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Frances Aiona, lt. governor’s mother, dead at 93

Frances Helena Lum Aiona, a former educator and mother of Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, died yesterday of natural causes. She was 93.

The lieutenant governor has often cited his mother as an inspiration to him.

“My mom was my hero and our entire ‘ohana is deeply saddened by her passing,” Aiona said in a statement.

“She was an extraordinary woman and a compassionate, tireless educator who instilled in me a lifelong love for learning and mentorship,” he said. “I am at a loss for words to describe how important she was in my life and the lives of countless others.”

He asked that the public provide him and wife Vivian privacy as they make final arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the Aiona family asks for donations to be made to the Reid J.K. Richards Foundation, Frances Aiona’s favorite charity.

The foundation was established on behalf of the lieutenant governor’s nephew Reid, who died at age 33. The foundation helps people who have lost a parent cope with the grieving process.

Richards was survived by his wife and two young children.

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