Loretta Fuddy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Loretta Fuddy
Loretta Fuddy.jpg
Mayor of Kalawao County
In office
January 2011 – December 2013
Personal details
BornApril 12, 1948
Honolulu, Hawaii
DiedDecember 11, 2013 (aged 65)
Pacific ocean, off the coast of Molokai

Loretta Jean Fuddy (April 12, 1948 – December 11, 2013) was an American health official and social worker from the U.S. state of Hawaii. Fuddy served simultaneously as the Director of the Hawaii Department of Health and the Mayor of Kalawao County from 2011 until her death.[1] Under Hawaii state law, the Hawaii Department of Health administers Kalawao County,[2] and the Director of the Hawaii Department of Health, who is appointed by the governor, simultaneously serves as the Mayor of Kalawao County while in office.[3][4]

Life and career[edit]

Fuddy, who was born on April 12, 1948, was nicknamed "Deliana."[5][6] She was raised in Kaimuki, on the island of Oahu, and graduated from Sacred Hearts Academy.[5][7] In a 2013 interview, she described her upbringing as the motivation behind her career in public service, "I'm a child of the ’60s, the Kennedy era of 'ask what you can do for your country' public service and Catholic values."[5] She received degrees in sociology, social work and public health from the University of Hawaii.[5][7] Fuddy also completed doctoral studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.[5]

Fuddy was a practitioner of Subud spiritualist movement, and she was the chairwoman of Subud USA's National Committee from 2006 to 2008.[6][8]

Fuddy worked in health and human services for forty years.[5] More recently, she served as the Deputy Director of the Hawaii Department of Health from 2001 until 2002.[5] She then became the Chief of Family Health Services for the state health department prior to her appointment as Director in 2011.[7]

Fuddy became the acting Director of the Hawaii Department of Health on January 26, 2011. Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed her Director of the department on March 2, 2011.[7] The Department of Health administers the small county of Kalawao, so Fuddy also became the Mayor of Kalawao County under Hawaii state law.[2] Fuddy was the first social worker to serve as Hawaii's health director.[5]

In April 2011, Fuddy made national news "when she verified the authenticity of certified copies of President Obama's birth certificate."[9]


On December 11, 2013, Fuddy traveled to Kalawao County for an annual meeting with the county's Hansen's disease patients in Kalaupapa as part of her duties as both Mayor and state health director.[1][8] Fuddy and other officials concluded the meeting and boarded a plane to return to Honolulu. Her plane, a Makani Kai Cessna Caravan 208B, crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the north coast of Molokai shortly after takeoff from Kalaupapa Airport at approximately 3:30 p.m.[1][2][4] Fuddy, who was 65 years old, eventually died from heart failure while she and the others awaited rescue.[1] The eight other people on the plane, who included Deputy Health Director Keith Yamamoto, Kalaupapa National Park administrator Rosa Key, and the Makani Kai pilot, survived the crash and were rescued.[1][10]

Her funeral was held at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus in Honolulu on December 21, 2013.[11] Speakers included Governor Neil Abercrombie.[11] Attendees included state Senators Michelle Kidani and Suzanne Chun Oakland.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kakesako, Gregg K. (December 12, 2013). "Pilot described 'catastrophic engine failure' in Molokai crash". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Uyeno, Kristine (December 12, 2013). "Hawaii Official Killed in Plane Crash". KHON-TV. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  3. ^ Dingeman, Robbie (October 31, 2002). "Smallest county to ban smoking". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Rawlings, Nate (December 12, 2013). "Hawaii Official Killed in Plane Crash". Time Magazine. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Kang Sunderland, Susan (August 27, 2013). "Promoting A Healthier Hawaii". MidWeek. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Subud USA Newsletter, July-August 2006, among other newsletters
  7. ^ a b c d "Hawaii Official Killed in Plane Crash". Hawaii Department of Health. December 12, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Obituary of Fuddy in Subud USA Newsletter, February 2014, pp. 10, 13, 27-28
  9. ^ Bacon, John (December 12, 2013). "Official who OK'd Obama birth papers dies in crash" (Web). USA Today. Retrieved November 24, 2018. Fuddy, 65, made national news in April 2011 when she verified the authenticity of certified copies of President Obama's birth certificate. Obama had requested the release to curb claims by so-called "birthers" that he was born in Kenya and not eligible to be president.
  10. ^ Video of the aftermath is available online via ABC news.
  11. ^ a b c Gutierrez, Ben (December 21, 2013). "Hundreds gather to remember Loretta Fuddy". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved January 12, 2014.