Lindquists 'irreplaceable'


POSTED: Monday, November 30, 2009

Carl and Rae Lindquist, “;irreplaceable”; community leaders in the town of Hana, celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary two days before heavy rain apparently swept the couple out to sea on Thanksgiving Day.

Maui firefighters will decide this morning whether to search for the couple for a third straight day, said Maui County spokeswoman Mahina Martin.

“;The community right now is in total shock,”; said Dawn Lono, the couple's agent at Hana Coast Realty.

Yesterday a fire helicopter searched about half a mile from shore, and on Saturday the chopper scanned a 2-mile stretch of shoreline, out to a quarter-mile from shore, Martin said.

Police and firefighters also searched fruitlessly along a stream where the couple's 1994 Ford Expedition was found about a 100 yards from the ocean and a half-mile from Ulaino Road.

Maui police believe heavy rain swept the SUV into the steam. The Lindquists, both 75, were last seen eating dinner at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hotel Hana Maui.

A Hana resident reported the couple missing at about 11 a.m. Saturday after finding their damaged vehicle.

“;It floods there a lot,”; said Lono. “;It's a very dangerous area.”;

But Lono said the couple lived on Ulaino Road for years and would not have misjudged the floodwaters. The road near the stream was repaved recently, and water markers were posted to mark the depth of ponding water, Lono said.

“;Something very strange must have happened,”; she said. “;Carl was too smart to just drive through that river.”;

The stream has 8-foot banks and is dozens of feet wide in places, she said.

The Lindquists were from Honolulu and moved to Hana more than 20 years ago, Lono said. Rae Lindquist “;was loved by all,”; and Carl Lindquist always made others laugh but was serious about protecting Hana, she said.

Carl Lindquist, who owns Hana Coast Realty with his wife, was once general manager of Hotel Hana Maui and former president of Trade Publishing Co., which publishes construction and other trade magazines.

“;They were always together,”; Lono said. “;I cannot imagine Carl without Rae and Rae without Carl. So if they had to go, for them, together is a great blessing from God.”;

Carl Lindquist and Chip Bahouth also started the Hana Business Council, which is still operating today, in the 1990s to create more jobs in the area. East Maui had about 1,600 residents in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Bahouth met Lindquist in the early 1990s after Bahouth became general manager at Hotel Hana Maui.

“;He was a great community leader”; and was involved in cultural issues, such as the East Maui Taro Festival and Hawaiian music, said Bahouth, now general manager of Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa.

“;In many, many ways, Carl was one of those pillars for the community,”; he said. “;He was a mentor in life for me.”;

The couple also organized the annual Hana New Year's Eve fireworks show.

“;Everything that happens in Hana, Carl and Rae were involved in either financially supporting it or being on the board,”; Lono said. “;There's going to be a huge puka in the Hana community without them here. They are irreplaceable.”;

The couple has a son in California and a daughter in Texas who will be coming to Hawaii, she said.