Saturday, July 7, 2001


Family legacy of giving
lives on at Kalama Beach


By Mary Adamski

Denver philanthropist Mae Bleakie Boettcher, who died last month in Colorado, left a legacy in Hawaii for many who still connect the family name to a prime Windward beach facility.

Boettcher, 88, was a trustee of the Boettcher Foundation, which awarded more than $180 million in grants to medical and cultural facilities, as well as 1,800 scholarships.

In 1976 she sold a Kailua beach estate, which had been in her husband's family since the 1930s, to the city. Officially known as Kalama Beach, the property on Kalaheo Avenue is still known as the Boettcher Estate.

The beach home is now rented for community or organizational gatherings, said Lucille Gibson, who was founding president of Friends of the Boettcher Estate. The estate had a history, including its use for Navy officers' housing during World War II. It was saved from sale to private owners in an effort spearheaded by the late City Council member and legislator Mary George. Gibson said federal funding was obtained, and Boettcher cooperated by selling for less than the appraised value. The Friends group acts as an advisory board and is now pressing ahead with a five-year restoration plan for the deteriorating home, which was designed by Vladimir Ossipoff.

Boettcher, of Denver, died June 17. She is survived by stepdaughters Ann and Claudia, and companion Edith Wang. Services were in Denver.

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