Monday, September 13, 1999

remembered for
his love of flying

A Realtor and WWII
aviator dies at age 90

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


Art Walter H. Dillingham was a successful businessman, a member of the Territorial Legislature and a lieutenant colonel in the Army.

But Deborah Dillingham Vogel's most endearing memory of her father is of him flying his Comanche 400 and AT-6 airplanes.

Dillingham, 90, died yesterday.

"Everybody remembers him with his airplane," Vogel said. "He flew everybody every place all the time when visitors would come."

Dillingham learned to fly while attending the University of Washington and continued taking to the skies until he was 79, Vogel said, even flying over cruise ships and dropping leis on them.

He was an airman in World War II, and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army Air Force.

At times, he served as a liaison between branches of the armed forces.

The son of businessman Harold Dillingham and nephew of namesake Walter F. Dillingham, Walter H. Dillingham carved his own niche as a Realtor.

He also at one time managed Theo H. Davies' cattle ranch on the Big Island and served as manager of the Dillingham Transportation Building.

A staunch anti-Communist, he twice was elected to the House of Representatives of the Territorial Legislature.

He stepped into the political big time in 1948 when he challenged Joseph Farrington for the Republican Party nomination to be Hawaii's delegate to Congress. After a campaign in which he questioned Farrington's union ties, he lost.

Vogel said her father was "a wonderful human being everyone loved," a free spirit beyond just his love of flying.

"He was planning to live until the year 2000," she said. "He thought he was going to the moon."

Services are pending with Borthwick Mortuary.

He is also survived by his wife, Eloise; a brother, Peter. and two grandsons.

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