Abigail Kawananakoa’s loved ones recall a life filled with music, laughter and generosity

96-year-old friend and former employee, Maggi Parker shared photos and stories of Kawananakoa before going to Monday’s service.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:30 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About 200 loved ones, friends and dignitaries gathered Monday at Mauna Ala, the Royal Mausoleum, for Hawaiian heiress Abigail Kawananakoa’s private funeral service.

There was music, her genealogy chant with royal lineage and stories of her generosity.

Those stories included a gift to help preserve hula through the Merrie Monarch Festival. “They described to her what was to happen in Hilo. She provided the financing so that hula would never fade away,” said cultural practitioner Kamaki Kanahele.

In rare honor, Abigail Kawananakoa lay in state at Iolani Palace as public offered final respects

Ninety-six-year-old Maggi Parker, Kawananakoa’s friend and former employee, shared photos and stories of the late heiress before going to Monday’s service.

“I met her in July of 1968 because Time and Life Magazine people, the writers were here in Honolulu,” said Parker.

Parker called her loving and caring, with a sharp sense of humor. He also recalled her love of horses.


By some, Kawananakoa was called a princess and her royal highness.

Hailama Farden, Iku Nahalani (premier) of royal Hawaiian society Hale A Na Alii, says she was a great alii. He added she wasn’t the last one.

“There are other alii. There are many alii in the line in the house of Kawananakoa. There are many others,” Farden told Hawaii News Now.

“Even in the newspapers, some of them in the continent reported she is the passing of the last alii. She’s not,” he added.

The last burial at Mauna Ala was Kawanakoa’s uncle, Prince David Kalakaua Kawananakoa, in 1953.

Her granite crypt is still being built by her estate. Kawananakoa will be buried at a later date.