E.R. "Champ" Champion, a dog lover, community volunteer and retired Dillingham Construction executive, died July 22 at his Honolulu home. He was 89.
E.R. "CHAMP" CHAMPION / 1911-2001
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"He was a distinguished man of tremendous accomplishment, a pillar of the community, active in many civic activities," said stepson Ward Buscher.
"Mr. Champion was an outstanding dog lover and animal advocate," said Pamela Burns, president of the Hawaiian Humane Society. "(He) gave selflessly of his time."
Champion's community activities included being a founding trustee and director for the Hawaii Army Museum Society, executive director and founder of the American Australian Association, director and president of the Hawaiian Humane Society, former president and director of the Hawaiian Kennel Club, director and president of Maunalani Hospital and patron president of Boy Scouts of America, for which he was a regional council member.
Champion was born on Sept. 30, 1911, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He graduated from Huntington Park Union High School and graduated with a bachelor's of science degree in architecture and structural engineering from Pacific Coast University.
After graduation he worked at various companies, including Kona Enterprises Ltd., where he served as president.
He also served as a vice president of Associated Masons Ltd. and of Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Co. and its parent company, Dillingham Corp., from which he retired after 17 years.
His career took him abroad to countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea and New Zealand, where he helped construct roads, piers and harbors, and to Australia, where he helped build railroads and mines.
"He was a longtime construction man in Hawaii," said Vice President Allan Lock of Hawaiian Dredging.
Lock described Champion as "always smiling, always optimistic. A real nice man."
Champion is survived by sisters Vera Rutledge and Portia Ritchey, stepsons Harry and Ward Buscher, seven step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.
Public services will be held at St. Clement's Episcopal Church at 4 p.m. Saturday. A private inurnment will follow. The family requests casual attire.
No flowers. Donations are suggested to the Salvation Army, Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Shriners Hospital and the Hawaiian Humane Society.