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Sunya Echternach


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Very sad news from Maui this evening.  Sunya's son, Paul, called me from Kahului, Maui, to inform me that Sunya passed away on January 7th, 2022. Sunya has been a dear friend for some 25 years, and was a driving force 20 years ago to get the small Maui Palm Society up and running and by sheer willpower she kept it running for many years. She would also often visit the Big Island when HIPS (Hawaii Island Palm Society) had a garden tour. HIPS also had a very memorable weekend (Friday-Sunday) outing to Oahu in 2002. Ray Baker, sadly no longer with us, was our very knowledgeable guide and we visited Foster, Lyon and Ho'omaluhia with about four HIPS members from the Big Island and Sunya flying over from Maui. The last time I saw Sunya was in conjunction with a HIPS tour to Maui in August 2015, when Kim and I stopped by at her place, a mile up from the famous road to Hana. She lived there, on her seven acres in her own personal rainforest, with many palms in the ground and a number of animals, including her pet donkey (see photo).  Since then I kept in touch with Sunya via phone calls on an infrequent basis. Sadly her health deteriorated quite bit the last several years. There will be a memorial on her property, probably in April. When I receive more information, I will post it here.


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Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm


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I was saddened to hear this news about Sunya. She was so welcoming when we visited. She had a great fondness for her beloved donkeys. Rest in peace, Sunya.

Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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