Remembering the first woman lieutenant governor of Hawaii

Published On: Dec 28 2013 05:38:00 PM HST

At 87, Jean Sadako King, lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. King will be remembered as Hawaii's first female lieutenant governor, loving grandmother, and passionate environmentalist.

HONOLULU -

A funeral service for the first woman lieutenant governor of Hawaii was held today at Kawaiaha'o Church.

At 87, Jean Sadako King, lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

Hawaii mourns the loss of the woman that many knew as a true pioneer. King served in the House of Representatives and the state Senate. In 1978, she became the state's first female lieutenant governor serving under Gov. George Ariyoshi.

"Her curve was extremely high, it was fast. She was a trailblazer and she set the standard for women in politics," said John Mizuno, vice speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

But her grandchildren will remember her as grandma Jean a determined person who knew what she wanted to get done and stuck with it. They grew up seeing her passion for the environment as she made sure that Hawaii's resources were protected.

"She said we were a part of the Shoreline Protection Act and it provides access to the beaches and protecting the coastline and making sure people can get to the beach. I thought 'Wow that's so cool that you were a part of that,'" said King's grandson, Lanikea King.

King was always a part of organizations that pushed for peace.

For more than 25 years, King attended services at The Quaker House. Through the religious society, she promoted peace and change in the community.

"One of the really remarkable things about Jean is the way she was able to combine a really determined social activism and devotion to peace and justice with a kind of inner peace and confidence," said Robert Bley-Vroman, clerk of Honolulu Friends Meeting.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie ordered all U.S. and state flags be flown at half-staff in her honor.

Kings latest concerns were homelessness and prison reform.

She was a mother of two, but family members say King lost her daughter in 2011 due to leukemia, and her son, a few years before due to liver complications.

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