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Tribute to Lois Ellin Green Datta

From the Hawaii-Pacific Evaluation Association

April 15, 2024

Lois Ellin Green Datta, born Lois Ellin Green on June 12, 1932, in Paterson, New Jersey, passed away on April 1, 2024, at the age of 91 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Her support and early involvement with the fledgling Hawaii-Pacific Evaluation Association has been critical to H-PEA’s success. Here are a few comments from H-PEA members who were privileged to have known and worked with her.

I remember her storytelling ability; she was so animated when talking about projects and how she measured performance.. Her wise-owl senses–deep perception; intent listening, and keen observation–captured every nuance and detail.

She was always so encouraging and positive about ideas and cheered people on with tidbits of wisdom. I believe she helped formulate the idea behind the Evaluation Hui (identifying culturally appropriate evaluation) but she would step back and not take credit because she was so humble. And–how amazing is a woman, who at 75–decides to run an organic coffee farm to learn everything from scratch–just to “challenge herself”? (the alternative was to sail around the world)

Sonja Evensen

I have fond memories of how gracious and supportive she was of H-PEA. One year she had passed in front of the table I was sitting at toward the ballroom doors, and someone stopped her and asked her a question to which she replied and had a brief conversation. She started along her way until she was stopped again. I started watching as she was making her way to the door, and she couldn't get 3 feet without someone wanting to talk to her. And she spoke with every single person! Always generous with her time and wisdom, she was truly a great role model.

Lisa Watkins-Victorino

I knew Lois Ellin's as a friend and colleague. Her brilliance was exceeded only by the beauty and generosity of her spirit. She will be missed, and we will strive to live up to the example of her life.

Kathy Tibbetts

I remember that she loved hiking through the national parks by herself. Once I asked her why she went alone, and she said fellow hikers were more likely to approach her since she was by herself, and she got to meet and talk to so many more people this way. So true, and so like her.

Probably the advice from her I appreciate the most was about H-PEA. You know how she helped us through the early years by doing whatever we asked of her. She would fly in from the Big Island to be a guest speaker, hold a workshop, sit on a panel, etc. When it appeared that H-PEA resonated with folks, and maybe would last more than a couple of years or so, she advised that it is easy to start things, but hard to sustain them. The challenge is in keeping people engaged over the years, after the initial excitement is over. I took her advice to heart, never took our success for granted, and look at us now --- 18 years and going strong! I think she would be proud of us! I will miss her wisdom, kindness, and friendship. She was a gracious, humble, considerate person -- lovely inside and out.

Judith Inazu

H-PEA will continue to remember and honor Lois Ellin Datta. We encourage everyone to continue to share stories and celebrate her life and contributions to our H-PEA family.

With aloha,

Sena Sanjines

H-PEA President

Contact Us

Hawai'i-Pacific Evaluation Association

P.O. Box 283232, Honolulu, HI 96828

H-PEA is a tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

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