Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daughter of Hawaii

ALOHA is a fond 'Hello'

or 'Goodbye'
Play da song!

Aloha to the Builders of Our Hawaii. . .
I never met this lady, but feel gratitude
for all she did here in these

Don't you think that today
she would have been a Blogger? 

Posted On March 3rd, 2011 - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Was born June 8, 1922 in Honolulu,
 Territory of Hawaii,
 and died on February 25, 2011, 
in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
 She was 88.
She was the oldest daughter
 of George Wilson Sumner
 and Eva Elise Helene Focke Sumner,and great-
granddaughter of Paul Neumann, attorney general
 for King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani. Although
 Paul Neumann was only the Queen’s attorney general
 for 36 hours,
he was her personal attorney until his death in 1901.
He served as her personal representative,
and with Prince David Kawananakoa traveled to
Washington D.C. in February of 1893.
He and Prince David successfully
kept Hawaii from becoming a Territory of
the United States under
President Grover Cleveland. 
That changed in 1898 when McKinley took office.
He also successfully negotiated a pension
for the Queen and Princess Ka’iulani to live on.
In 1895, Paul Neumann defended the Queen
at her trial.

Her father, George Wilson Sumner,
was from Indiana,
a Naval Submariner, and attended the
US Naval Academy,
came to Hawaii with the Navy, and became
President of American Factors
(now known as AmFac).
He died of a heart attack in 1963.
Another of her paternal ancestors was
Martha Crockett,
Davy Crockett’s first cousin.

Her mother, Eva Elise Focke Sumner,
was born in Honolulu in 1898.

Eva’s grandmother was born in Acapulco, 
and was German, Mexican-Indian, and Spanish.
Anita Alejandra Focke Neumann Lloyd,
grew up in Honolulu, and Robert Louis Stevenson
wrote a poem about her
when he saw her at one of King Kalakaua’s balls.

Evanita was the oldest of three children. . . 
She attended the Valley School
and Punahou School
(President Obama's school). . . .

After her graduation, her grandmother planned to
take her to Europe for a year before college,
but World War II broke out in Europe,
so she spent a year at, a boarding school in
Massachusetts, before attending Vassar.
She spent two years at Vassar before
the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941,
and immediately came home to Hawaii
after the attack. (When so many others
were leaving as fast as they could. cloudia)

She served in the WARD
(Women’s Air Raid Defense).
Due to her father’s Navy connections,
her family home
became an unofficial place where
Navy officers were welcomed.
She had an active social life,
and was asked for her hand in marriage
several times.

She married Robert Richards Midkiff in 1948,
a fourth-generation descendant of missionaries
on his mother’s side. . . 

She was a passionate and articulate community
volunteer. When her Kahala house burned
to the ground in 1970,
she supervised the rebuilding of a lovely
new home in the same spot. 
She wrote about her unpleasant experience
with the insurance company
in a Honolulu magazine article,
“Your House Burns Down 
– and Where’s Your Friendly Insurance Man?”.
Later, when a friend died of lung cancer, 
she wrote another article,
“Death Begins at 40″ for the same publication.
When she attended a Rolling Stones concert
 she wrote a funny article called
 “It’s Only Rock and Roll”.
 Writing came easily to her.

She was glamorous and independent,
and her photograph appeared many times
in various publications.
She danced hula, and danced a wonderful
“Makee Ailana” and “Papalina Lahilahi”. . . .

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations
be made in her name to the Daughters of Hawaii
2913 Pali Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
or to Punahou School, 1601 Punahou Street,
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822, for the Robert R. ’38
and Evanita S. ’39 Midkiff Endowed Fund
to support Early Childhood Education,
or to any charity of your choice.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday,
 March 19, 2011 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral,
 229 Queen Emma Square, 96813