In the early morning of January 24, 2020, Clara Hoopai-Villanueva DeStefano was reunited with her heavenly ‘ohana. She is predeceased by parents; her husband, Ralph DeStefano; her siblings, "Andy" Villanueva Sr., "Mona" Lau, Caridad Villanueva, Trinidad Villanueva; son-in-law, Guy Bagda; & granddaughter, Sherrie Lynn Oliveros. While at Maui Memorial Hospital, she was surrounded by love from her ‘ohana & many friends.
Clara was born on December 12, 1933 to Annie Mileka Hoopai of Hana & Catalino Villanueva Sr. of Kuau, Maui. She was the eldest of 11 children. Manang, as known by her siblings, took on the kuleana of rearing them. She is survived by siblings, “Queenie” Hokoana; "Sasa" Ewaliko,"Kella" Tajeda-Figueroa, “Cat” (Sheila) Villanueva Jr., Roberto Villanueva of Oregon, & Alfredo Villanueva.
Clara was married to Uldarico Labang Sr. (predeceased). Together they had six children: Geraldine "Geri" (Pedro) Oliveros, "Rico" Labang Jr., Nadine Labang Bagda, Leslie Labang, Neal (Lynette) Labang, & Claire “Ala” Aganos; 11 grandchildren, Lisa Ann Oliveros, Brenda Lee ("B") Pu'u, Pedro “Pj” (Skye) Oliveros Jr., Cory Labang, Jymmie Ann (Sean) Asuncion, Sara (Justin) Labang, Shaun Labang, Staci (Derick) Labang, Kekoa (Celina) Labang, Mystie Ann (Sean) Yokote, and Ku'umele (Raymond) Aganos; 12 great-grandchildren Kaulana "Kaui" Pu'u, Leimana "Mana" Pu'u, Koali'i "Bala" (Mya) Pu'u, Ka'ililauokekoa "Lala" Pu'u, Riddick Asuncion, Cyrus Asuncion, Ethan Emmanuel, James Emmanuel, Ayvah Ortiz, Ko'a Akuna, Kai'au Yokote, & Auweke Yokote; and one great-greatgrandchild, Alachi "Mochi" Pu'u.
'Ohana was everything to Clara. They did just about everything together. The Villanueva sisters had an entertainment group called Mele 'Ohana. She accompanied her sister, Mona, on the ukulele. They sang beautiful meles as the rest of the `ohana would dance hula performing at malls and a weekly Sunday night gig at the poolside of Kihei’s Mana Kai. She was the pitcher on the `ohana’s softball team that went by the same name; and bowled with Aloha Lane’s Friday night league, as well as the Old Timers Bowling League on Sundays. Clara worked at various places that included Seekay’s Restaurant, Haserot Cannery, Gate 21, Woolworths & MEO Head Start. At the age of 42, she shifted her career path and joined the Mason's Union Local 1 Apprenticeship program. Clara was recognized as the First Female Journeyman Mason for the state of Hawai'i. Her resume includes various hotels along Maui’s shores. She eventually became the Program Coordinator for Maui’s Mason Apprenticeship program until retirement. Retirement did not stop Clara. She remained active in her community. She volunteered at The Kahului Salvation Army Corps with the social services program, served many years as President of the Central Maui Hawaiian Civic Club and Old Timers Bowling League of Wailuku, and a chaperone and coach with Maui Special Olympics. She was a Kupuna with Punawai, a native Hawaiian tutoring program for elementary keiki and an active member of the Kaunoa Senior Citizen groups in Pukalani and Makawao. The 'ohana of Clara invite you to join them in celebrating her life. Services will be held at Ballard Family Mortuary on Sunday, February 23, 2020 with visitation at 5 p.m. and program at 7 p.m. and Monday, February 24, 2020 with visitation at 9 a.m. and program at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Makawao Veteran's Cemetery at 1 p.m. with lunch to follow at Pa`ia Community Center. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 1399, Wailuku, HI 96793.