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In loving memory of
BARBARA JEAN FLORES FERNANDEZ
  • October 18, 1930
  • -
  • December 05, 2020

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Obituary

BARBARA JEAN FLORES FERNANDEZ

 

 Former Miss Kauai 1950, Barbara Jean Flores Fernandez, affectionately known as BJ, died at the age of 90 from leukemia, on December 5, 2020 in The Villages, Florida. She will be buried in Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii, where her loving grandparents, mother and relatives are laid to rest.

 Barbara Jean was born on October 18, 1930 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Adelaide Souza Flores and John Flores. She was their only child.  

 At the age of 11, Barbara Jean woke up to bombs dropping near her neighborhood at Pearl Harbor.  Neighbors grabbed the children and evacuated into the mountains for a week. Due to the war, she was sent on a convoy ship crisscrossing the Pacific to California in search of her father.  With little money she managed after several days to locate family.  From there she was sent to various homes for girls before returning to Oahu several years later.  She was crowned Carnival Queen during her senior year where she graduated from Farrington High School in Kalihi, Oahu. 

 At age 18, she started working in the ballroom dancing circuit in Waikiki and also performing shows both singing and dancing for the United Service Organizations (USO). She was also involved in the first professional theatre group in Honolulu. She was runner-up for Miss Waikiki in 1948 and two years later was crowned Miss Kauai 1950. At age 21, she was promoted to ballroom instructor at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel where she would meet a prominent family who helped her have a life-saving surgery.

At age 22, Barbara Jean was contacted by a renowned California surgeon who had been advised of her congenital heart defect.  He had heard she was working three jobs to save money necessary for heart surgery.  He said she never would be able to save enough money on her own, so he offered to perform her surgery pro bono, provided she could fly to California and have family and friends donate blood and plasma.  She always said how grateful she was to her heart surgeon, the family who championed her, and her dancing, for saving her life.

 Barbara Jean was a devoted officer’s wife for over 25 years, relocating to various air bases every 2-4 years across the country, establishing new households, schools, and support organizations for military wives.  She taught Hula and Tahitian to neighborhood girls and, was a lead performer for the Hawaiian State Society in Washington DC from 1965-1968.

 She is survived by her three children (and their spouses) Greg (Kit), Terri (Jim) and Stephen (Michelle), four granddaughters, Heather (Dan), Samantha, Kayla (Dylan), Rachael, and one great granddaughter, Olivia. She is also survived by relatives in Hawaii and California, as well as life time friends.

She is predeceased in death by her parents, John and Adelaide Flores.

Barbara Jean was a true survivor, a wonderful mother, loving wife and loyal friend. She also wrote her autobiography for her children titled “Talk Story”, which details her life from birth through midlife.  The family requests that donations be made to the American Heart Association, your local Hospice, or the Italian Greyhound Rescue Gulf Coast.  Her ashes shall be blessed and laid to rest on Kauai, the island of her heart and soul.

 


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Tribute Wall

  1. 19 Dec 2020
    Terri and Jim lit a candle:
    Lit since December 19, 2020 at 12:27:53 PM

  2. 19 Dec 2020
    Terri and Jim says:
    To my beautiful Mom.
    You had one of the most amazing lives of anyone I have ever met. You were such a loving, strong, generous and compassionate person.
    I will greatly miss talking to you every single day, and I will miss your advice, love and hugs. You were called to Heaven where you are healthy again and with the love of your life. Aloha Momma, until we meet again. Your daughter forever, Terri xxxxoooo

  3. 16 Dec 2020
    Carole and Don Ferguson says:
    BJ was our next door neighbor for over 16 years. A wonderful friend who was always fun to talk with on her back porch or on the phone. She led an amazing life but didn't talk about it too much except when it was "pulled" out. Both of us being military wives had a common background that we loved talking about over a cocktail - or two. She was a beautiful and very strong person and I will miss her greatly. Don will also miss BJ. They enjoyed teasing each other and making the other laugh. God blessed her and I am sure her spirit is back in her beloved Hawaii, "living" the good life.

  4. 13 Dec 2020
    Susan and Lou Avallone says:
    BJ was a wonderful friend and neighbor in our Greenbriar neighborhood. If it wasn't for BJ my hubby and I would never have wound up in Kahanapili, Maui and met such wonderful friends where we have returned for the past 14 years. If I hadn't have seeked her advice we would have been on the wrong side of the island at the wrong time. BJ will always have a special place in our hearts.
    Susan and Lou Avallone

  5. 13 Dec 2020
    Donna Souza lit a candle:
    Lit since December 13, 2020 at 12:45:38 AM

  6. 13 Dec 2020
    Donna Souza says:
    My sweet auntie BJ,
    I loved you and your kind heart, your patience trying to teach me hula, your laugh, and my heart full of memories.
    Love,
    Donna Souza

  7. 11 Dec 2020
    Heather Logan says:
    My dear sweet Granny....I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so lucky that I got to grow up with such a special grandma in my life. I will cherish my memories of us forever and you will always hold a piece of my heart. I miss you so much and I will always love you. Not goodbye forever, just goodbye for now.

    Love always,
    Heather Logan
    Dan, Livy, and Maddy too

  8. 11 Dec 2020
    Pam Cobb lit a candle:
    Lit since December 11, 2020 at 12:53:22 PM

  9. 11 Dec 2020
    Terri Ferrari posted an image:
    Barbara in the middle at 8 months.
    Barbara in the middle at 8 months.

  10. 11 Dec 2020
    Terri Ferrari posted an image:
    Barbara at 13 years old
    Barbara at 13 years old

  11. 11 Dec 2020
    Terri Ferrari posted an image:
    Miss Waikiki 1948. Barbara on left.
    Miss Waikiki 1948. Barbara on left.

  12. 11 Dec 2020
    Terri Ferrari posted an image:
    Barbara at 5 years old
    Barbara at 5 years old

  13. 11 Dec 2020
    Terri Ferrari posted an image:
    Tahitian dancing
    Tahitian dancing

  14. 11 Dec 2020
    Terri Ferrari posted an image:
    Photo for Miss Waikiki
    Photo for Miss Waikiki

  15. 11 Dec 2020
    Terri Ferrari posted an image:
    Ballroom dancer
    Ballroom dancer

  16. 10 Dec 2020
    Stephen & Michelle Katz lit a candle:
    Lit since December 10, 2020 at 12:15:21 PM

  17. 09 Dec 2020
    Greg Katz lit a candle:
    Lit since December 9, 2020 at 12:00:34 PM

  18. 09 Dec 2020
    Greg Katz says:
    To the best Mom a man could ever have.
    Love you, Momma Tu2.

    Love and aloha, your son and daughter-in-law, Greg & Kit Katz

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