Friday, January 4, 2002

Nainoa Thompson got a comforting hug last night before the funeral service for his father, Myron "Pinky" Thompson.

‘Pinky’ Thompson
praised as a visionary

Nearly 1,000 attend the ex-Bishop
Estate trustee's funeral
at Kamehameha Schools

By Rosemarie Bernardo

Myron "Pinky" Thompson was a Renaissance man who acknowledged the importance of Hawaiian culture and gave the gift of education, said Clayton Hee, chairman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

"If we can just be a part of who he was, we would all be successful," Hee said.

Nearly 1,000 people attended Thompson's funeral service at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial Chapel at Kamehameha Schools.

Thompson died on Dec. 25 in Queen's Medical Center after a long battle with cancer. He was 77 years old.

Former Gov. John Waihee and his wife, Lynne, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and singer Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom were among those who attended last night's service.

Thompson was acknowledged for the pivotal roles he held: Bishop Estate trustee, state administrator under the late Gov. John A. Burns, executive director of the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, one of the founders of Alu Like and Papa Ola Lokahi, and a social worker.

Men and women wiped away tears as Thompson's son Myron recalled memories of his father.

He described his father's selfless nature when Thompson was chosen as one of the Bishop Estate trustees.

Though given a substantial salary, Thompson continued to drive a rundown Dodge pickup truck that was mistaken by spectators as an abandoned vehicle.

"He was a visionary, leader, caring and dedicated person," Myron said. "What set him aside from the rest of us is that he did something about it. He didn't sit around and talk about it."

"He was a good man -- no, he was a great man," Myron said.

Waihee remembered the first time he traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for federal funds for Alu Like, which provides job training for native Hawaiians. During a gathering at Sen. Daniel Akaka's home, Pinky got the music started and did the hula, Waihee said.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said, "We were privileged to know and walk the path of life with him."

Hardy Spoehr, executive director of Papa Ola Lokahi, a nonprofit group involved in improving the health of native Hawaiians, gave Thompson's eulogy.

"Pinky was a bass player. ... It was the strings that Pinky kept in tune," Spoehr said describing the four strings as aloha, kokua, laulima and malama.

Through Thompson's efforts, Hawaii has "a heightened sense of culture and commonality," he added.

Recognizing Hawaii as a multicultural community, taking care of the land and respecting the culture of native Hawaiians are ways to keep his memory alive, Spoehr said.

Thompson's ashes will be scattered tomorrow in Maunalua Bay.

Those who plan to attend can gather at the Hui Nalu Canoe Club at the Hawaii Kai boat ramp at 7 a.m.

Thompson is survived by his wife, Laura Thompson; daughter Lita Blankenfeld; sons Myron and Nainoa; sister Kamaolipua Miyamoto; brother Henry; and five grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Myron and Laura Scholarship Endowment at the Kamehameha Schools Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation, the Polynesian Voyaging Society or a charity.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin