Friday, March 4, 2005

/ 1932-2005

Waikiki beachboy
was friend to many

Robert Henry "Bobby" Krewson, one of the original Waikiki beachboys, died Saturday. He was 72.

"Bobby was the handsomest guy on the beach. He was a great surfer, and he had a line of girls following him all the time," entertainer Don Ho said of his friend.

Krewson won the Makaha International Surfing Championship as a tandem surfer and was one of the first surfers to ride the waves of Oahu's North Shore, said music promoter Tom Moffatt, who described Krewson as one of his best friends.

Krewson was born on Maui but grew up in Waikiki, where he gave surfing lessons, Moffatt said. He later joined the Coast Guard with his childhood friend, singer and songwriter Kui Lee.

He began his career as a beachboy in 1954, following his discharge. In 1964 developers Charles Pietsch and John Spierling picked him to run the beach concession at the new upscale Kahala Hilton Hotel.

"You could have been a big CEO, but if you wanted a towel or a chair, you had to go to Bobby," Ho said.

He also took guests on catamaran rides. Ho said Krewson was great with people and that everybody liked him.

The hotel soon became a favorite gathering place for Hollywood celebrities.

"A lot of people went to Kahala because of Bobby. The stars of Hollywood let their guard down because of Bobby," Moffatt said.

Krewson retired in 1989 after 25 years of providing beach and pool service to hundreds of celebrities. He returned to Waikiki, where in recent years he could be found photographing tourists and people enjoying the ocean at "The Wall" during his morning walks.

He is survived by companion Lauren Wong; sons Dwane and Cameron; daughters Ana, Kris and Saunie Krewson, Janna Dorsey and Kari Krewson-Evans; sisters Sylvia Reck and Charlotte Paresa; and six grandchildren.

Family and friends were scheduled to spread his ashes in the waters off Waikiki Beach following 8 a.m. services today at Duke's statue.

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