More on Aunty Elizabeth from Bishop Museum’s post today, 1959.

‘Aunty Elizabeth,’ Kalakaua Ave. Lei-Seller, Dies

Another familiar face in the fast-changing Waikiki scenery passed from view Saturday with the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Hoopii Delovio—”Aunty Elizabeth” to thousands.

The 54-year-old woman and two others were the first to set up a lei stand in Waikiki some 35 years ago.

Aunty had been selling leis in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel ever since, with her dark-colored 1929…

Elizabeth Delovio

…Chevrolet as her store front.

No one was a stranger to her. She greeted each passer-by along the busy avenue with a smile. Friendly conversation often followed, and maybe a gift of gardenia from Aunty as a token of her aloha.

She was the epitome of Hawaii’s aloha spirit.


One of Aunty’s five daughters probably will take over her stand. Another daughter and a niece operate two of the five stands on Kalakaua Avenue.

Aunty suffered a stroke about six months ago. When she was well enough, she returned several hours a day to her stand.

She died Saturday at Kuakini Hospital. Her address was 516 Kauhane Street.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at Borthwick Mortuary: the procession will leave there at 2 p.m. for burial at Kaahumanu Cemetery.

Friends may call at the mortuary from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and after 8 a.m. Saturday.

Mrs. Delovio is survived by: two sons, Samuel and Kalani; five daughters: Mrs. Bella Kaimi, Mrs. Emily Peneku, Mrs. Pai Zablan, Mrs. Evelyn Hanamaikai and May Delovio [Mae Delovio]; two brothers, Benjaminn Kaluna and Elisah Lono Jr.; and a sister, Mrs. Mabel Dupre of California.

[If you didn’t see Bishop Museum’s post today, check it out by clicking here.]

(Star-Bulletin, 2/16/1959, p. 1A)

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume 48 Number 40, Page 1-A. February 16, 1959.

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