Obituary of Young Nay (May) Locuson
Young Nay (May) Lee Locuson took her final earthly hula bow on January 12, 2024. Born on the island of Kauai, HI, on February 7, 1927, she would have been 97 years young in a few weeks. But May was ready to join her beloved husband of 67 years—Charles Lewis Locuson. They met in Honolulu during WWII when May was working in Pearl Harbor and Charles was a civilian in the Navy. He lied about his age to get on the boat. He was her “Banty Rooster” and she was “…the prettiest girl I’d ever laid eyes on.” On their first date, Charles barked, “Take my arm.” She did, and a great love story began. We like to think that Charles showed up last week and said once again, “Take my arm.” And she did. May also joins heavenly family: father Pum Sun Lee; mother Man Sun Chun Lee; siblings Esther Lee, Lilian Kanahele, Nancy Langrill, Robert Lee, Soonkay Lee, Ruth (Honey) Sam Fong, Violet (Dogga) Kubo, and James (Jimmy) Lee; sons Jon Dale Locuson, and Charles Webster Locuson.
May is survived by: sister Ann Lee Raynor, “little brother” Lynn Locuson; children Larry Locuson, Karen Bowlden (Gary), Sally Tibbs (Jim), Lani Locuson, Carrie Baker (Peter) and Laurie Loyst (Andy); grandchildren Allen Bowlden, Matthew and Chuck Locuson, Sam and Maili Tibbs, Audra Stewart, Tyler Baker, and Lili and Charlee Loyst; great-grandchildren Austin, Payton, Audrey, Parker, Ada, Henry, Harper, Sonne, and Juni; numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and other adopted ohana who referred to her as Auntie May.
May was of “The Greatest Generation” and a renaissance woman of her time. She could cook, bake, decorate cakes, sew, make her own patterns, paint, garden, sing, dance, and solve puzzles. Her carefree, yet hard working childhood during the Depression on Kauai prepared her well for life, and she spent most of it “in motion” always doing for others.
Young Nay Lee helped raise some of her ten siblings, then helped raise some of her husband’s younger siblings, and then raised seven of her own. Everyone always wanted to eat at May’s table, because the woman could COOK—meal after delicious meal, prepared on a dime, yet always enough to share. And share she did. Her children didn’t know what storebought tinned fruit or pickles were until they left home. She had a large garden and canned and pickled annually to feed her family. She spent hour upon hour sewing beautiful clothing, from girls’ outfits to prom and wedding dresses, so her daughters were fashionable. (Their dolls were well-heeled, too!) Then at night, her hands were busy hand sewing, embroidering, knitting, and crocheting, peeling fruit, folding clothes, etc. When her kids grew up, she found the time to read, play solitaire, and do crossword puzzles. She loved JEOPARDY and WHEEL of FORTUNE, and with a sharp mind and memory like no other, she consistently solved puzzles before the contestants and did so through her last week on this planet. Her last days also found her reciting poetry and singing songs from childhood. As “keeper of the lyrics” with hundreds of songs in her memory, she made for a great musical sidekick to Charles (…though always a touch behind his piano playing, driving him nuts!)
May also knew how to have fun. She and her siblings would put on musical and acrobatic shows for the service men and plantation workers on Kauai and charge a dime for admission. She spoke about how upstanding and respectful they all were. May and Charles had hours of fun playing Pinocle with friends, they enjoyed trips to Jackpot and Reno Nevada, and they spent many weekends on the banks of an Idaho river or at Spring Shores, with picnics, campfires and fishing.
May and Charles loved the Hawaiian Club of Boise and were two of the early members, helping with the annual Fourth of July luau made possible by Idaho’s lava rocks. Daughters Sally, Carrie, and Laurie want to thank the wonderful Boise Ohana for their decades of love and aloha. May and Charles cherished you all.
This brave woman, who crossed an ocean and a continent at nineteen to marry a Jersey boy, also crossed the continent alone for visits, celebrations, or when support was needed. She traveled to S. Korea to see her parents’ homeland for her 70th birthday (an auspicious one for Korean culture) and loved seeing their birth cities of Seoul and Pusan, witnessing the free-divers of her mother’s stories, eating foods only heard of in childhood, and experiencing the beauty of which her parents reminisced.
May and Charles also crossed the pond to visit friends, and they criss crossed the USA numerous times to move households, or to visit friends and family scattered far and wide.
May’s indomitable spirit will undoubtedly continue to soar in the heavens—which is great for the angels, but tough for those left behind who love her dearly. Her youngest daughters Carrie and Laurie wish to heap gratitude upon sister Sally and brother-in-law Jim Tibbs— along with Juda Lamborn, Sandy Tibbs, Annie Andersen, Havenwood caretakers Tamra, Carla, Karie, Sue, and River, and companion Kelly Lopeman. May was determined to live “on her own” …but it took a village to fulfill these wishes.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00PM on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at Summer’s Funeral Home, 3629 E. Ustick Rd., Meridian, ID, with a reception to follow. Aloha wear and bright colors are welcome as we honor her Hawaiian style. May will be laid to rest at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery beside Charles at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children or St. Jude’s—two of May’s favorite charities.
Dear Mama May, Aloha for now…a hui hou kakou.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Young Nay Locuson , please visit Tribute Store