Annual Memorial Service

Each year, to show their appreciation to the donors and their families, medical students and staff participate in a Memorial Service to honor these “silent teachers”.

2023 Virtual Willed Body Memorial Service – April 15, 2023, 10:00AM

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will hold a virtual ceremony this year. Information for the upcoming service was sent to the primary next-of-kin for your loved one. Please note that if you have not received a letter, your loved one may still be teaching.

For our silent teachers who have elected to be scattered at sea, we will hold a private scattering of their cremains. A video of the private scattering will be aired on April 15, 2023.


All videos of the 2022 Willed Body Memorial Service held on April 9, 2022 are posted below.

Willed Body Program Ceremony 2022

CLICK HERE to download video

Willed Body Cremains Private Scattering Ceremony 2022

CLICK HERE to download video

Willed Body Honoree Slideshow 2022

CLICK HERE to download video

2022 Memorial Service Program Brochure. Click link below.

2022 Willed Body Ceremony Program FINAL


Willed Body Program Ceremony 2021

CLICK HERE to download video

Willed Body Cremains Private Scattering Ceremony

The cremains of the honorees from the 2020 and 2021 services were scattered at sea in a private ceremony in accordance to their wishes.

CLICK HERE to download video

2021 Willed Body Honorees

CLICK HERE to download video


CLICK HERE: 2021 Memorial Service Program Brochure


Willed Body Program 2020 Video

CLICK HERE to download video

Additional Downloads links for 2020 Memorial Service:

The video presentation above contains the photos and/or bios that were submitted by the family and friends of the honorees by the designated deadline. The ‘2020 Honoree Picture Boards’ is an updated presentation, which includes photos received after our deadline.

2020 Willed Body Memorial Service


WBMS Memo: COVID-19 Shuts Down Willed-Body Memorial Service at JABSOM

By Paula Bender, JABSOM Media & Communications

Those who were invited to pay their respects at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), Willed Body Memorial Service on April 4, 2020, will not be able to attend the event in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure sensitivity, plans are underway to create an honorable service that will be respectful of the donors and those who have only their memories to reflect upon.

Those who have received invitations will have to forego attending the memorial in person, as well as their friends and family. Last year there were more than 900 people in attendance at Wallace Rider Farrington High School in Kalihi. JABSOM will livestream the event via the link provided with the invite letter.

A memorial service has been held annually for our silent teachers since the inception of our program in the late 1970s. Services were made open to the public since the 1980s. The ceremony is held for those who completed their teaching programs and willed their bodies to JABSOM for anatomical education and training for future and current physicians and allied health professionals. For those honorees who requested their cremains be scattered at sea, they will be scattered during our next memorial service in 2021. If you wish to receive your loved one’s cremains, please contact us.

JABSOM apologizes for the inconvenience. However, we are making this decision in an abundance of caution to protect guests and students. As Hawaii is in the early phase of COVID-19, these types of responses are critical to keeping the community healthy and safe.


Previous Memorial Service Highlights




“2019 Willed Body Memorial Service” Flickr Album
Willed Body Ceremony 2019


“2016 Willed Body Memorial Service” Flickr Album
2016 Willed Body Memorial Ceremony


“2015 Willed Body Memorial Service” Flickr Album

Willed Body Memorial Ceremony 2015


“2015 Willed Body Memorial Service: Cremains Scattering Ceremony” Flickr album
Willed Body Memorial Ceremony 2015