My father died just before 2 a.m. this morning. He was within sight of his 97th birthday, which would have rolled around December 7.
My sister, Bonnie, got the news to the web early this morning on her blog.
We spent yesterday at his bedside after his condition worsened, but gave up the vigil by early evening. He was not expected to live through the afternoon, but did. Even at the end, he displayed surprising strength, although by now it was a burden and not a blessing.
He made quite a mark in the world of Hawaii ocean sports after arriving in the islands in 1939. He was a founder of the Hawaii Surfing Association, a founder and first president of the Waikiki Surf Club, and a founder of the Makaka Surfing Championships. He headed the Waikiki Surf Club through most of its first decade. He believed in amateur sports, and I don’t think he ever warmed to the idea of surfing becoming a professional enterprise.
I quickly grabbed a few photos that I think he would enjoy seeing again. That’s him surfing in Long Beach, California, in 1938, when he spearheaded organizing of the First National Surfing Championship at a surf spot later wiped out by construction of the Long Beach breakwater. His board had been built by the father of his close friend, Myron Brejcha, who was a Long Beach city official.
The middle photo was a Christmas card sent out by my parents around 1940. They’re walking on Kahala Beach with my mother’s dog, Kiki.
The bottom photo was taken on the beach in Waikiki, early 1950s.