Mitzi Nakata Fuke was born and grew up in McGerrow Camp, Pu'unene, Maui. She was a smart woman who made the most of the limited schooling she had. She genuinely loved people and extended her own gracious hospitality to offer food to guests, even in hard times. Those who knew her, loved her; she believed in the value and worth of everyone and readily made sacrifices to help others.
As a tribute to her mom’s nurturing personality, Elenita Marie Pintler established a fund to provide program support to the University of Hawai'i Maui College Culinary Arts Program.
Marie said, “Even though she didn’t have much education, my mother was one of the smartest people I knew. As a young child pushing the cart behind her while grocery shopping, I was amazed when she had the exact amount ready in cash, down to the penny, before the checker finished totaling the numbers from the antiquated manual cash register. She would flash twinkly eyes and a dimpled smile down at me when I asked, with my mouth open, how she did this in her head. I grew up believing she had grandpa's abacus hidden inside. In spite of losing her parents at a young age and raising four children while working full time, she remained a positive, gracious woman loved by everyone who knew her. Visitors and friends who dropped by the house were always given nourishment. I was amazed how Danish cookies, rice crackers, senbei, and delicate sandwiches appeared out of what I believed to be an empty pantry and cupboards. The simplest of snacks were artistically arranged and served, transforming them into scrumptious treats.”
Through this fund, Mitzi’s love of food and taking care of others will live on.