D odo Mortuary, Inc. & Crematory is one of Hawaii’s most respected and oldest mortuaries on the island of Hawaii. Dodo Mortuary started in 1898 with Mitsugoro Dodo, an immigrant from Hiroshima, Japan, who started to build caskets after his 3 year contract ended with the plantation. He was a skilled carpenter and was a staunch Christian when he arrived. Because of this, the Church of the Holy Cross on Lanikaula St. has always been the Dodo family church since Mitsugoro helped to build the original structure, which was later re-erected as a monument in Japan.
Richard M. Dodo, the only son of four children born to Mitsugoro, was a U.H. graduate of 1934 and attended the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago, Illinois. He then returned to operate the family business of Dodo Mortuary and implemented modern changes to the business.
Richard’s oldest son, Clifford Dodo, attended the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science and graduated in 1967 after attaining a degree in business from the University of Hawaii. He worked alongside his father in the business as they moved to their present location on Wainaku Street. From early on, Clifford exhibited great foresight in the family business. In 1977, he implemented the preneed funeral company, Dodo Mortuary Life Plan, Inc. Clifford was also instrumental in the planning and construction of the new 13,000 square foot air conditioned chapel facility and enlarged parking area, which opened in 1992. Anticipating the advantages of having an in-house crematory, he later added such a facility in 1997. Clifford was a leader in the funeral industry and served as President and Director in the state associations.
After the death of Clifford and his father, Richard in 1998, his brother Larry Dodo assumed the role of President of the company till his retirement in 2007. Following Larry’s retirement, Clifford’s son, Mitchell Dodo, the fourth generation in the family succession, assumed the position of Vice President & Operations Manager.
Our current site on 199 Wainaku St., was originally built in 1966 to present day, and is actually the third site since the inception of the business. A tidal wave demolished the first site, which was near the current Ben Franklin Store on Kilauea Ave. The second site was situated nearby at 92 Ponahawai St. where the family home was the building behind the mortuary storefront. Today the original chapel from 1966 now serves as our administrative and office areas since the completion of the new chapel facilities in 1992. In 2005 a warehouse was completed at the top edge of the mortuary property.
Dodo Mortuary, Inc. & Crematory also has had an office facility in the Kona area since the 1980s and also maintains other agents island-wide. Dodo Mortuary, Inc. & Crematory is a member in good standing of the Hawaii Funeral & Cemetery Association (HFCA), Cremation Association of North America (CANA), National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii, and is the exclusive provider of funeral services for Dodo Mortuary Life Plan, Inc.