Whatever Happened...

An update on past news

Wednesday, August 20, 1997

Richard J. Lyman
was keen agriculturalist

What ever happened to Richard J. "Papa" Lyman Jr., former Bishop Estate trustee, agriculturalist, and territorial and state senator for Hawaii?

Lyman, who devoted his life to the State of Hawaii and the Hawaiian people, was buried at Homelani Memorial Park in Hilo after he died of heart failure in 1988 at the age of 85.

As a member of the 1950 Constitutional Convention, Lyman called for statehood and later served as a senator for the Territory of Hawaii and the State of Hawaii from 1958-1962.

The last Bishop Estate trustee to be appointed to a lifetime term, Lyman also served the Kamehameha Schools for nearly 30 years.

"He loved the students," said fellow trustee Henry Peters. "He saw them as (Princess Bernice) Pauahi's children and everything we did tied back to them."

Today, the Richard Lyman Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund provides college tuition for three graduating seniors of Kamehameha School and Pahoa High School.

Lyman is also honored each year at the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest with a trophy awarded in his name for best use of Hawaiian language in song.

Lyman's daughter, Betty Anne Keala, said his greatest legacy, though, may be his work as an agriculturalist. With immense love and knowledge for the land, Lyman was able to grow grass, papaya trees and watermelon out of lava rock from his home in Puna.

Three years ago, Keala helped publish "Ho'omana'o: Thoughts by Richard Lyman," a compilation of her father's papers.

"Those who knew him still feel he is very much around," said Keala. "When we read the book, we can hear him talking to us."

By Neal Iwamoto, Star-Bulletin

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