On May 27th, community members gathered to honor Norman Mitsuyuki Sakata at his memorial service. Norman, known as a local icon and a pillar in the Kona community, passed away on February 14th at the age of 96. 

Among his many achievements, including his beautiful family, tireless service to youth and directing the famous Kona Coffee Cultural Festival for many years, Norman was also a member of the Donkey Mill’s founding Board of Directors. Our founders were key in launching the Holualoa Foundation for Arts & Culture and shaping the Donkey Mill we know and love today that now serves over 4,000 visitors and students every year.

We’d also like to honor and recognize Norman’s wife, Marilyn Miyoko Sakata, who partnered with Norman in all of their endeavors. Miyoko passed away on February 6, 2021.

Miyoko’s brother, Hiroki Morinoue and his wife Setsuko have expressed their wish to acknowledge Norman and Miyoko with a gift to the Donkey Mill in their honor. Setsuko writes: “We’re very thankful for Norman’s willingness and endless support of art and culture education to help enrich the health of our community and our well being.” 

The Donkey Mill is eternally grateful for all Norman, Miyoko and the Sakata ‘ohana have done to support the arts and advance our Kona Coffee region and its rich, dynamic culture.

Read more about Norman and his incredible life and work here.

If you’d like to join the Morinoue family in making a donation to the Donkey Mill in memory of Norman & Miyoko Sakata, please give online or stop by the Donkey Mill in-person. You can also mail donations to: 78-6670 Mamalahola Hwy, Holualoa, HI 96725. 

His portrait by artist Mary Lovein (pictured) was featured in the Donkey Mill’s Kona People, a juried exhibition for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival in 2021, and was awarded the People’s Choice award based on visitor votes.