One of our dear members, 94-year old Wally Kawachi passed away on Wednesday, April 26.
Over the years the Y had come to be a meaningful part of Wally's life - and he'd come to be meaningful to us as well. Here's a beautiful tribute from one of our Healthy Start Room staff, Leslie Sharp, to such a beloved member of our community. Read more below.
On Wednesday, April 26th, 2017, the early morning gang, in our Healthy Start Room, were working out as usual. In those same early morning hours – our dear friend Wallace (Wally) Kawachi was taking his last breath.
Just last week when I visited him at The Plaza, he assured me he was buying a new car and coming back to work out at our Y. He was wide awake and very happy. We took selfies and with his usual sense of humor he asked who the good looking guy was when I showed him the pictures I had just taken. He then asked what was on his face. I answered – “you must have gotten lazy, it looks like you haven't shaved in weeks!”
In truth Wally had been under hospice care for about 8 weeks. At 94 ½ years of age he complained that he was tired – and he had every right to feel that way. Our friend loved to share stories of his adventures (and misadventures) with his friends. He will forever be known as the man responsible for changing the fire trucks in Hawaii to yellow, playing Hanafuda at 5:00 am at the Y - and supplying his friends with one of his many “Fremont Hotel and Casino - Jackpot - Grand Winner” t-shirts, Asahi beer with lunch at Zippy’s , and the brilliant twinkle in his eye!
There are no words to describe how much we will miss our friend. He inspired me to write a feature on our 90+ year olds almost 5 years ago because according to our Y records, a man had finally joined the many women who were still working out in their 90’s.
So Wally, we say until we meet again. Please say hello for us to our other friends, Jean and Joanne, who have left our earthly home.
We love you,
Leslie, John, Leila, Betty, Earl, George and all of the early morning exercisers at the
Kaimuki Waialae YMCA
Should you wish, you can donate to the YMCA Annual Support Campaign Kaimuki Branch and mark your donation check in Memory of Wallace Kawachi. We will send a card to the family on your behalf. Mahalo!
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