BY JULIE Z. LEE
Hoshino, mentor to thousands of students at Pacific Union College and Mountain
View Academy, passed away unexpectedly from complications of kidney disease and
pneumonia on February 10, 2014. She was 58.
Hoshino, who grew up in
Sunnyvale, California, and resided in Angwin, California, is a graduate of
Miramonte Christian School, Mountain View Academy (MVA), and Pacific Union
College (PUC). She began working at PUC immediately after graduation. Eventually
becoming assistant to the dean of students, she oversaw the college Campus
Center and Student Association, working closely with clubs and student leaders.
During her 23 years of service at the college, Rita was a beloved mentor and
friend to thousands of students. She had a vivid memory and remembered names
and details about everyone she met, earning her the nickname “Rita Rolodex.”
Following her career at PUC,
Hoshino was the alumni/advancement director at MVA. It was after this that
Hoshino began investing in what had previously been only a hobby: portraying
Ellen G. White. Because of her resemblance to the Seventh-day Adventist Church cofounder,
Hoshino had often been asked to portray Ellen White at various functions. The
first invitation was during her teenage years, when Hoshino was asked to play a
young Ellen at an event for Pacific Press Publishing Association, where her
father was employed. She eventually created The
Ellen White Legacy, a ministry devoted to sharing White’s work through
Hoshino’s portrayal of Ellen
White took her across the nation, bringing “Ellen” back to life for such events
as St. Helena Hospital’s one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary celebration, the
Hiram Edson Farm dedication, Loma Linda University Hospital’s centennial
anniversary, and the 2010 General Conference session in Atlanta, Georgia. She was
also a favorite at Pathfinder camporees, church services, schools, and camp
With the approval of the Ellen G.
White Estate, Hoshino was invited to be a representative of Adventist Heritage
Hoshino’s hope was to grow The Ellen White Legacy ministry into an
educational tool for youth and young adults. The ministry Web site
(www.ellenwhitelegacy.com) states, “The ministry of Ellen White Legacy is committed to presenting the life and person
of Ellen White in a realistic, respectful way, hoping to encourage audiences to
return to the real woman who inspired millions. Our ultimate goal is to point
congregations not to Ellen White, but to the Jesus she so adored.”
Hoshino is survived by her
brother, Dennis Hoshino; niece, Laren James; and nephew, Brent West-Hoshino.
—Julie Z. Lee was a close friend of Rita Hoshino.