John David Waiheʻe III

In Office 1986 to 1994


Governor WAIHEʻE

John David Waiheʻe III who served as Governor from 1986 to 1994, was the first Native Hawaiian elected as the State’s Chief Executive. His political career began with his election to the Constitutional Convention of 1978. He came into the office when the economy was booming from the tourism industry and foreign investment. During his tenure the issue of Hawaiian sovereignty also took an increased importance as the centennial anniversary of the overthrow occurred.

First Lady

Lynne Kobashigawa knew John at Hawaiian Mission School, but did not start dating until after high school. They went on to attend the same college, Andrews University, but did not marry until September 1969. She was the fourth First Lady of the state from 1986 to 1994. As a mother of two and schoolteacher, she had a strong commitment to education and made significant contributions to the Washington Place Docent Program. She authored a book alongside the Docents of Washington Place on Queen Liliʻuokalani as a musician.

On Being First Lady…

Give some thought to whatever legacy you want to leave because you have such a tremendous opportunity to leave the world a little better. And keep your family knit tightly together, because you went in with your family and that’s the only sure thing you’ll take out with you.

Washington Place

I think I treated it more like a hotel, although it really was a home. I thought of it as a hotel because we had maids, the beds would be made, and the ironing would be done. But I know when we lived there it really was a home. I think I treated it that way so that I wouldn’t be disappointed when I left. For one thing, John’s mom and my mom came to live with us. We knew we would be gone a lot, and we invited them so they could stay with the children. The maids, the secretary, security were so much like family. Every day they were there for us. They treated us so well.

Washington Place Memory

President and Mrs. Clinton came to Washington Place from Japan to join their daughter and two of her friends who had arrived a couple of days before. Chelsea and the two girls stayed in Jennifer’s and John’s room. It was the first time we actually had anybody stay at Washington Place. I was wondering what to have for dinner. And John said, “I know what we’re having. We’re having roast turkey. He’s [President Clinton] been away so long he’s going to want some home cooking. So that’s what we had-roast turkey, mashed potato and gravy.


View curated photos from each governor and their families during their residences at Washington Place. Hit the right and left arrows to view more.

John David Waiheʻe III

In office 1986 to 1994

Photographer unknown, Washington Place Collection.

Family Photo

From left to right: (sitting) Governor John D. Waiheʻe III, Mrs. Lynne C. Waiheʻe, Mrs. Matsue Kobashigawa (Mrs. Waiheʻe’s mother); (standing) John IV, Jennifer, and Mrs. Mary Waiheʻe, circa 1990.

Photographer unknown, Washington Place Collection.

Little Guests

Mrs. Lynne Waiheʻe with school children, circa. 1990.

Photographer unknown, Washington Place Collection.

Governor and Mrs. Waihe‘e

Governor Waiheʻe and First Lady, December 1993.

Photographer unknown, Washington Place Collection.


Governor Waiheʻe and Mrs. Waiheʻe with children from St. Andrew’s Priory, March 19, 1987.

Photo by David Yamada, Honolulu Advertiser, Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Archives.

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen

Governor Waiheʻe with Cherry Blossom Festival Queen, Marlene Sato, May 1987.

Photo by T. Umeda, Honolulu Advertiser, Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Archives.

Ellison Onizuka Memorial Scholarships

Governor Waiheʻe presents the 1987 Ellison Onizuka Memorial Scholarships to Sylvia Chin, left, and Laurie Hiyakumoto, May 1987.


From left to right: “The Bear Lady,” First Lady, Santa Claus, and Reno Long, hosting Christmas benefit and toy drive for HUGS, December 1990.

Photo by Gregory Yamamoto, Honolulu Advertiser, Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Archives.

Mrs. Waihe‘e

Governor Waiheʻe with mother, Mary, March 1990.

Photo by T. Umeda, Honolulu Advertiser, Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Archives.

Air Force’s Thunderbirds

Governor Waiheʻe rides with Air Force’s Thunderbirds, September 1987.

Photo by Craig T. Kojima, Star Bulletin, Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Archives.

Governor Waihe‘e and Eagle Scouts

Governor Waiheʻe with Eagle Scouts, May 1989.

Photo by Mike Tsukamoto, Star Bulletin, Courtesy of Hawai‘i State Archives.

Newspaper Article

The article talks about the history and tradition of Washington Place and St. Andrew’s Priory.  There is a gate that separates the back of Washington Place with the back of the Priory.  During Queen Lili‛uokalani’s time, she would use the gate when visiting the sisters and students. Governor Waihe‛e and First Lady came upon the gate during a neighborly visit of their own as the new occupants of Washington Place.

Citation: “Governor Finds Historic Gate Leading to a Hideaway,” Honolulu Advertiser. March, 19, 1987, A:3.

View More

Hawaii State Governors

William F. Quinn

In Office 1957 to 1962

John A. Burns

In Office 1962 to 1974

George Ariyoshi

In Office 1986 to 1994

Ben Cayetano

In Office 1994 to 2002

Linda Lingle

In Office 2002 to 2010

Neil Abercrombie

In Office 2010 to 2014


Washington Place

320 South Beretania St

Honolulu, HI 96813