Couple killed in house fire remembered as high school sweethearts enjoying their golden years

Two lives lost in Makiki fire, a Vietnam War Veteran and an entertainer who raised a family together.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:50 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 5:05 AM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Family members are mourning a beloved elderly couple who died in a Makiki house fire last week. The two were high school sweethearts enjoying their golden years together.

Danny and Patti Ching were remembered for their good humor, generosity and kindness.

Son Derek Ching said they had different personalities, but were so good together.

“She was a singer, he was a guitarist, from what I remember, and so they met in a band,” he said.

Danny Ching went to Saint Louis School and Patti to Sacred Hearts.

After getting married, they had two children.

Their granddaughter, Sara Ching, got a chance to visit them last October.

“I just saw them last year and they were ... pretty much having fun with their lives,” she said.

Derek Ching said he flew in to see his parents in early February when his dad had a health scare.

He said it’s his understanding that his health may have played a role in the fire on Spencer Street that investigators said was caused by an unattended portable cooking burner on the porch.

“Dad liked to cook, but again I know he had some health issues, and I think my understanding was he might have had a cardiac arrest,” said Derek Ching. “And then things went from there, I suppose.”

The Ching family has created a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses.

They said proceeds will also go toward creating an educational fire safety awareness program for kupuna.

“It’s important to educate the kupuna and really understanding the safety procedures,” said their second son, Danny Ching. “I’m sure there are some local classes and things maybe you don’t have to go to that degree.”