HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Norm Nakashima and Dawn Isa are longtime Hawaii residents who recently were splitting their time between the islands and a home in Reno, NV.
Friends are learning now that the couple were killed last week in a motor vehicle crash.
Nakashima and Isa worked together as financial planners, with clients in Nevada and Hawaii.
"They would divide their time, spend a couple of months in Reno, a couple of months here, or two weeks here, two weeks there," said longtime friend Dave Evans. "they kinda bounced back and forth, taking care of clients."
The full details aren't available. But what is known is that last week Tuesday, the two were killed instantly when a truck crossed over the center line and collided head-on with Nakashima and Isa's vehicle on U.S. Highway 95 near Hawthorne, about 134 miles southwest of Reno.
According to Evans, Nakashima had worked as an emergency room physician at Straub Hospital and Clinic before going into financial planning. Isa worked as a physical therapist before switching careers.
"When you kind of look at their entire lives, it was always of service to other people, even in the financial planning, making sure people were financially secure and people were taken care of," said Evans.
Isa also came up with an idea for what became known as "Spam-O-Rama" in the late 1990s. The event was a contest featuring recipes with Spam.
"I was amazed at her friends and the items that they came up with to create these Spam things," said Evans. "I think that ran for, I don't know, about four or five years, and she moved it from one house to a bigger house to the Honolulu Club."
By 2001, the event had become a fundraiser for the Hawaii Foodbank, with Nakashima as one of the judges.
"You know I love the stuff, but frankly I eat it maybe once a month. And I probably should eat it more often," said Nakashima at the event.
"Spam-O-Rama is because of my boyfriend's love for Spam," said Isa, also at the event. "And we were not having Spam dishes in the house, so his friend said to him, you know, we ought to have a party and everybody has to bring a Spam dish."
Nakashima and Isa were said to have just started a cross-country drive when the crash happened.
"That was another one of their bucket list items, so it's kind of ironic that in the process of that, they both lose their lives," said Evans.
Nakashima was 64 years old. Isa was 55.