Governor Orders All Flags to be Half-Staff on Monday

May 18, 2012, 7:39 PM HST · Updated May 18, 7:48 PM
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Rodney S. Yap

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today ordered all national and Hawai’i flags at state offices and agencies as well as Hawai’i National Guard facilities to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, May 21, in memory of former state Senator Wadsworth Y.H. Yee. Senator Yee died May 8 at age 90.

“Senator Yee’s leadership as a veteran, public servant, businessman and developer truly shaped the Hawai’i we know today,” said Governor Abercrombie. “His legacy is continued in many of our public and private institutions, and he will be dearly missed.”

Yee served in the territorial and state House from 1958 to 1962, and later served in the state Senate, representing the 11th District (Manoa-McCully-Waikiki) from 1966 to 1982. He served in the US Army during World War II, discharged in 1946 as a corporal, and served in the Army Reserve attaining the rank of major.

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Along with former state House Speaker Hiram Fong, Yee became part of a group that founded Grand Pacific Life Insurance Co. in 1957. He also served as president and chief executive officer of Grand Pacific, which at its height had agencies in California, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Samoa and America Samoa.

Senator Yee is survived by wife Aileen S. Kitaoka-Yee; sons Alan, Randall and Brian; stepsons Barney and Reid Tokujo; stepdaughter Carrie Kitashima; stepbrother Thomas Leong; 17 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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