The University of Hawaiʻi lost an active supporter and mentor in retired Chief Justice William S. Richardson and bade a final farewell to eight dedicated faculty members in 2010.
Mālamalama offers condolences on the passing of:
- Fay Gilkey Calkins Alaʻilima
- Jean Ileialoha Keale Beniamina
- Robert L. Fox
- Merata Mita
- Toshiyuki Nishida
- Vincent Kelly Pollard
- George Ival Prater
- Diedrich Reimer
William Shaw “C.J.” Richardson
William Shaw “C.J.” Richardson (BA ’41 Mānoa), state supreme court justice and namesake of the UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, died June 21 in Honolulu.
Born in Honolulu in 1919, he grew up in Kaimukī, graduated from Roosevelt High School and worked in pineapple canneries to pay his way through college. He earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati and volunteered for the U.S. Army serving as an infantry platoon leader in the Philippines during World War II.
An advocate for statehood, he chaired the Hawaiʻi Democratic Party from 1956 until his election as lieutenant governor in 1962. During his tenure as chief justice, 1966–82, the court ensured public access to all Hawaiʻi beaches and public ownership of natural resources and expanded native Hawaiian rights to use private property.
Richardson considered establishment of the UH law school in 1973 his proudest accomplishment, and he remained active with the school, celebrating his 90th birthday with more than 900 friends last December at a fundraiser for the school’s William S. Richardson—Realizing the Dream fund for scholarships and facilities.
Fay Gilkey Calkins Alaʻilima
Fay Gilkey Calkins Alaʻilima, former Leeward Community College instructor, died Aug. 1 in Honolulu at age 88.
Born in New York and steeped in Puritan, Quaker and Methodist values, she earned a BA from Oberlin College, MA from Haverford College and doctorate from the University of Chicago. Author of several books, including My Samoan Chief and Aggie Grey: A South Seas Saga, she was an East-West Center senior scholar and taught at several institutions in Samoa and Hawaiʻi and participated with her husband Vaiao in Samoa’s development after independence.
Jean Ileialoha Keale Beniamina
Jean Ileialoha Keale Beniamina (BA ’87 Hilo), an outreach counselor and assistant professor at Kauaʻi Community College died July 10 at Līhue at age 54.
Born on Niʻihau, she graduated from Kamehameha Schools and was a lifelong advocate for the Hawaiian language and culture. She helped start ʻAha Punana Leo preschool and other Hawaiian language immersion schools and served as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee.
A composer, she received Na Hōkū Hanohano awards for her songs “Hoʻola Lahui O Hawaiʻi” and “Pua ʻAla Aumoe.”
Robert L. Fox
Robert L. Fox died March 18 in Longmont, Colo., at age 86.
Born in Clark, Mo., he earned a PhD in soil science at the University of Missouri and served in the Navy during World War II. He taught and conducted research on soil fertility at the University of Nebraska, joining the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources faculty in 1961.
A fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy, he was active in the International Soil Science Society. His paper on soil solution phosphorus was designated a classic, with more than 400 references, and he continued research at his Missouri farm after retiring in 1986.
Merata Mita, former UH Mānoa Academy for Creative Media assistant professor, died in Aotearoa May 31.
Known for her political documentaries, the Maori filmmaker developed Academy for Creative Media’s indigenous filmmaking program.
Toshiyuki Nishida (BS ’41, MS ’47 Mānoa), an insect ecologist, died June 4 at age 96.
He received his PhD from the University of California and joined the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, where he helped develop a biocontrol program for the Oriental fruit fly, introducing a parasite that was largely responsible for a 95 percent reduction in the fly population. He also worked on management practices for insects and mites of orchids.
Vincent Kelly Pollard
Vincent Kelly Pollard (PhD ’98 Mānoa), a lecturer at several campuses and cooperating graduate faculty member and Center for Philippine Studies faculty affiliate at UH Mānoa, died June 1 in Honolulu at age 65.
Pollard taught courses in political science, Asian studies and the liberal studies. He did extensive field research work in the Philippines and wrote extensively on all aspects of Asian contemporary affairs, including film and popular culture.
George Ival Prater
George Ival Prater died Jan. 16 at age 75 at the home he built with his wife in Captain Cook, Hawaiʻi.
After retiring as a University of Washington professor of business in 1998, he taught at UH Mānoa and Dartmouth College.
Diedrich Reimer died in Hilo on Mar. 4, two days short of his 85th birthday. He was a beef cattle geneticist with Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, responsible for groundbreaking research in progeny testing, genetic influences on carcass quality and composite breed development.
Born in Manitoba, he received his BSA from the University of Manitoba and MS and PhD from University of Minnesota and worked at the Northwest School of Agriculture and Experiment Station in Crookston, Minn.
Appointed as a UH associate researcher in 1964, he was stationed at the Beaumont Research Center, where he developed a composite “breed” of cattle best suited for Hawaiʻi’s environment. He retired as superintendent of the station in 1985 and lived in Kurtistown, Hawaiʻi.