Yoshi Kaneshiro

A Tribute by David Sherrill

Yoshi (Yoshie) Kaneshiro, Department of Educational Psychology Secretary from 1968 until 1989, passed away on April 23, 2017. Always a “Hakalau Girl,” she put down very strong roots in Honolulu – first in Pālolo where one of her three daughters now lives and later in Hawai‘i Kai.  Her homes were always gathering places for family and friends.

For 20 years, Yoshi was the heart and soul of the department, parenting students, faculty, and co-workers. If you were in educational psychology (EDEP), you were part of Yoshi’s family. She was all about building community and fostering the EDEP ‘Ohana. She was Earth Mother, Mother Protector, Mother Confessor, and Mother Superior all wrapped into one very independent woman. She listened, she empathized, she advised, she scolded and, most of all, she patiently rooted for everyone’s success.

Yoshi’s nurturing and protective nature was complemented by her eagerness to learn new things. She was a pioneer in the transformation of the College of Education (COE) workforce from a typewriter-driven mentality to a computer-driven one. She was the first secretary in the COE to become computer literate, and she became the ambassador within the college, promoting computer usage and teaching others how to “login.”

Being a people-person, Yoshi’s network of connections within the COE and the University was extensive, enabling her to navigate even troubled waters with ease and aloha. She was at her best helping others do the same, and so many came to her with their questions and problems. She was very good at her job, and her knowledge and skills were widely recognized and appreciated. In recognition of the esteem in which she was universally held, she received the Willard Wilson Award for Distinguished Service to the University.

Quite simply, she was a talented, wonderful person, salt of the earth, loved by all. She defined an era – the Yoshi Years – in the growth of the Department of Educational Psychology. As she would say, “Sugars!” We miss her.

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