Aaron Yamasaki

Bereavement Counselor

Class of 1983




By Robyn Patterson



Aaron Yamasaki works at Hospice of Hilo as the Director of Bereavement Services. To prepare for his current occupation, Aaron went to UHH and received two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor’s in Business Administration. At Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, he obtained a Masters of Divinity degree, followed by two years post-graduate work in Texas.  He then gained experience through one-on-one counseling with those in need. Aaron hadn’t always wanted to be a reverend.  It was during his last year in college that the thought entered his mind. Following graduation from college and working in the business sector for a couple years, he came to realize that he needed to work in a setting that addressed the spiritual and religious needs of people.

A day in Aaron’s life includes counseling sessions in either an office or home setting. This involves both spiritual and psychological issues that people are facing in their time of trauma and imminent death.

        Aaron graduated from Waiäkea High in June, 1983.  He played baseball in his junior year and was active in woodshop and electronics classes.  Like many students, he struggled in some of his classes. English was not his favorite class, but with the help of Mrs. Corliss Yamaki’s help, he gained an appreciation for English Literature.  He has changed from being a sports loving, electronics and woodshop guru to becoming one of the most beloved ministers on the Big Island. Working at the Hospice of Hilo, he gets to “support people as they work through one of life’s most difficult times, such as dealing with the death of a loved one.”    

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