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Aloha to Betty Hay

The Freeland family shares with deep sorrow Tuesday, March 7, 2023 Elizabeth Hay “Betty Hay” Kaʻiulani Wodehouse Freeland peacefully passed away on Maui, Hawaiʻi. She was 83 years old.

Betty Hay was born on October 27, 1939 at Kohala County Hospital on the island of Hawaiʻi to James Hay and Elizabeth Wodehouse. She grew up in Kohala and moved to Oʻahu at twelve years old to pursue a better education. Adventurous and independent even at a young age, while in the 5th grade, without the knowledge of her parents, Betty Hay enrolled herself to Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. She was a boarder at Kamehameha Schools from the 6th through 8th grade until she transferred to Punahou School. Betty Hay was a boarder at Punahou School until her high school graduation. Betty Hay began her college education at the University of Colorado until she was able to fulfill her dream of moving to New York, where she graduated from the Tobe Coburn School of Fashion Careers in New York City. In 1961 Betty Hay returned to Hawaiʻi to start a career as a fashion merchandiser on Oʻahu.


Soon after her return, she captured the love of her life and married Keoki Freeland on December 30, 1963. They raised their three children Warren, Kimberley and Denby in the sugar plantation town of Waipahu, Oʻahu. They moved to Lāhaina, Maui in 1985 when Keoki transferred to Pioneer Mill. Betty Hay’s love for her family was boundless and enduring as a devoted wife and mother. She always had her camera to capture the beauty of Hawaiʻi during the many family vacations, hiking, and exploring the islands with family and friends. She loved the adventures of traveling the world with Keoki.


While her son Warren was a toddler, Betty Hay’s desire to decorate her home led her to explore the art of oil painting. She loved painting outdoors on location and became a prolific artist of Hawaiian landscapes for over six decades. Her original oil paintings hang in countless collections throughout Hawaiʻi, the mainland and worldwide. Her artwork has been printed into wine labels, phone books, posters, featured in numerous magazines and other publications. Her stunning interpretations of our unique Hawaiian islands will continue to be everlasting. Betty Hay was a true artist whose talent, grace and elegance will be dearly missed.


Betty Hay is survived by her husband of over 59 years Keoki Freeland, son Warren (Sandie) Freeland and granddaughter Maile, daughter Kimberley (Trav) Duro and grandchildren Nohea and Maluhia, daughter Denby Freeland and granddaughters ʻŌlali and Kāhili, brother James Hay Wodehouse, nieces, nephews, innumerable friends and artists. Betty Hay was preceded in death by her half-sister Pauahi Wodehouse Clark and parents James Hay and Elizabeth Wodehouse.


Betty Hay will live on in the hearts of her friends and family and will always be remembered for her timeless beauty, extraordinary artistic talent, and her love for Hawaiʻi. A Celebration of Life and her legacy will be held Sunday, May 28, 2:00pm at Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center. In Betty Hayʻs memory friends may donate to Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center on Maui or Punahou School on Oʻahu.




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