About Us | Homelani Memorial Park

About Us

History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Established in 1871 as a burial place, Homelani was originally called Halai Hill Cemetery. It was not until 1923 that the name was changed to Homelani, meaning "Heavenly Home" in Hawaiian.

At Homelani Memorial Park you will find our unique Japanese Garden, which embraces the traditional Japanese style of creating beauty and aestheticism in the most natural form.

In 1870, the people of the First Foreign Church in Hilo decided it was important to own a burial place for the foreign population of Hilo. They found a desirable location situated on Ponahawai and contacted the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Pitman. Through various correspondence and arrangements, the church secured possession of the land on April 25, 1871. The name "Halai Hill Cemetery" was given to their new found place.

The first interment was of Arthur Lyman, the two-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Lyman. The young infant drowned in the bath tub, August 5, 1871. There were four other interments recorded in 1871, which were removals from other burial grounds.

The name Homelani was officially adopted by the Trustees in 1923. On her dying bed in 1884, the wife of the former Governor Kipi whispered "Homelani" (Heavenly Home) when asked where she would like to be buried. She was referring to the Halai Hill Cemetery. From then on, the cemetery was popularly known as "Homelani," thus influencing the name change.

We accommodate people of all faiths.

Our Valued Staff

Dennis Boser Jr.

Dennis Boser Jr., Area Operations Director

Wayde  Towata

Wayde Towata, General Manager/Funeral Director

Marlene  Eleneki

Marlene Eleneki, Office Manager/Family Service Supervisor

Josh Stensrud

Josh Stensrud, Funeral Director

Margarita Ramos

Margarita Ramos, Family Service Counselor

James Peneueta

James Peneueta, Family Service Counselor

Darren Lee

Darren Lee, Community Service Counselor

Edna Russell

Edna Russell, Family Service Counselor

Jessica Arruda

Jessica Arruda, Community Service Counselor

Johnross Andrade

Johnross Andrade, Cemetery Caretaker

Waylan  Silva

Waylan Silva, Cemetery Caretaker