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William Tim Hoy Mau

April 11, 1924 ~ July 13, 2018 (age 94)
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William Tim Hoy Mau

William “Bill” Mau, a longtime resident of Laurel, Maryland, died on July 13 in Sonoma, California, where he had lived for almost a year. He was 94 years old, a retired government research analyst and a parishioner of St. Mary of the Mills in Laurel.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Bill was the son of Henry Kui Mau and Esther Min Lau, the third of five boys. He and his brothers grew up in a house on Liliha Street, where a library now stands. On hot days, he and his friends would walk a few blocks to Waikahalulu Waterfall and go swimming in the natural pool there. The waterfall is still there, now part of the Queen Liliuokalani Botanical Gardens.  He was not raised in any particular religion, but when he entered Maryknoll High School, the nuns who were his teachers impressed him with their kindness and commitment to the Gospel.  He decided to become a Catholic, and his baptism and First Communion were scheduled to take place on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1941.

 On December 7, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor, and Hawaii was plunged into World War II.  Martial law was declared, and public transportation came to a standstill. Bill had no way to get to his own baptism. Luckily, a friend was able to borrow his father’s Model A Ford, and he gave Bill a ride to the church. Bill was received into the Church and was a devout Catholic for the rest of his life.  For several years he studied at seminaries in California – St. Joseph’s in Sunnyvale and St. Patrick’s in Menlo Park – intending to become a priest, but he left before he was ordained.

After leaving the seminary, Bill worked for the US Air Force in Hawaii, where he met a young secretary, Thelma Chun. They were married in 1948 and made their home in the Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu.  After the birth of their first child, Bill took a job with the Department of Defense in Washington, DC, and they moved to Falls Church, VA, where they welcomed two more children. In 1959 Bill went to work at Fort Meade, MD, and the family moved to Laurel.  They lived on 12th Street in Laurel Hills for nearly 60 years.

Like his brothers, Bill loved music. He played the accordion and the ukulele and enjoyed listening to his favorite tunes:  New Orleans jazz, Hawaiian slack key guitar, and Sousa marches.  He enjoyed growing vegetables in his garden – Big Boy tomatoes and Chinese cabbage in particular – and his barbecued chicken was legendary.

He held a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland and had a special interest in museums and historical sites. He took his three children on frequent visits to the Smithsonian Institution, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and Civil War battlefields. The family often picnicked by the Potomac River on Sundays.

After his retirement, Bill took pleasure in tending to his garden, listening to music, spending time with his grandchildren, and traveling often to Hawaii, California, and the southeast US.  

Bill’s beloved wife, Thelma, developed dementia in her 80s, and he cared for her at home until she died in 2014. He was also predeceased by his parents and three of his brothers: Ernest, Albert, and Wilfred.

In 2017 he moved to Sonoma to live with family. Although he missed his friends and neighbors in Maryland, he liked the mild California climate, which allowed him to sit outside on the deck and watch the hummingbirds. 

He is survived by his son and two daughters, David Mau of Elkton, MD,  Debra Mau of Hawaii, and Laverne Dicker of Sonoma; his daughter-in-law, Chai Hong Mau, his son-in-law, Kelly Dicker,  four grandchildren, Jeremy Mau of Torrance, CA;  Keri Mau of Elkton, MD;  Melia Dicker and her husband, Darren Schwindaman of Jackson, MS;  Gillian Burgess and her husband, Brian Burgess, of Barcelona, Spain; and two great-grandchldren, Evan Schwindaman and Avery Schwindaman.  He is also survived by his brother, Gilbert Mau, of Pearl City, HI, and his sisters-in-law, Elsie Mau of Pearl City, and Michiko Mau of Aiea, HI.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Ann’s Church in Kaneohe, HI, and his ashes will be interred next to Thelma’s at Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery in Kaneohe. The cemetery is located on a peaceful hillside a few miles from the ocean, with a sweeping view of the green Ko’olau Mountains.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice by the Bay, the St. Vincent de Paul Society food pantry at St. Leo’s Parish, or a favorite charity.

The Mau family would like to extend special thanks to individuals and agencies who showed Bill such remarkable compassion during the last months of his life:  his dedicated caregiver, Natalie Martinez, of Jewish Family Services’ Seniors at Home program;  his doctor, Subhash Mishra;  his spiritual visitors, Ann and Gunther Solomon and Father JoJo Puthussery of St. Leo’s, who brought the sacraments to him;  his home healthcare nurse, Susan Flynn, of Advanced Healthcare; and the staff members of Sonoma Valley Hospital and Hospice by the Bay.  The family also would like to thank Thomas Eyre of Duggan’s Mission Chapel, who was a great help during a sad time.

"Give rest to the soul of Thy departed servant, in a place of light, a place of green pastures, in a place of rest, where all pain, sorrow, sighing, and sound have fled away."
– Eastern Orthodox prayer

Donations may be made to:

Hospice by the Bay - Sonoma
190 West Napa St., Sonoma CA 95476
Tel: 1-707-935-7504

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