Haliʻa Aloha | February 2022


Photo: Nora Kuʻulei Thomas

Nora Kuʻulei Thomas
(July 17, 1927 – Dec. 10, 2021)

Nora Kuʻulei Thomas, 94, of Makawao, Maui, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by ʻohana on Dec. 10, 2021.

Born in Kelso, Washington, Nora was born on July 17, 1927 to her parents, Mary Palama and Demas Pacheco. Raised in Kalihi, Oʻahu, Nora married her kolohe, Puʻuhale neighbor, Joseph Mahuna Thomas on March 30, 1946. Together, they had eight children, 23 grandchildren, 67 great-grand children, and two great-great-grandchildren (and counting). She was predeceased by, and now reunites with her husband, Joseph; children, Tommy, Alana, and Joann; five great-grandchildren, and countless kūpuna. She is survived by her children Kaipo, Landa (Lamont), Naomi (Paul), Joe, and Lei (Steve), and her many moʻopuna.

Throughout her life, Nora was a housewife, hard worker, and beloved mother. As a family of the armed services, she managed her ʻohana and created homes all over the world including Europe, Okinawa, Germany, and throughout the continental United States. After returning to Hawaiʻi, Nora and Joseph built a home in Waiʻanae, Oʻahu, which was a welcomed puʻuhonua for so many of their children and moʻopuna.

After her husband’s passing in 2012, Nora built a new home in Makawao, Maui, where she also had additional fur baby children, including Pretty Girl, Calli, and Kiwi. Coming from a moʻokūʻauhau of musicians, she loved singing and dancing. She was known for her ʻono cooking and baking, including her beef stew, pastele stew, smoke meat, and mango bread, to name a few. Nora was also an exquisite crafter, creating detailed blankies, dishtowels, quilts, collages, stuffed animals, embroidery, and knitted clothes for everyone in her family.

A celebration of life and private family burial service was held on Oʻahu on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, after which she was laid to rest with her husband at Hawaiian Memorial Cemetery in Kāneʻohe. If you would like to pay your respects, please visit Nora at Hawaiian Memorial Cemetery and/or direct correspondence to Naomi at kilokeanuenue@gmail.com.