Skip to main content

Home > Memories


In Memoriam

Agnes Niyekawa, Emeritus Professor of Japanese

May 9,1924 to May 4,2012

Agnes was born on May 9th 1924 in Tokyo but attended primary school in Vienna, Austria, where her father represented Japan in the diplomatic corps. Her family returned to Japan before WW2. She received her first B.A. from Tokyo Women’s University in 1945, after which she came to the U.H. to earn a subsequent B.A. in
sociology in 1952. In 1954 she received the M.A. degree from Bryn Mawr College in PA, and a PhD in 1960 from New York University. She lectured and taught in a host of universities in Europe and the U.S. before returning to U.H. as Assoc. Prof. of Ed. Psych. at UHM. (1964-67), teaching (1967-71) and Chair (1971-81) of the East Asian Language Dept. in the U.H. East West Center). She was a Fulbnght grantee for research on languages in Japan (1981-82), returning to Hawaii to teach Japanese in the UHM A&S College until 1991 when she retired after 25 years at UHM with the status of Prof. Emeiitus of Japanese. During all of this time she wrote and had published three books concerning the cultural impact of languages, and the social politeness of the Japanese language.

Agnes was recognized and honored many times including:

  • 1) Who’s Who of American Women: 1966-67, 1968-69, 1993, 1994, 2005.
  • 2) Recipient of the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese Government, 1996.
  • 3) American Austrian of the Year 2007, Austrian Assoc. of Hawaii

She was a dedicated member of FRAUHM and the Austrian Assoc. of Hawaii where, as Chair of the entertain ment committee, produced a series of programs showing many Viennese-type operettas on DVDs she had acquired during her many trips to Austria. She became the “Queen of Operettas for the A.A.H.”.

After suffering a fractured hip and 11 days in Queen’ s Hospital in Honolulu, Agnes passed away May 4. We will surely miss her - Aloha Oe!


In Memoriam

Jerry H. Bentley, Emeritus Professor of History

Celebration of Jerry H. Bentley

  • Sunday, October 21, 2012
  • Bishop Museum - Atherton Halau / 1525 Bernice Street

Jerry H. Bentley, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, was a generous humanist, pioneering world historian, and inspiring mentor to scholars locally and around the globe.

Born the oldest of three sons in 1949 in Birmingham, Alabama, Bentley was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His education and career were entirely in public schools: he graduated from Brainerd High School in 1967, earned a B.A. in History in 1972 at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, finished his Masters (1974) and Ph.D. (1976) at the University of Minnesota, and came to the University of Hawaiʻi in 1976 where he remained until his retirement in 2012. Although his early research focused on Renaissance humanist scholarship of the Bible, in Hawaiʻi he emerged as one of the international leaders in world history scholarship and teaching, publishing a wide range of articles and books, including a popular textbook, Traditions and Encounters. A founding member of the World History Association and editor of the Journal of World History for 22 years, he developed standards and curriculum locally and nationally, established a flourishing Ph.D. program at UH, and fostered a world history program at Capital Normal University in Beijing.

In Hawaiʻi, Bentley is remembered by his colleagues as an inspiring teacher and wise mentor of undergraduates, graduate students, junior faculty, and teachers in the community.

Jerry H. Bentley passed away July 15, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Carol Mon Lee, stepson Michael Lee Shinn, parents William Carey and Billie Bentley, and brothers Murry Bentley (Linda Clark) and Larry Bentley (Caroline Bentley). In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Jerry H. Bentley Endowed Scholarship at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa through the UH Foundation.

To make a gift, please send checks made payable to “UH FOUNDATION” to UH Foundation, PO Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828-0270 (ATTN: Lori Admiral) and reference “Jerry H. Bentley endowed fund” in the memo section. To give online, please go to

VAN NIEL, Robert
(d. November 2011)

[PhD Cornell, 1954]
Focus Area: Southeast Asia (Indonesia and Malaysia)

There will be a memorial service on February 12th at the Honolulu Academy of the Arts at 4:30 p.m.

Emeritus Professor Daniel Kwok shares some memories of Professor Bob Van Niel:

Aside from us being long-time colleagues and our appreciation of him as a Southeast Asian historian emphasizing the economic history of Indonesia, Bob Van Niel had always shown good cheer and an unhurried sense of humor. Once his car was stolen, and his telling of this event showed a sad countenance of disbelief that someone would make off with his not so remarkable car. Months later, on the road, he found his old car in front of him. He then managed to stop the car and single-handedly made a citizen's arrest of the thieves. " I just stopped them and called the police," he said, with his characteristic chuckle.


> Home

  • Memories
    • In Memory of
    • Submit memory
      (In progress)


  • Check back for additional tributes