At 98, beloved grandmother lost in fire remembered as ‘strongest’ person in her family

Louise Abihai, of Lahaina, was the 60th fire victim to be identified.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 7:18 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 3:06 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Louise Abihai, of Lahaina, was the 60th fire victim to be identified and her family is remembering the beloved matriarch as the strongest person they knew.

At 98 years old, Abihai is the eldest wildfire victim so far.

Special Section: Those We Lost in Lahaina

After weeks of hoping for the best, her remains were found in the rubble of the senior affordable housing community Hale Mahaolu Eono.

Abihai’s grandson Clifford Abihai told HNN the FBI identified her through dental records and DNA.

“I was, you know, hoping like you said for the best,” Clifford said. “And, you know, it didn’t come out that way.”

Clifford says his grandmother grew up on the Valley Isle and raised multiple generations of children.

“Out of everybody in my family, [she was the] strongest person in our family.”

Clifford said his grandmother was still walking a mile a day, doing everything she could. And she lived a full life.

“She did everything from folding clothes at hotels, receptionists bartender. You know, the front desk, you know, she did it,” he said.

“She did everything.”

Meanwhile, Clifford says surviving residents from Hale Mahaolu are planning to sue the complex over their evacuation protocols.

We reached out to the management and have not received a response.