By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Amy Gamble Lannan, described as “one of the last grande dames of Hilo,” died June 13 at home of natural causes. She was 95.
Lannan, who was born in McKeesport, Pa., co-founded the Tasha Ohana Animal Sanctuary in Hilo and operated Lannan’s Lihi Kai on Hilo Bay bed-and-breakfast. She was also an active volunteer for numerous organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
“She was a really outgoing woman,” said Lannan’s daughter, Laurie, who continues to run the animal sanctuary. “She became very active with the Humane Society here. “
Laurie Lannan said that before moving to Hawaii in the early 1970s, her mother, who had been widowed “years before” ran an Aberdeen Angus cattle ranch.
“When she left Pennsylvania, she donated 40 acres to the Humane Society in Allegheny County,” she noted. “Then when she moved here, she met Kapua Heuer (a descendant of the Wall ranching family of Kona and a relative of famed paniolo Ikua Purdy) and Tommy Lindsey, who was, at the time, manager of the Shipman Ranch in Keaau.”
Laurie Lannan said that her mother “moved here at Christmastime and fell in love” with the Big Island. She quickly befriended many of Hilo’s elite, including the Shipmans, Blackshears and Mebanes. She was a lifetime member of the Hilo Yacht Club became close friends with its then-manager, Yoshiko “Charlie” Nakaoka, who died in 1997 at age 80.
“They called her and Charlie ‘the two old ladies,’” Lannan said and laughed.
Lannan said her mother started the bed-and-breakfast on Kahoa Street in Paukaa in the 1980s and ran it “until a year or two ago.”
“She had heart surgery about four years ago and came through that just fine,” she said.
Private services were held.
Other survivors include daughter, Lucile (Michael) Rosen of San Francisco, Calif.; son, Lance Patrick (Jackie) Lannan of Alberta, Canada; brother, Payton Gamble of Pennsylvania; six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and one step-great-granddaughter.
Memorial donations may be made to the Tasha Ohana Animal Sanctuary, 374 Alaloa Road, Hilo, HI 96720.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.