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NO. 2020 – 8


WHEREAS, Malia was born May 1, 1978, in San Antonio, Texas to Merriellen Pualani Howell Graham and Leon Graham, who served as a medical officer in the United States Air Force; and

WHEREAS, Malia, being part of a military family moved frequently, lived in Texas, Ohio, California, and Arizona, and learned to cope with challenges, adjust to different environments, form loyal friendships, and live each day committed to being a positive source of service to others; and

WHEREAS, Malia married Dave Thurman on March 25, 2000, and found her real purpose in life as a loving, supportive wife and a dedicated mother to their children Jada Kēhaulani, Taylor Kāwika, and Mia Lauaʻeomakana; and

WHEREAS, Malia’s immediate family was her first priority but her “family circle” rippled out to her parents, siblings, extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors; and

WHEREAS, Malia knew the importance of education, not just the formal education of high school and college, but learning about people and cultures; and

WHEREAS, Malia attended Brigham Young University – Hawaiʻi, Brigham Young University – Provo, Middle Tennessee State University, and finally, not withstanding many changes of residences and employment, received her degree in Sociology from the University of Washington; and

WHEREAS, Malia spent childhood summers in Hawaiʻi with her maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and felt strongly connected to her Hawaiian heritage; and

WHEREAS, Malia’s aunt, Māpuana de Silva, a well-respected kumu hula in Hawaiʻi, offered Malia the opportunity to expand her passion for everything Hawaiian by attending summer classes to learn the art of hula; and

WHEREAS, in 2015, Malia did ʻūniki as ʻōlapa at the top of her class; and

WHEREAS, Malia’s abilities and talents were expressed in serving her family and the community; and


WHEREAS, in 2009, Malia, along with two friends felt that the children of Polynesian ancestry needed to be better served, and because of their persistent efforts, the Pacific Heritage Academy charter school was opened in 2013; and

WHEREAS, Malia wholeheartedly supported everything Hawaiian; and

WHEREAS, Malia helped Hui Hawaiʻi O Utah in Salt Lake City with fundraisers even though she was not an official member; and

WHEREAS, Malia and Dave were members of Kauwahi ʻAnaina Hawaiʻi Hawaiian Civic Club in Provo, Utah, and both devoted many hours in a fundraising event that raised thousands of dollars for Kauwahi ʻAnaina Hawaiʻi Hawaiian Civic Club while they were coping with busy work and family schedules; and

WHEREAS, Malia served as the Secretary for Kauwahi ʻAnaina Hawaiʻi Hawaiian Civic Club in 2016 and had to curtail her activity when she was diagnosed with cancer; and

WHEREAS, Malia valiantly endured cancer treatments, was in remission for a short time, but finally succumbed to the disease on March 3, 2020; and

WHEREAS, during her illness Malia continued to think of others and was an inspiration to her family and friends, and her earthly life was not nearly long enough for those who love her and remain on this earth, however, she left a strong legacy in how she lived, how she loved, and how she chose.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 61st Annual Convention held online, in the malama of Makali‘i and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu, this 22nd day of November 2020, honoring the life of Malia Michelle Graham Thurman; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a moment of silence be held in honor of Malia Michelle Graham Thurman; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to her husband Dave Thurman, her parents Pualani and Leon Graham, her aunt and kumu hula Māpuana de Silva, the Governor of the State of Utah, the Mayor of American Fork, Utah, the president of Kauwahi ʻAnaina Hawai‘i Hawaiian Civic Club, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the Hawaiʻi State Senate, Speaker of the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives, Chair of the Hawaiʻi State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Hawaiʻi State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors in the state of Hawaiʻi.

The undersigned herby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Makaliʻi and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu on the 22nd day of November 2020, at the 61st Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held online.

Hailama V.K.K. Farden, President