ESTHER YUK LIN LEE LAU May 17, 1917 - June 10, 2014
Esther Lau rejoined her husband Albert the morning of April 18, 2015, following a beautiful morning service and communion on Magic Island for immediate family members. For 22 years, Esther and Albert leased and operated Alexander Grocery ("The Chink Store") on Alexander Street in Makiki that was the snack and family pick-up stop for many Punahou and Maryknoll students and served basic grocery needs of surrounding neighborhood. The Laus truly loved that little store and their patrons, remembering numerous by name and countless more by face. A true "Mom & Pop store--I trust you, you trust me" existence, good ol' face-to-face communication with all, just a 'plain vanilla' work ethic which succeeded as they intended. A news article upon the store's closing in the mid-1970's states, "The Laus are a special kind of people, they offered advice, philosophy, encouragement and help where needed, kept athletes on training diets, bucked up potential drop-outs, clamped down on fighting, profanity, smoking, and corrected sloppy English. a year-round lost and found department, (conveyed) messages between parents and children, made hundreds of small loans for phone calls, bus fares, and food." Mom was quoted, "It's the relationship we've had with the children. without them and the store, we couldn't have brought up our own children as well. We've learned as much from them as they've learned from us. We're really going to miss this." Subsequently, the couple and their children have been stopped by many who remembered them and their shaved ice, manapua, hamburgers, candy, soda, and sushi. The Laus previously lived in Wahiawa, where Albert founded Albert's Cleaners. Not many know that Esther early on also sold the World Book Encyclopedia door-to-door just to earn a set for her own family, and worked as an employee of the State Legislature when it was located at Iolani Palace. A spirited woman of strong faith, Esther worshipped at St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in Palama, and more recently the Parish of St. Clement, which served Arcadia Retirement Residence, home during her final 14 years. Besides family, music was her love, and she often surprised staff and residents with the beautiful singing of many old Hawaiian songs. She passed from this life the way many would envy - she had an engaged, relaxing day, ate a good dinner (including dessert), and retired for the night. Survivors include daughter Linda Lau Teruya; sons Michael (Soleah Tirase) and Richard (Helen) Lau; brother-in-law Raymond D.K. Lau; 6 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews. On-line condolences at www.borthwickoahu.com (The Star-Advertiser)
Former proprietor of Alexander Grocery (Chink Store) with husband Albert, for 22 years. She had been a resident of Arcadia Retirement Residence for the past 14 years.
Sister: Mildred Lum
Brother-in-Law: Raymond D. K. Lau
Daughter: Linda Teruya
Sons: Michael (Soleah Tirase) Lau
Richard (Helen) Lau
6 grandchildren (Tyler Teruya, Wendi Lau, Tracy Kaita, Questor Lau, Michael Tim Lau, Epiphani Raabe)
7 great grandchildren
Several nieces and nephews
In lieu of monetary offerings, donations may be made to St. Clement's Episcopal Church, 1515 Wilder Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822, or other organizations of choice.
Guest book HERE
The Chink Store by Chuck Weldon
Everyday in high school, I visited the The Chink Store... I ate the shave ice, the manapua, the crack-seed, the steamed hamburgers.... it was a true wonder and a special place of love....