Joan Poole Kalahiki


Our world lost a beloved mother and friend on July 9, 2021, when Joan Poole Kalahiki passed peacefully at her home in Apache Junction, AZ, surrounded by loved ones.


Joan is survived by her brother, Arlo Rock of WA, sister (in-law) Joyce Rock of WA, children Kehau Schimmelfenning of HI, Noelani Butler (Dan) of FL, Kainalu Kalahiki (Becky) of CO, Anuhea Maurer (Tom) of CA, Konane Kalahiki (Robert) of CA/MX, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends, and other extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gerald Milburn Poole and Thelda Parish Rock, and her former husband, Harry Hakoli Kalahiki, Jr.


Born July 26, 1928, on a homestead a few miles outside of Rigby, ID, Joan graduated from high school, then attended the Carroll College of Nursing in Helena, MT, graduating in 1949. She spent most of her free time with her first love, horses, or traveling with her flight attendant friends. On one of these trips, to Hawaii, Joan decided not to return to the 30 below temperatures of Montana. She procured a job, met her future husband, and began to raise her family, developing a deep and abiding love for surfing and the Hawaiian culture along the way. During her life she felt lucky to have called many places home, including the Marshall Islands, San Diego and her beloved community of Superstition Mountain Resort in Apache Junction, AZ, and even luckier to have been on numerous adventures around the world.


Her many loves included horses, music, the ocean, the mountains, surfing, hiking, camping, tennis, crossword puzzles, board games, and her friends and family.


Upon receiving her diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, she declared “I’m almost 93, I’ve led a wonderful, adventurous life and I’m not afraid to go!” She then proceeded to spend her remaining time with her family and friends, much of it centered around visits and phone calls, family dinners, fiercely competitive games of Mexican Train, laughs and lots and lots of love and aloha.


Friends wishing to honor Joan may consider donating to a local LGBTQ+ organization, offer help to someone in need or just think of her when you are doing something fun! Her family will scatter her ashes per Joan’s wishes.

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