Aileen Joy Kawai, 54, of Gardena, CA, died on November 25, 2013. She was born in Caldwell, Idaho to George S. and Ayako J. Kawai. Aileen graduated from Nampa High School in 1977, and received a Bachelor's Degree in Music with emphasis on piano performance from Boise State University in 1981. She went on to earn a Master's Degree in Counseling with an emphasis on Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from University of San Francisco in 1991. Aileen worked for over 20 years as a marriage, family and child counselor, was an avid proponent of natural health and healing, and a talented mosaic artist. She is predeceased by her beloved, mother, Ayako J. Kawai and brother, Michael K. Kawai; survived by her beloved father, George S. Kawai (deceased on 12/2/13), brother, Gregory S. (Kirsten) Kawai, along with one niece and four nephews. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, December 7, 2013 in the chapel at Rice Mortuary in Torrance, CA. A reception follows in Rice's Lighthouse Reception Room until 1:00 pm.

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  1. Today I learned of the passing of my lovely friend, Aileen Kawaii. She and I have been friends for 45 years. Over the years, we’ve been separated by the miles and by busy careers and families but were recently reunited after the loss of her mother this summer. Aileen was no stranger to loss – she had lost one of her brothers too – but she still had that beautiful, genuine smile. She and I reminisced about how we first met. We were nine years old and the Joffrey Ballet had come to Caldwell. I had selected what I deemed as the best seat in the house at Jewett Auditorium smack dab in the middle of the front row. Aileen coveted my seat but took the next best thing . . . the seat right next to me. We soon discovered that we shared a love of the arts, that our fathers knew one another, and that we could make each other laugh like no one else. I remember giggling until it hurt after sneaking one more of her mom’s delicious caramels or asking her Aunty Jo for more rice crackers. I don’t think Aileen will ever know how much I admired her beauty, poise, and talent. She was such a gifted pianist and such a caring person. Aileen was also a spiritual person and I know that she did not feel that death was the final stop on her journey. Farewell my friend.
    Greg, my heart goes out to you and your family. You’ve endured so much loss this year. I was so sorry to hear of your father’s recent passing as well.

  2. such an awesome video….the family pictures are the story in full…especially the one w/one of the boys?? upside down. (don’t know which one?) especially liked the mosaics that aileen made…what a wonderful memory of her. . sho made the video…??? thank you so much for the wonderful memories of aileen and her smile and her positive attitude.

  3. The light has went out on a beautiful soul, I loved all the pics, and memories, but still have a stone in my heart, and a tear in my eyes. You were loved, Aileen, by everyone you met <3

  4. Remember Aileen from Nampa High School, she was such a gentle and nice person,always smiling..All the Kawai family were good people. So sorry to here of her passing.

  5. I was so sad to hear the news of Aileen’s passing! I graduated from Nampa high as well and She was always a kind and beautiful person and she looks to have held those attributes through her last days! My condolences to her family and close friends.

  6. I think of Aileen often as I frequently drive past the house in Nampa that she grew up in. So many wonderful memories with Aileen. Just recently stumbled across a picture with her and three other dear friends striking a pose in our cheerleading outfits (7th grade). Great times! I enjoyed watching the video. My prayers to the family for comfort.

  7. Aileen was my friend. I have many fond memories of our teen years. I would ride my bike to her house on Winther, stop by unannounced, Aileen would be practicing her piano every time. Her mother often looked at me as a distraction, which I was. I found it tedious that her mom made Aileen practice SO much. I realized later on that Aileen was a very disciplined and dedicated person, much the opposite of myself. I grew to admire that quality and strove to learn it. I can’t say we kept in contact and the last time we spoke was over 20 years ago. It is with heavy heart that I write this message without the knowledge of speaking with just one more time. Greg, my deepest sympathy.

  8. I’m so sad to learn of Aileen’s passing today, but also warmly remembering her beautiful smile and laughter. What an amazing musician too, it was magic to me how her little delicate hands could create such magnificent sounds from her piano. I’m lucky to have known you Aileen. You will be missed by many friends, old and new. God Bless you, and my deepest sympathy to the family.

  9. I just learned of Aileen’s passing. I also grew up with Aileen in Nampa and we were good friends. I always think if her when I drive by her home on Winther. I will always remember her beauty and sense and humor. My heart goes out to her family.

  10. I remember Aileen so well with so many fond memories. The clear night shines a little brighter with you up there Aileen. Greg, my deepest sympathies to you.

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