ANITA LIPTAK / 1928-2002

Pa‘i award honoree
called ‘one of a kind’

More obituaries

By Treena Shapiro

When Anita Liptak ordered T-shirts for her Kaneohe Neighborhood Board campaign, they came back reading "Vote Anita Liptak, Neighborhood Broad."

Instead of returning the shirts to have the typo fixed, Liptak and her supporters wore them proudly -- and she won the election.

Liptak's friends and colleagues remember the retired printing executive as feisty, funny, fearless and a fighter. She died Saturday, a few days shy of her 74th birthday.

Lee Schaller, a close friend of Liptak's, said the two women met at the Honolulu Press Club, where Liptak was an active member, participating in the annual Gridiron shows.

"She was one of a kind," Schaller said. "She was a real character."

A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, Liptak moved to Hawaii in the 1950s after working with avant-garde music producer Stan Freeburg and at the New Yorker magazine, Schaller said.

She came to Hawaii as an account executive for Boland Associates Ltd. and became an account executive and director of Len Carey Inc. She was also an account executive at the Lennen & Newell Inc. advertising agency, editor of the Farm Journal and public relations director for the former Island Holidays Hotels chain.

She spent many years at Honolulu Magazine and Tongg Publishing -- later Hagadone Printing Co. -- from where she retired after more than 30 years.

Jonelle Rezantes, director of publications at Hagadone, described Liptak as witty, sharp and often surprising.

"Anita was very resistant to computers," Rezantes said, describing the typewriter and pencils Liptak insisted on using.

Liptak was angry when Rezantes put a computer on her desk and would put her sweater over it, Rezantes said.

After Liptak retired in December 2000, "she went out and bought a computer at home," took computer classes at Honolulu Community College and was learning to build Web pages, Rezantes said.

"She was in her 70s and she finally took it up," she said.

As a board member of the Hawaii Publishers Association, Liptak emceed the annual Pa'i Awards ceremony with Trade Publishing Ltd.

Jim Wilson, publisher of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald said Liptak will be honored April 23 at the Pa'i Awards ceremony, for which Liptak was already writing the script.

"She was a great woman, she's just very feisty," Wilson said.

Schaller said she will honor Liptak's desire to have a good party for close friends instead of funeral services. Longtime friends and associates interested in attending should call Schaller at 395-1839.

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