Adelaide Keanuenueokalaninuiamamao “Frenchy” DeSoto Honored By State Senate

Back row: Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, Sen. Gilbert Kahele, Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland, Sen. J. Kalani English, Sen. Les Ihara Jr., Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, Sen. Will Espero, Sen. Clarence Nishihara, Sen. Michelle Kidani.  Front Row: Sen. Pohai Ryan, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Bruce DeSoto, Sen. Malama Solomon, Laura McCollough, Ronald DeSoto, John DeSoto, Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, Sen. Clayton Hee, and Sen. Mike Gabbard.  [Photo courtesy of Austin from Sen. Gabbard’s Office.  Click the image to enlarge.]

FLOOR REMARKS BY SENATOR MAILE SHIMABUKURO

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mr. President:

For the second time in a week, I am privileged to rise in honoring a distinguished resident of my Wai’anae Coast district.  Last week it was to support the confirmation of a leader among our current generation of Native Hawaiians.  Today, it is Aunty Frenchy DeSoto, a great Hawaiian woman whose legendary life—and heroic accomplishments in the public arena—paved the way, and made it possible for others to follow in her footsteps.

Always the activist, Aunty Frenchy’s powerful and passionate voice spoke out against assaults on the ‘aina in Makua Valley and on the island of Kaho’olawe.  As a delegate to the 1978 Constitutional Convention, she began to make her mark as a political leader—moving Hawaiian issues from near obscurity to the top of the convention’s agenda. Governor John Wai’hee, in a recent interview, offers a colorful description of her role as Chair of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee:  “Nobody left the room.  There was prayer, there was yelling … at the end a consensus emerged, It was Aunty Frenchy.  Maybe they were terrified by her, maybe they were persuaded by her.  I don’t know!” The Office of Hawaiian Affairs was one result of Aunty Frenchy’s efforts at the convention, and she went on to become OHA’s first chair and served as a trustee for most of the next two decades

I also want to remember Aunty Frenchy as a good neighbor and family friend.  Recent published tributes have made note of her difficult childhood and years of struggle and survival as a young person. It was a time that both toughened her spirit and filled her with compassion for other young people.  I saw this trait exhibited first-hand, when Aunty Frenchy provided refuge in her home for my teen-age niece when she was going through a difficult period in her young life.

The love and compassion that Aunty Frenchy exhibited throughout her life lives on in her children and members of the extensive DeSoto family.  I would like to acknowledge those who are with us today—both on the floor and in the gallery:

CHILDREN: Sons JOHN, BRUCE, & RONALD DESOTO; Daughter LAURA MCCOLLOUGH; (Unable to attend: son MANNY DESOTO)

OTHERS:     GINGER FUATA (Niece), CHRISTINE FRENCH (Niece), BILLY & MOMI CARD (Nephew & wife), MARY MARTINEZ (Niece), and PUNA MAHUIKI (Kako`o who took care of Aunty Frenchy for many years)

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2 Responses

  1. Maile, I just want to extend my ALOA to the family as well. I ‘d like to ADD SHE NOT ONLY A LEADER IN POLITICS,AND THE PEOPLE SHE ALSO LED SO…. MANY THE THE ALMIGHTY GOD. MAY GOD BE AND PROTECT THE FAMILIES SHE TOUCHED SOO.. MUCH.

    THANKS

    Dennis Dumancas

    Miles Bake Shop

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  2. I MET HER ONCE AT THE CONVENTION CENTER AFTER AT A POLITICAL DEBATE I WAS ASKED TO STUDY ON WHO WOULD WIN, I WAS NEW TO THE AREA AND DID NOT KNOW HER NAME OR WHO SHE WAS WE TALKED AFTER THE DEBATE FOR AWHILE SHE WAS IN A WHEELCHAIR WE HAD A REMARABLE CONVERSATION AND I ASKED IF I COULD PRAY WITH HER I DID AND HUGGED HER SHE WAS GREATFUL FULL OF LIFE VERY HAPPY SHE WAS WITH A GROUP OF AMBERCROMBIES PEOPLE WALKING OUT SHE WAS WAITING TO BE WHEELED OUT IN HER WHEELCHAIR AFTER THE ELECT GOV DEBATE ,AND I TOLD HER AND THE OTHERS WHO INVITED ME THAT AMBERCROMBIE IS GOING TO WIN ,THE OTHER CANIDATE TEAM MEMBERS WERE NOT IN REALITY ABOUT WHO HAD ONE NEVERTHELESS WHEN ELECTION TIME CAME IT WAS REVEALED AMBERCROMBIEI S NOW THE GOV ,AND MORE IMPORTANT FRENCY DESOTO IS UP IN HEAVEN AND ANYWHERE AND EVERWHERE ELSE SHE WANTS TO GO AND SHOWING THE FOLKS HOW TO GET IT DONE PERIOD END OF STORY.

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