In memory of Auntie Paulie Jennings

Paulie Keakealani Jennings died peacefully at Queens Hospital on June 17. Her funeral service is tentatively schedule to take place in the Cathedral Saturday, July 27 at 10:00 AM, with visitation at 9:00 AM. The following obituary was written by her sons Grant and Dean in Tokyo and Boston, respectively.

Paulie Keākealani Jennings, age 89, of Honolulu, Hawai‘i passed peacefully on Monday, June 17th, 2019 at Queen’s Medical Center where she was being treated for pneumonia.  She was born in Hilo, Hawai‘i on April 11th, 1930 to Kahiwa Thompson Lee and Peter R. Lee.  As a young child in Hilo, she enjoyed meeting people and exploring the beautiful island of Hawai‘i.  She would often accompany her mother, who was a public health nurse, on visits to the many neighborhoods in and around Hilo and along the Hamākua coast.  She also cherished her visits to the family home up at the volcano.  After WWII, she relocated to Honolulu with her mother where she was active in school and church organizations at St. Andrews.

She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1948 and was awarded a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai‘i in 1952.  She also studied at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and the Sorbonne University in Paris, France where she acquired a taste and a talent for French cooking.  She was also an active member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.

Paulie married the late Patrick Henry Jennings on June 6th, 1953 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu.  They relocated to New York to raise their family.  Paulie was an active volunteer, as well as the best mother anyone could have.  She chaired fundraising efforts for special needs children in the late 50’s and was active with the St. Charles Hospital Auxiliary in the 60’s and early 70’s.

She enjoyed travel in her early years and made several trips to Europe and the Middle East in the 50’s and 60’s, where she met many lifelong friends.  She also wrote several pieces for the Heute Press of Vienna, Austria as a freelance writer.  Paulie was a talented writer whose notes, letters, and stories are a gift for those she has left behind.

Paulie returned to her native Hawai‘i in 1977 and pursued a career in real estate.  She reconnected with family and friends and after several successful years in the business community chose to trade real estate for Hawaiian culture.  She joined the Moanalua Gardens Foundation as executive director in 1987.  She was also an active member of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, serving on the Hawaiian committee as well as many other activities at the Cathedral.  Additionally, Paulie served on the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army and was active throughout the Hawaiian community.  She created and produced the World Invitational Hula Festival, E Ho‘i Mai I ka Piko Hula, for twenty-one years until her retirement in 2013.  She shared her passion freely for hula and all things Hawaiian.

She enjoyed her final years at the Lunalilo Home, surrounded by friends and a caring staff.

Paulie is survived by her brothers Clifford Lee, Paul Lee, Peter Lee and her sister Marie Kaleiwahea, her sons Grant Jennings and his wife, Junko Jennings, of Tokyo, Japan and Dean Jennings and his wife, Suzanne Jennings of Beverly, Massachusetts, her hānai daughter Leohone Magno, her hānai son John Starr Alexander, and by her grandchildren Patrick Jennings, Caroline Jennings and Eric Jennings. She was pre-deceased by her late husband, Patrick H. Jennings.

A visitation and memorial service will be held at St. Andrew’s Cathedral beginning at 9:00 AM on Saturday July 27th with Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick officiating.

Following are some photos of Auntie Paulie from over the years, curated by Ann Hansen.

Paulie & Beadie at Whitman College ca. 1950

Paulie & Beadie at Whitman College ca. 1950

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