Funeral for a Friend


Today was the service for Sherwood Greenwell who died recently at the age of 85. Hundreds made their way to Christ Church in Kalukalu just up the street from the old Greenwell Store which is now the Kona Historical Society.


There were so many people standing in line that they had to just have folks take their seats and start the service. I was asked to shoot some photos for friends that could not attend the service, I also had to shoot video which turned out to be quite a task as my video camera batteries kept dying. Though charged-up they couldn’t keep up with the taxing drain of a videocamera, for still photos they do okay. Went through about five batteries.


Billy Paris provided song, kind words and some funny stories about life with Sherwood in the old days.


The crowd filled the tent set-up for the service, this many people would have overwhelmed the church itself had it been held indoors.


John Olson provided the eulogy for the service.


Folks viewed photographs with Sherwood in earlier years with politicians and other notable people. Sherwood was elected to the Big Island’s Board of Supervisors which later became the county council. You can still see his name on a plaque on the inside of Afook-Chinen Auditorium (the last time I looked years ago).


We will miss Sherwood.

I used to be on the board of directors for the Kona Historical Society and worked with Sherwood on several projects including oral histories of ranches and ranching. It was amazing the knowledge he had and the details he would remember from days gone. It was always a pleasure to be in his company to hear what he had to say and his candid opinion. In line with how Sherwood liked to talk-story and share information the Society has a very open policy for access to information, researchers have always praised how helpful the Society is. If you ever have a chance to go through Kealakekua stop by the Kona Historical Society, its forté is its photo collection and that’s what drew me to the organization.

In my family funeral services are like reunions, it’s the only time all of the busy relatives take time to come together. And because food is catered for the service family members always complains about the food. This doesn’t taste right, or that isn’t as good as the way the family resturant makes it. They actually prepared the food once for one of the services for our relatives, that’s the only time they didn’t complain, it was a hassle to do but I guess it was worth it.

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