Sunday, April 11, 2004

Friends remember
Maui surfer

The salesman killed in a shark
attack was deeply spiritual

Memorial services will be held today on Maui and in Oregon for the surfer killed in a shark attack off a West Maui surf spot.

Will McInnis, the 57-year-old Kahana man who died Wednesday at Pohaku Beach will be honored in an Easter Day service at the beach where he died.

The 11 a.m. memorial is actually a continuation of a tradition started by McInnis, who led Sunday morning religious services at the beach.

Afterward, fellow surfers, friends and family, including his son Mark, plan to paddle surfboards out, form a circle and offer prayers and Hawaiian chants.

McInnis also lived in Oregon and worked as a sales manager at Eagle Crest Resort before he retired and moved to Hawaii, said Cindy Barker, a former co-worker at the resort.

A memorial service will be held today near the Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Barker said.

Paul Loberg, former vice president of sales at Eagle Crest, and a longtime McInnis friend, said more than 100 people are expected at the service.

"I can't think of a person I loved as much as Will McInnis," Loberg said. "He was a genuine friend, a person of integrity and honesty and deep, deep spiritual conviction."

McInnis once found a diamond ring probably worth several thousand dollars when he was in Hawaii years earlier, Barker said.

"He had the resort newspaper run an article (because) he wanted to find the owner," she said. The rightful owner eventually claimed the ring.

When another former co-worker, Jon Mahody, called Barker to tell her McInnis had died, she said, "everybody up here was shedding a tear, men and women alike. Will was just like the daddy of us all, I guess."


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