The Honolulu Museum of Art community is saddened by the passing of longtime board trustee Claire Johnson. Johnson passed away at her home on March 30, 2020, surrounded by her family. She served on HoMA’s board since 1996 with an ever-present commitment to strengthening the institution’s long-term viability, chairing HoMA’s Advancement Committee and even rolling up her sleeves to oversee table sales for the museum’s premier fundraising event, Kama‘āina Christmas, for many years.
“I will always remember Claire for her incredible generosity, wise counsel, and engaging and beautiful spirit,” said HoMA Board Chair Kitty Wo. “She will be missed by our entire museum community and the art community as a whole where she made so many important contributions.”
Johnson was born and raised in Honolulu, and attended Punahou School and Colorado Women’s College where she graduated with a degree in Merchandising and Business. Upon returning to Hawai‘i, she married her devoted and loving husband Larry Johnson. She is survived by her two children, Mari-jo and Mark, and four grandchildren.
An active and seasoned community volunteer and fundraiser, Johnson devoted her considerable talents to numerous leadership roles in non-profit organizations, including the St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary, the Junior League of Honolulu, the American Heart Association, The Garden Club of Honolulu, and Punahou School. She chaired the 15th Annual Heart Ball and ConTempo for The Contemporary Museum, and presided over the Parent and Faculty Association for Punahou School. Along with her husband Larry, she also co-chaired the public phase of the Punahou School Case Middle School capital campaign. For her leadership and contributions to bettering our community, Johnson was honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Aloha Chapter, and received the prestigious “O” in Life award from Punahou School, bestowed to a select few exceptional alumni for their outstanding contributions of leadership and service.
Johnson’s family, friends and acquaintances will forever remember her warm and glowing smile. Her legacy will forever live on in the countless hearts that she touched, and the immeasurable impact that she’s made on the non-profits she has helped grow – including our very own museum. “Trustees like Claire have charted a path for this museum that helps to ensure the continued role of art in our community,” said HoMA Director Halona Norton-Westbrook. “I am incredibly grateful to Claire for her amazing contributions both to our museum and the entire community, and my thoughts and best wishes are with her family at this time.”