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“A Break in the Web” – for Nate

Banner photo:  Nate at the top of Devil’s Tower – an arduous climb – and typical of a Nate adventure.


Devils Tower in northeastern Wyoming – you can see that scaling this monolith would be an accomplishment!    Image:

Nathan O’Kones (February 16, 1982 – June 7, 2018)  –  our friend, computer expert, a young man who valued integrity, loved nature and the ocean – and being “outside” the box.


For Nate – poem by Shelby Kane & matting by Sherri Reeve

A Break in the Web

We grieve because we are a part

of one another

Connected by the golden thread

that binds us all

The absence of another is felt deeply

within our souls

We are displaced

when someone has departed

We don’t feel right,

we don’t feel centered

We lose our place and feel invalid

Whenever life’s flow is interrupted

The threads of our existence unravel

It is the others in our life

who weave us back together

Making us whole and strong once again

                                                                                           by Shelby Kane


Nate – sailing in the Virgin Islands


The life of a soul on earth lasts beyond his departure.

You will

always feel that life touching


that voice speaking to

you, that spirit looking out of

other eyes,

            talking to you in the

                        familiar things he touched,

                                  worked with,

                                            loved as familiar friends.

He lives on in your life and in the lives of all others that knew him.

                               – by Angelo Patri



Nate’s mom Barbara was here on Maui the last 12 days or so to finalize Nate’s responsibilities and material goods.  I feel blessed to get to know her – and Nate’s friends  we had never met.

Nate does live on.

Our son Johnny, who counted Nate as one of his best friends, planted an ulu tree, a tree that nourishes many (our “Nate” tree)  in our yard; we think Nate would like that.


Nate’s glass tree plate – made by his beloved aunt

May we hold each other in the light.   As Ram Dass (& artist Sherri Reeve) say, “We are all just walking each other home.”

Our loss reminds us of the importance of each day and each person in our lives.

Aloha, Renee


We love you, Nate.


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In Memory: Russell David Rosene – “I grow toward the light”

Russ was a Friend. Always cheerful and full of stories from his life of travel and service, Russ was a great addition to our small Quaker meetings whenever he and his lovely wife Darlene visited Maui.   He liked everyone. When my son John was young, he had a pet rat, Rascal; Russ took an interest in John – and Rascal!

Recently, we celebrated Russ with a memorial service at Kameole III Beach Park in Kihei, Maui.

To honor Russell David Rosene xx

To honor Russell David Rosene

“Russell D. Rosene died peacefully in his sleep early on August 23, 2014, at the age of 92. He was born in Massachusetts, of Swedish ancestry, moved to Flint, Michigan and later to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Hollywood High School and got his first job at Walt Disney studios [how cool is that?].

A radio officer in the Merchant Marine, Russ served in both Pacific and Atlantic theatres of World War II. He was known for his stories and his sharp memories of the events of those years. At his death, Russ was a member of the Carl W. Minor chapter of the American Merchant Marine Veterans.

Nalu and John - and Barry

Nalu and John K. – and Barry – at Russ’s memorial celebration of life

Russ worked internationally with the United Nations, the Peace Corps, the American Friends Service Committee, and other organizations, which sent him to many countries throughout the world, especially to Latin America, where he became fluent in Spanish.

Linda and Bob

Linda and Bob

He returned to the sea for his last years of employment, working with the Chevron oil company tanker fleet where he ended a career as radio officer that spanned fifty years.

Ed, Mele, Darlene, & Hilary

Ed, Mele, Darlene, Barry, & Hilary

Russ was very fond of Avila Beach [in San Luis Obispo County, California] having moved there with his first wife, Nita, and young family in the early 1950s. Though he left many times to take up international positions, he kept returning to the San Luis Obispo area, living in Oceano and most recently in Shell Beach. He was frequently seen with his camera, taking shots of the beautiful sights of the beaches, the rolling hills, trees, wildflowers, and sunsets. ‘I am phototropic,’ he would say, ‘I grow toward the light.’

Mele and Darlene

Mele and Darlene

A gregarious personality, Russ was someone who truly loved life. He enjoyed outdoor adventures, meeting new people, and learning about their lives. Infused with Quaker principles as a volunteer in the Gaza Strip in 1949, he was also a humanitarian with an active interest in the plight of others.

