Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered that all national and Hawaii flags at state offices and agencies as well as Hawaii National Guard facilities are to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, May 21, in memory of former state Sen. Wadsworth Y.H. Yee. Yee died May 8 at age 90.
“Sen. Yee’s leadership as a veteran, public servant, businessman and developer truly shaped the Hawaii we know today,” Abercrombie said. “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 U.S. Army during World War II, was discharged in 1946 as a corporal, and served in the Army Reserve attaining the rank of major.
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.
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. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Nu‘uanu Memorial Park and Mortuary, followed by services at 11:30 a.m. Inurnment will be private.