JERRY TUNE / 1939-2008
Reporter owned housing beat
Former longtime Star-Bulletin reporter Jerry Tune was a thorough and reliable journalist and avid student of real estate trends, colleagues and family members recall.
Tune, who worked at the Star-Bulletin for almost 30 years, died Friday at the St. Francis Hospice in Nuuanu after a long illness. He was 69.
Before he worked at the Star-Bulletin, Tune, originally from Hollywood, Calif., worked as a reporter for the Burbank News and later as a news writer and producer for the NBC-TV news with Tom Brokaw.
Tune also worked in public relations for the Bank of America and obtained a real estate license in Los Angeles, which helped him cover Hawaii real estate, said his wife, Suelyn.
The couple met in Los Angeles while Suelyn was pursuing her graduate degree. He fell in love with Hawaii when he arrived in the isles after they announced their engagement. Her uncle threw a luau for Tune, who loved the Hawaiian food.
Tune described Hawaii as "heaven on earth," his wife said. The couple would have celebrated their 40th anniversary on Aug. 9.
Tune started working at the Star-Bulletin in 1970. He covered the environment beat before moving to the business section. Former colleagues described him as a hard-working reporter who covered real estate extensively during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. "For many years, Jerry was synonymous with covering real estate and housing," said John Simonds, former managing editor and executive editor.
He was very much on top of the home development activities, particularly on Oahu, during those years, Simonds said. "He was widely respected by people in the housing field as well as his peers."
For some time he almost single-handedly put the real estate section together for the Sunday paper. At the time, the Sunday paper was a joint effort published by the Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser.
"Jerry was a very thorough, reliable and extremely fair-minded reporter," Simonds said. He further described him as likable, even-tempered and a good listener.
Russ Lynch, former business editor and reporter, described Tune's reporting as clear and to the point. He was a quiet worker, but every now and then "he would display a wry sense of humor and could really make you laugh," Lynch said. "He had a keen interest in all aspects of real estate, such as trends in urban design, and was always in a learning process so he could do a better job in his field."
Tune's wife said family was his main priority. He regularly watched son Rick -- a record-breaking University of Hawaii volleyball standout -- compete in the mid-1990s. Both he and his son were rabid Los Angeles Lakers basketball fans, she said. If one could not watch a game, the other would later give details, play by play, she added.
After he retired from the Star-Bulletin, he enjoyed painting, drawing and listening to Hawaiian music. "He was a man of simple taste and a man of honor," Tune's wife said. "He kept his word."
Tune also is survived by brother Christopher and grandchild Aidan. A funeral service will be held on April 12 at Nuuanu Memorial Park and Mortuary. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. The service begins at 10:45 a.m. No flowers. Aloha attire.