Mrs. Panioikawai French.
The one whose name appears at the title of this essay, is that fine woman and old time familiar one amongst us who was always known by Honolulu’s people by the name of Panio. She was the widow of that old haole trader of Hawaii nei, that is Mika Palani. Panio was born in Waikele, Ewa, on the 15th of July 1817. She was married to her husband, Mr. William French (Mika Palani) in the year 1836 at Kailua, Hawaii. Governor Kuakini was the one who married the two; and she lived together with her husband until death separated them. They had three children–and a daughter survives today; she is a mother who is respected along with her husband and their four children–there are twin boys, one who has died, and the other lives in China.
On this past 24th of February, Panio left this bodily life, at the residence of her daughter at Kaakopua, after being confined with a painful sickness for several weeks. While sick, her patient nature was apparent, along with her unwavering faith in the righteousness of the Lord, her Savior and her Salvation; and there she remained until her hour in which she was victorious over her body. There perhaps was a prayer before her death; met with her were some friends, and after words of aloha, she responded: “We are blessed; praised be the name of the Lord.” Those were her very last words. She did not say anymore until the day she left, when she said clearly: “Aloha,” three times and her bodyʻs function was over.
Panio was a familiar and a brethren of Kawaiahao Church. Her constant friends were the fine women who were also kamaaina to the people of Honolulu, and most of them have passed on–Kekai, Hana Pauma, Halaki Adams, Nakapalau, Kaikaina, Malaea Kanamu, Kawao, Kamaile, Nakookoo, Pakohana. They are fine Hawaiian women of the stature referred to as a true Hawaiian. Panio was also a kamaaina in the presence of the alii as well as the haole.
I wrote this down because of my aloha for her and her children and grandchildren. Aloha for that mother and grandmother of devout heart. Her name is more perfumed than the costly perfumes of India. And I write this for all of the brethren of Hawaii. Let us emulate the righteous and not the sinful. Let us follow the footsteps of the good until we overcome.
Kawaiahao, March 1, 1880.
(Kuokoa, 3/6/1880, p. 4)