It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dr. Anthony Lenzer, first Director of the UH Center on Aging and champion of aging issues in Hawaii.
Gerontology was Dr. Lenzer’s life-long interest and career. His first Gerontological job, in 1956, was as staff for the Michigan Legislative Council on Problems of Aging. He went on to study elders living on a Michigan “County Poor Farm,” before moving to the School of Public Health at The University of Michigan. At Michigan, he helped to create a Chronic Disease & Aging Program.
In 1969, he came to the University of Hawaii’s School of Public Health to establish a Gerontology Program and to support aging research and teaching across the UHM campus. From 1988-93, he also served as the first Director of the UH Center on Aging. During that time, he was Executive Producer for a 13-hour public television series and college telecourse titled, “Growing Old in a New Age.” The series won several national awards. Since retiring in 1994, he has been an active advocate for Hawaii’s elders and their families, and spent three legislative sessions as Senator Les Ihara Jr.’s Aging Issues Advisor.
Tony was also the first President of the Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society, and served as Emeritus Board Member, where he was a strong advocate for workforce development and gerontology student scholarships. He also worked with Kokua Council, the Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs, the Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition, and the Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans.
He is terribly missed, and we at the UH Center on Aging strive to continue his legacy and vision.