I had the good fortune to join the Mānoa Heritage Center (MHC) Board in its early days and to witness Mary in action, pursuing her passion as the founder of MHC, together with her husband Sam, the dynamic duo. Mary was singularly gracious, charming, hospitable, persuasive, amazingly resilient, and tenacious. She was also fun and funny, loved telling a good story, and retained that slightly mischievous smile and sparkle in her eye. What a privilege to witness their years of work and careful planning come to fruition and how grateful we are to her and Sam for the gift of Mānoa Heritage Center to the community. Warmest aloha to her daughters, grandchildren, and the Board and staff of MHC. Onward!
I’m so sorry to hear this. Mary lived a wonderful, generous, inspiring life.
Mary was such a sweet, kind woman who did so much for our beautiful Mānoa Valley!
She was such an amazing lady with the greatest love for the children of Hawaiʻi. We love our yearly visits to the 💖 Heritage Center and especially loved chatting with her. Oh, I am so sad to hear of her passing. She was such a great lady and opened her heart to give our students the very best learning experience through the Mānoa Heritage Center. Our Hau tree will be a great reminder of her legacy.
Laurie and our Hauʻula Team of students and educators
Mary always communicated kindness, compassion, and warmth. Her life of Aloha will be with us forever; and Mary’s spirit, along with Sam’s, will always enrich Mānoa Heritage Center.
Phyllis Oliver (Docent)
Our hearts go out to the Cooke ʻohana, friends, and community. Mānoa has been so fortunate to be enriched and supported by her (and Sam’s) gracious leadership and friendship.
Aloha mai no kakou,
On behalf of the Hawaiian Church of Hawaiʻi Nei, Kahu Lokoʻolu, Kiaʻi Kahoa ʻIhilani Chu, and our Board of Directors, we send our sincerest condolences to the Mānoa Heritage Center Staff and ʻOhana for the loss of your founder and exemplary leader, Mary Cooke. We send prayers of comfort and Aloha to each of you. We also Pule to the heavens, the gates open and Akua greets her with peace, love, and joy. She was a lovely woman who we were very honored to have met and having her always visit our workshops.
O kau ola i te akua i na pulapula,
Kahu Pohāleo Lokoʻolu Quintero
Mary was a dear friend and someone whom I always admired whether it was for her community work on the Punahou Board, in The Garden Club of Honolulu, and as founder of Mālama Mānoa and The Mānoa Heritage Center. Along with her husband Sam, they were a force for good and we can all be grateful for the many ways they made our lives here in Hawaiʻi better.
Mary has been a godsend to the community and Hawaiian cultural preservation. She did an amazing job carrying on the legacy after Sam passed. Her good works with the Mānoa Heritage Center were truly stellar – she consistently made a positive difference. We will miss her sweet smile and gentle demeanor more than words can express. At least we know that she is without question in a much better place and back together with Sam.
I just read the very sad news and wanted to send my heartfelt condolences. I imagine everyone in the Center feels they have lost a “mother” in many ways as I know how personally dedicated she was to the Center. It must bring you comfort that she saw the new campus come to life and thrive and become such a vital part of the community. Mānoa and Hawaiʻi have lost a dear and gentle friend.
Mary was a wonderful woman and such a leader in our community. She is now with Sam, her lifelong partner.