Hong Kin, also known as Harry, was born in China in 1916. As a young man, Hong Kin immigrated to Honolulu to join his father who was working as a carpenter. Having recently graduated from Chinese medical school, Hong Kin was initially hired to dispense herbal medicines in Chinatown. In later years, he worked at Queen’s Medical Center and retired as parking supervisor. Clara, whose Chinese name was Yuk How, was born on Kauai in 1918 and adopted by a Chinese family in Honolulu. As a young child, she traveled with her parents to China and did not return until she was in her late teens. Despite her limited English language skills, Clara was hired as a sales clerk with F.W. Woolworth when the company opened for business in the islands. Through hard work and intelligence, Clara received a series of promotions and rose to merchandise buyer at the time of her retirement from the company. During WWII, Hong Kin and Clara opened a curio shop in Wahiawa while caring for two young children. After the war, with the downsizing of the military, they closed their shop and returned to live in Honolulu.
As with other first generation Americans who did not possess English language proficiency, both Hong Kin and Clara Hoo believed that the path to financial security was through education. Although they struggled financially, Hong Kin and Clara prioritized giving their children the best education they could afford and were proud to see both children graduate from college.
The Hong Kin and Clara Hoo Memorial Fund was established in their honor to recognize their deeply held belief that a good education is the best gift a parent can give to their children. They would be happy to know that their fund helps parents provide a Montessori education for their children.
The Hong Kin and Clara Hoo
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