Seattle Restaurant Owner and Husband Die from Coronavirus: ‘A Huge Devastation,’ Daughter Says


Elizabeth and Robert Mar died at the ages of 72 and 78, respectively.

Elizabeth Mar, owner of Kona Kitchen in Seattle, and her husband Robert have both died of the novel coronavirus, the restaurant said on Facebook Saturday.

“It is with deep sadness and a profound sense of loss that we announce the passing of our beloved Elizabeth Mar,” the statement read. “After battling the virus for nearly two weeks, Liz succumbed to the serious illness in the early morning hours of March 25, 2020.

According to The Seattle Times, Elizabeth was 72, and her husband Robert was 78.

“It’s a huge devastation for our family,” daughter Angie Okumoto told the newspaper.

Okumoto said she and her husband Yuji Okumoto opened Kona Kitchen with her mom in September 2002. The first location was in Maple Leaf, and a second followed in Lynnwood.

While Elizabeth typically went by “Liz,” she was known by patrons at Kona Kitchen as “Auntie” or “Grandma,” Okumoto said.

“We’ve kind of created this little family in the Seattle community through the restaurant,” Okumoto said, adding that her mother was “everything” at Kona Kitchen.

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“She shall be fondly remembered as the best grandma, fun-loving friend, devoted spouse, generous benefactor, first-rate source of amusing gossip and mother extraordinaire. We shall forever miss her cheerfulness, wonderful sense of humor and kind heart,” the restaurant added in its Facebook statement.

Okumoto told The Seattle Times that she sees it as “a blessing” that her mother and father “can rest in peace together.” The pair is survived by seven grandchildren.

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Kona Kitchen remains open for takeout amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Okumoto said, adding, “We’re just trying to stay afloat and keep as many employees afloat as much as we can.”

Plans for memorial services for the couple remain uncertain at this time, the restaurant said.

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As of March 28, there are at least 102,636 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 1,646 deaths.