Helene Hatsuno Horimoto Zeug, 82

Helene Hatsuno Horimoto Zeug, PhD, 82, died Friday, April 21, 2023, at her home in Honolulu, after a nearly two-decades battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Helene was born February 5, 1941, in Wailuku, Maui, to Shigeru and Kikume Horimoto of Waihe’e, Maui.  She attended Waihe’e Elementary and   

Intermediate School and St. Anthony High School, received a BS degree (Home Economics) from the University of Hawaii, an MS (family life and human development) from the University of Maryland, and a PhD (human development) from UH and Newport University in California.

4-H was a part of Helene’s life for 70 years.  She joined the Waihee Girls 4-H club at age 9, became a junior leader and club leader on Maui, and then was elected Campus Collegiate 4-H club president while a student at the University of Hawaii.  In 1960, she was selected as a Hawaii delegate to the National 4-H Club Congress, and was one of four from Hawaii selected to attend the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.

She began her professional career in 1963 as a 4-H specialist on Oahu, serving the Honolulu area.  In 1985, she moved to the state office to become Associate State 4-H Program Leader.  In that capacity, she also served as acting state 4-H leader for several years.  She retired in 2004, and was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2020, only the second person in Hawaii to receive this prestigious national recognition.

Helene leaves a legacy of 4-H activism and community outreach in Hawaii, chairing many committees and serving on many commissions in support and development of 4-H leadership programs, including the Hawaii 4-H Alumni Association and the Hawaii 4-H Foundation. She also authored or co-authored numerous 4-H program materials, served as coordinator of the Hawaii 4-H LABO exchange with Japan, started one of the first urban 4-H programs in the country, and established 4-H programs for disadvantaged youth.

In addition, she served on both the Hawaii Girl Scouts and Hawaii State Farm Fair boards of directors, assisted with management of the Hawaii Senior Olympics and Aloha State Games for many years, actively served as a volunteer track and field official for 15 years, and was the principal seamstress for the Honolulu Boy Choir for ten years.

Helene received many accolades and recognitions over the last five decades, including selection as a National 4-H Fellow.  She also earned a Grace Frysinger Fellowship and Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Extension Home Economists, and a similar recognition from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.  She is listed in Who’s Who of American Women and Outstanding Young Women of America.   

She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Mark Zeug (formerly of Walnut Grove), daughter Marlene Zeug of Kaneohe, Hawaii, son Curtis Zeug of Honolulu, brother Harold Shigeo Horimoto of Panama City, FL, sister Lori Ann Nobuko Miguel of Kahului, Maui, brother Chester Horimoto, also of Kahului, and numerous nieces and nephews in Hawaii, California and Minnesota.  She was preceded in death by her parents, and brother Calvin Horimoto of Realto, California.

            A Celebration of Helene’s life is planned for Sunday, June 4, at 1 pm at the Community Center in Lucan, MN.  All are welcome.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donation to: Helene H. Zeug Memorial 4-H Scholarship, University of Hawaii Foundation, P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI. 96828, or to the Hawaii Parkinson’s Association.