ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
No. 2017 – 19
REMEMBERING THE LIFE OF JOHN JOSEPH “KAPENA” BISSEN, JR.
WHEREAS, John J. Bissen Jr., 88 of Las Vegas, Nevada and Kahului, Maui passed away October 4, 2017; and
WHEREAS, John was born in Kahului, Maui on November 24, 1928 to Julia Pa‘ahana‘ole (Ohia/Ahulau) Bissen hānau Hilo, Hawai‘i and John Jack (Luaehu) Bissen hānau Lahaina, Maui; and
WHEREAS, he was the 4th of seven children: Henry Buddy, Rudolf Anthony, Cornelia Leina‘ala, John Joseph, Bernard Kanani, Norbert Blaise, and Francis Clement; and
WHEREAS, John attended St. Anthony School, Maui and graduated with the class of 1947; and
WHEREAS, after graduating John enlisted with the U. S. Army requesting to be stationed in Europe, in order to visit the gravesite (Maastrich, Holland) of his brother Henry Buddy killed by friendly fire in Russian territory on April 29, 1945, during World War II; and
WHEREAS, John was trained as a Finance Specialist and was assigned to Nuremburg, Germany serving over two years abroad; and
WHEREAS, prior to his re-enlistment into officer’s training school, John was requested by his father to return to Maui due to the sudden illness of his mother; and
WHEREAS, upon his return to his beloved town of Kahului Maui, John began his career on the Hawaiian waterfront: Pier 1 with Young Brothers Hawai‘i in 1949; promoted in 1961 to supervisor for Dillingham Maritime, Honolulu; promoted in 1968, to the Port of Long Beach, California from which John retired in 1998, having served ten years with Matson; and
WHEREAS, in 1952 at the Maui Palms Hotel, John’s eyes fell upon a beautiful Maui girl, Helen Frances (Aikau/Kekahua) Apo, a primary dancer for her sister, Kumu Hula Rena Maile Mahoe (Apo) Ching; and
WHEREAS, in 1954 John and Helen married in Christ the King Church and began to raise a family of four: Tieri Pa‘ahana Leilani, Roxane Kalei‘ohu, Henry Buddy and Johnen Healani ; and
WHEREAS, after retirement, John became an dedicated active Hawaiian Civic Club member of several clubs on the continent serving two terms as Pelekikena of ‘Āinahau o Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club, member of ‘Ahahui ‘o Lili‘uokalani Hawaiian Civic Club, charted member of Southern Nevada HCC, member of Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club, many years as a delegate of the Mainland Council of Association of Hawaiian Civic Club as well as many years also a delegate to Association Hawaiian Civic Club conventions; and
WHEREAS, in service to perpetuate his Hawaiian culture and values to the community at large, John “Kapena” and Helen “Aunty Mo” traveled for over 15 years demonstrating Hawaiian arts, crafts and planting in schools of Los Angeles and Orange County; California Festivals of Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, Nevada Festivals in Las Vegas and Utah Festivals in Iosepa and Salt Lake City; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, Kapena and his ‘ohana received the highly prized Association of Hawaiian Civic Club’s Pualeilani Award for the Outstanding Hawaiian Civic Club Family; and
WHEREAS, John is survived by his beloved companion and wife of 63 years Helen and 4 children: Pa‘ahana, Roxane, Henry and Johnen, father-in-law to Bruce J Whitney and Mark E Akiona; Papa to his grandchildren: Sean Joseph, Leah Roxane and Helen Tieri Whitney, Paulina Ululani and Kristina Leikukuiokalani Akiona; grand Papa to Madison Kapena Li‘ili‘i Ruvalcaba, Joanne and Casey Rodriguez; brother to Francis C and sister-in-law Teresa Bissen; ‘Ohana of Henry William and Victoria (Luaehu) Bissen; ‘Ohana of Lameka and Rosalind (Ohia) Ahula and ‘Ohana of Alama (Kuala‘au) and Mary Elizabeth (Aikau-Kekahuna) Chee Fook Ah-po Apo.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 58th Annual Convention in Seattle, Washington, in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani, this 4th day of November 2017, remembering the life of John Joseph “Kapena” Bissen; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a moment of silence be observed in honor of John Joseph “Kapena” Bissen; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to , Helen F. Bissen, Johnen H. Akiona, Francis C. Bissen, Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club and Ainahau o Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani on the 4th day of November 2017, at the 58th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Seattle, Washington.
Annelle C. Amaral, President