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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 10:53 a.m., Friday, July 19, 2002

Margaret Apo, former school board member, dead at 92

Margaret Apo: Earned B.A. degree at age 62

By Kapono Dowson
Advertiser Staff Writer

Margaret Apo, a former state Board of Education member and federal government official in Hawai‘i, died yesterday. She was 92.

Apo, of Wai‘anae, served on the school board from 1978 to 1996. She held an O‘ahu at-large seat.

Before that she was deputy director for the federal Model Cities Program and a supply supervisor at the Navy submarine base at Pearl Harbor for 29 years.

She was born June 6, 1910, in Palama.

“She made sure that we all got an education and she worked all her life,” said son Peter, a professional musician and former state senator. “Finally when the time came, she went after it for herself. She got her bachelor’s (degree) at 62 and her master’s at 64. It was amazing.”

As a Board of Education member, “she was motivated and driven by trying to get the best education for every child,” said Sherwood Hara, Kauai’s Board of Education representative.

Stephen Morse, chief development officer of the social service agency Alu Like, called Apo “a community-minded woman who saw education as key, paramount to the uplifting of Hawaiians.”

Apo was a member of the benevolent royal society Hale O NÅ Ali‘i for more than 50 years, said the society’s president, Hailama Farden.
“She was a mÅnaleo, a native speaker,” he said. “As part of the 1978 Constitutional Convention she had a big part in getting Hawaiian declared the state’s official language.”

Apo is survived by husband, Peter; sons Sam and Peter; daughters Margaret Brennan and Leialoha Perkins; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services are planned at Hawaiian Memorial Park on Aug. 2, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Aug. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.