Thursday, July 29, 2004


Real estate exec brought
‘aloha spirit’ to his work

LAHAINA >> As a vice president for Maui real estate for the Kaanapali Development Corp., Arthur James Wriston III successfully pushed his firm to contribute land for a proposed hospital in West Maui.

"He fought for a lot of things and assisted in so many other things," said Joseph Pluta, president of the West Maui Taxpayers Association.

Wriston, 48, of Kaanapali, died of a brain aneurysm Sunday at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Pluta said Wriston was a key figure in working with residents on a plan that laid out the kind of development residents wanted in Kaanapali.

"He brought the aloha spirit to development," Pluta said. "We lost a treasure there. He had the kind of sensitivity all too absent. I'm really going to miss him."

Pluta said Wriston helped to persuade his firm to expand its contribution of a medical facility to 15 acres from four, making possible a plan for a proposed hospital in West Maui.

Wriston was a graduate of Punahou School on Oahu and received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

He was a member of numerous associations and community groups, including the Lahaina Town Action Committee, Lahaina Restoration Foundation and the Maui Historical Society. He was also president of the Kaanapali Golf Estates Community Association.

Wriston's career with Kaanapali Development began under the former parent company, Amfac Inc., in 1988 when he served as a field engineer for its subsidiary Oahu Sugar Co., in Waipahu.

He was promoted to manager of land administration and relocated in 1995 to the Garden Isle to become the director of plantation sugar administration for Amfac Sugar Kauai.

He served in that position until 1997, when he returned to Oahu Sugar as director of land administration.

In June 2000, Wriston moved to Maui and helped direct talks toward preserving coffee cultivation in West Maui. He also helped develop a plan to preserve the smokestack at Pioneer Mill.

Stephen Lovelette, Kaanapali Development executive vice president, said, "He gave heart and soul, striving to ensure that our projects blended with the community's wishes."

Wriston is survived by companion Sandra Seton, sons James Wriston IV and Christopher Wriston, brothers Jeff and J.D., sister Jaimee Colbert and father A. James Wriston Jr.

A funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow at Thurston Chapel, Punahou School, Honolulu.

On Maui a memorial service is scheduled for Monday at Kahekili Park (Airport Beach) at Kai Ala Drive in Kaanapali.

Aloha attire and leis are requested.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Maui Cultural Lands Inc., 1087-A Pookela Road, Makawao, HI 96768, for the Honokowai Valley Reforestation Project; or to Academy of the Pacific, 913 Alewa Drive, Honolulu 96817.


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