Lawrence LIT LAU, Jr. M.D.

Posted On April 27th, 2011 -

Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary


He was born in San Francisco on September 4, 1924 and died March 7, 2011. He said the most significant part of his life was his army training and service. After graduating from Punahou School, 1942, he enlisted at age 17 at Stanford University recruiting office, did basic training at Fort Ord, and was trained as a medical corpsman in Texas. Soon thereafter, he was on a troop ship, without convoy, to the swamps and jungle in New Guinea, where he was a malaria specialist. He was subsequently transferred to a field hospital, was on the second wave to the beach during the Philippine invasion, spent the night on the beach under heavy fire and was immediately sent to the prison camp holding American prisoners of war from Correigidor and Bataan. He said the freed prisoners were a pitiful sight, the silence was eerie. No cheering. Only smiles. The colonel said, “clean them up.” At the field hospital, he said, there were “broken bodies”, “severed limbs”, the horrors and smell of gangrene, disposing of the severed or amputated limbs, and comforting young boys like himself, who were calling for their mothers.

He was in Japan with his unit, which was part of the Invasion Army and soon called the Army of Occupation. He was very touched by the kindness of the Japanese civilians and the beautiful country.

He returned to Stanford University (1948, B.A. in Biology and Classics; 1952, M.D.). His name is on the wall of the new Medical School building entrance, for “substantial and consistent” donations. He did his internship at San Francisco General Hospital, residencies at University of Denver Hospital, Mennonite Hospital, and Michael Reese Hospital (Chicago). He spent 5 years in private practice at Chock-Pang Clinic and 29 years with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center at its Waipahu Punawai Clinic, which he helped to open. He later served as chief physician for several years. His retirement was spent traveling, visiting his daughters, and reading. He was actively involved in a number of charitable organizations. He delivered meals-on-wheels daily to elderly or homebound residents in Kalihi. The Special Olympics was also very important to him, and he was a longtime supporter. He also supported organizations for veterans and numerous Boys and Girls clubs.

He is survived by his wife Alana Wai Lan (nee Wong), sister Nancy Ann (Penny) Ling of Singapore and Wisconsin, daughters Honorable Laurie Lau (Cairns) of Manhattan, NY and Lisa Lau (Ming) of Bryn Mawr, PA, and two grandchildren, Matthew and Emily Ming.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran