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Thursday, December 21, 2000

Star-Bulletin file photo
Conrad "Connie" Conrad in a photo from 1959.

Services tomorrow
for ‘Connie’ Conrad

By Harold Morse

Conrad "Connie" Conrad, founder of Conrad Jewelers and Security Diamond at Ala Moana Center, who was well known for doing his own commercials on local television, died Tuesday in Honolulu. He was 90.

His favorite civic cause in recent years was promoting the idea of a water taxi system to bring people from the airport or Ewa side to Waikiki. "I would like to see water transportation for $1 a trip, just like the bus," he told the Star-Bulletin in 1997.

Conrad was also an architect and planner, and he designed his own stores.

He suggested several docking facilities for a water taxi -- one on the Waikiki side of Magic Island, another at Hilton Hawaiian Village and one at Fort DeRussy.

Other stops could be at the Waikiki Natatorium and Aloha Tower Marketplace, he said.

Conrad lived to see a state demonstration ferry service begin in October 1999 between Leeward Oahu and downtown Honolulu. The trial ferry run ended Dec. 1, but there are hopes that a commercial company could bring it back permanently.

Conrad sold his retail jewelry outlets in 1979. His father had established the original family store in 1937 in downtown Honolulu. The younger Conrad joined the family business in 1942, with other family jewelry outlets opening in later years.

He was born in Minneapolis. He attended the University of Southern California, came to Honolulu in 1934 and practiced architecture before joining Security Diamond Co.

He became president of the family firm in 1963. By 1971, family holdings included shops in Ala Moana Center and the Ilikai and Ala Moana hotels.

Conrad was a charter member of the West Honolulu Rotary Club and a member of the Hawaii Retail Jewelers Association, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Hawaii Visitors Bureau and Marketing Executives of Honolulu.

He is survived by wife Claire; daughters Sandra and Carole; sister Rosalind Stern; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Services will be at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Temple Emanu-El, 2550 Pali Highway. Friends may call after 8 a.m. Burial will be in Mililani Memorial Park. The family requests casual attire.

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