also to play her favorite video poker games in the casinos. She was always lucky and enjoyed herself every time.
For the past 20+ years, she was an active participant in the Holy Ghost Church activities as one of the famous “Bread Ladies” and the “boss” of the Portuguese Bean Soup booth at the annual Holy Ghost Feast. She was always ready to help with any project at the church – peeling mangoes, cutting onions, etc., as well as going on scouting trips all over Maui with her friends, Dorothy and Clifford DePonte, to check on the mango trees and their fruits.
She was a “people person” and everyone who came into contact with Harriet couldn’t help but love her. Her smile was contagious. She had a great sense of humor. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
Harriet is pre-deceased by her parents, Mina and Jiro Tanaka, her husband, Hannibal M. Tavares and her ten brothers and sisters: Keichi Chadani, Minoru Tanaka, Kikuyo Segawa, Fujiko Motooka, Kinuko Tanaka, Ichiro Tanaka, Masako Takayama, Miyoko Sumida, Kasuyoshi Tanaka and Sueyoshi Tanaka.
She is survived by her three children Charmaine Tavares, Sharon (Brian) Klaschka and Gary (Diane) Tavares; five grandchildren, Mark (Nancy) Klaschka, Scott Klaschka, Harrison Tavares, Jared (Tyler) Tavares and Jonathan (Erin) Tavares; eleven great-grandchildren: Kathryn Lee Klaschka, Taylor Tavares, Alexus Tavares, Hannah Tavares, Allison Tavares, Cassandra Tavares, Donovan Tavares, Jayden Tavares, Shaelyn Tavares, Kennedy Tavares and Trenton Tavares.
Harriet had 40 nieces and nephews and numerous grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.
Our family extends heartfelt mahalo and gratitude for the wonderful care Harriet received from all of the folks who attended her, the Maui Fire Department, EMS, the Maui Memorial Medical Center Emergency Room doctors and staff, the ICU doctors and staff and the staff at Island Hospice. Harriet was at peace and quietly passed to be with her Lord.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Arrangements by: Norman's Mortuary- Wailuku, Maui