Tennis Party To Top Them All For Abe

An avid tennis player marked his 97th birthday with a laid-back party May 2 on the Kailua park courts.

George Abe (actual birth-date May 5) lobbed some balls back to his friends and colleagues – people who have played together through many years of fun and friendship. “They keep a watchful eye on his health,” said daughter Carol, “and have been great about hitting the ball to him so he can hit it back, even though Dad isn’t able to run around as he did just a couple years ago.


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George Abe playing tennis on his 97th birthday May 2 on the Kailua District Park courts. Nathalie Walker photo.

“Getting together with his tennis friends helps keep him going.” And now that his wife Lynn, 95, is in a nearby Kailua care home, George visits her there twice a day.

The Abes are part of the town’s history in another way as well. They opened Jean’s Bakery and Fountain on Oneawa Street in 1950 at the back of Piggly Wiggly, naming it after their infant daughter Jean. She was the first of four children they would raise, along with the dough and sweet treats. The family later moved the business to their own free-standing shop on Uluniu Street (with their home in the back), where Chinese Garden Restaurant now stands.

They had a 22-year run at the bakery, long enough to become an institution in the community as a favorite spot to gather and munch away on the likes of Danish tea cakes, marzipan bunnies, doughnuts, Boston cream pie – the perfect diet for a healthy tennis player.

Happy Birthday, George.