John, Mele, Judy, Barry, & Pat

John, Mele, Judy, Barry, & Pat

Married three times, he is survived by his wife, Darlene Tunney; his first wife, Nita Rosene; their son, Chris (Sheila) and their daughter, Sandra. He leaves behind three grandchildren – Maya, Josh, and Ryan; and three great-granddaughters – Hilayah, Natalia, and Georgia. He is also survived by second wife, Wilda Rosene; step-children, Lisa Tunney Irwin (Peter) and Tyler Tunney (Ruth); step-grandsons – Joseph, Captain Jack, and Campbell.

Russ Rosene cruising in his red Mustang convertible

Russ Rosene cruising in his red Mustang convertible

Those who knew Russ knew he always had a cup of coffee, whether on tour somewhere in his red Mustang convertible, or back home with Darlene where there is a plaque that reads, ‘This home is full of love, laughter and lots of coffee!’

His final days were spent at Casa Rosa Elder Care, where he received the finest of tender loving care. He retained a strong appetite and love of food, always consuming everything on his plate.

Russ - a member of

Russ – a member of “the clean plate club” 🙂

Lisa spoke for the whole family to wish him ‘sunny skies and apple pies’” –  written by Darlene Tunney and Chris Rosene.

xx, xx Carol, Ed, John

Bill, Terry, Carol, Ed, John M. –  some of those remembering Russ

For those of us in a world without Russ in a physical form, Darlene shared an excerpt from Mary Oliver’s poem,

“In Blackwater Woods”

“To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it


to let it go.”


On the way to the water's edge - Darlene & John L. xx

On the way to the water’s edge – Darlene & John L.

John Longmire - piloting Russ' ashes out into the sea he so loved

John Longmire – piloting Russ’ ashes out into the sea Russ so loved

Carol chanting - and presenting Darlene with a lei

Carol sharing a Hawaiian chant – and presenting Darlene with a lei

Paddling out with Russ' ashes

John L. paddling out with Russ’ ashes

From the shore, we watched and tossed flowers into the ocean

From the shore, we watched – and tossed flowers into the ocean

The strong current swept all our flowers straight out into the ocean

The strong current swept almost all our flowers straight out into the ocean

Although it wasn't necessary, a concerned lifeguard swam out to see if John needed help and add his blessings.

A concerned lifeguard swam out to see if John needed help ( he didn’t) and added  his own blessings.

John back on shore - with Darlene

John back on shore – with Darlene

One flower remained on the shore

One tossed flower remained at the edge of the ocean

We shared a great feast –  tasty and healthy (with not a single bag of potato chips)!

We shared a great feast (with not a single bag of potato chips) - Judy, John M., Karen , xxxx

From right: Judy, John M., Karen, Aunt Rose, Ed, Carol, Terry, Darlene, Bill, Laura – her legs, John L., and Debbie

On the table in the foreground are three big apple pies.  Russ would have loved to eat a slice too.

Nalu kept busy

Nalu kept busy

Memorial table

Memorial table

Life goes on - but we remember Russ

Life goes on – but we remember Russ

Over his lifetime, Russ saw what war and displacement do to people. He leaves us with these words:

Poem on Peace – by Russ Rosene

Yes, all war is hell

It brings us no end

Of wrongs still to tell

And lives still to mend

And wounds still to heal

That won’t ever cease

To urge us to deal

And form a new peace

And restore what’s lost

By the whole human race

In confronting the cost

And in smoothing each face

Of still-angered men

Or still-grieving wives

Who still ask us when

Their much-shattered lives

Can rebuild new hope

In truth and not lies

As we learn to cope

As each of us tries

To restore good will

In trust and in song

And peace to fulfill

“Can’t we just get along?”


A meaningful way to remember Russ is to think of his words whenever we want to lash out, “Can’t we just get along?”

RIP: Russell David Rosene – b. April 13, 1922, d. August 23, 2014

Russ and Darlene and xxx

Russ and Darlene with Buddy

I am blessed to have known Russ.

Aloha, Renée

P.S. The radio room on the American Victory Ship/Mariners Memorial Museum will be named the “Russ Rosene Radio Room.”   Stationed in Tampa, Florida, this ship is one of four still operating; visitors can get a feel of World War II experiences.  To learn more, go to

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