Hundreds turn out for Bainum services


POSTED: Saturday, June 27, 2009

Several hundred people—some in aloha attire or suits and some in T-shirts and jeans—gathered yesterday to bid goodbye to City Councilman Duke Bainum, whose life was filled with public service.

;[Preview]    Hundreds Gathered to Remember Duke Bainum

Hundreds came to Hosoi Mortuary to pay their respects to Councilman Duke Bainum, who died June 9 at age 56 from complications of an aneurysm.

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Memorial services for Dr. Mark Edmund “;Duke”; Bainum, who died June 9, were at Hosoi Garden Mortuary in Honolulu and included visits from dignitaries such as Mayor Mufi Hannemann, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Burial services were scheduled today at Diamond Head Memorial Park.

Bainum was known politically for his independence, leading the environmental cleanup of the Ala Wai Canal and crusading a fraud investigation into the city's Ewa Villages.

“;Duke wanted to make sure we did the right thing,”; said Honolulu Councilman Nestor Garcia.

Bainum, 56, died after suffering an aortic aneurysm.

The Arkansas-raised Bainum was a working doctor who entered politics on Oahu and nearly became Honolulu mayor in 2004, losing by only about 1,300 votes to Hannemann.

He served in the state House from 1990 to 1994 and for more than eight years as a Council member.

In his honor, state and county flags were flown at half-staff yesterday.

Friends said Bainum's hard work improved the lives of many, from his medical missions to Nepal and the Philippines to eliminating graffiti in McCully.

“;Duke was about enriching the democratic process,”; said former state Sen. Bert Kobayashi, under whom Bainum worked as a legislative intern. “;We are better for him having passed our way.”;

Oahu resident Raymond Lalosin said Bainum helped McCully reduce crime through city funding of a citizens patrol and by working with them to clean graffiti.

“;He actually got out there in the trenches,”; said Lalosin. “;He helped us a lot.”;

Bettye Jo Harris, who walks with crutches, said she arrived an hour before visitation to make sure she had parking and could pay homage to the man who helped her group, Alpha Kappa Alpha, provide more than 20 scholarships to high school graduates.

“;He was just a wonderful person,”; Harris said.

Bainum started providing plaques to recognize Junior Police Officers at awards ceremonies sponsored by the Kaimuki Lions Club and helped in the club's anti-litter campaign.

“;Whenever he could, he'd be out on projects,”; club secretary Francis Lee said.

Andy Winer, Bainum's former mayoral campaign manager, said family and friends have joined to make sure support is present for the councilman's family, including his wife Jennifer and two sons, ages 1 and 2 1/2 .

“;We want to be a part of their lives,”; Winer said.