Will Kyselka

Posted On July 22nd, 2012 -

June 7, 1921 – July 1, 2012
Will Kyselka died July 1 at age 91. He was predeceased by his wife, Leila “Lee” Kyselka, who died May 10, 2012, and survived by his stepson, Jim Denbeste of Salem, Oregon, a nephew, David Hermel, of Michigan, step-grandchildren Leslie Wilder & Michael Wilder of Hawaii, Paul DenBeste of Oregon, Michelle DenBeste of California, Lisa DenBeste & Matt DenBeste of Washington, and eight step-great-grandchildren. Will was born in Detroit, Michigan and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He attended Olivet College and received his B.S. in Geology and M.A. in Education from the University of Michigan. He taught for many years at the UH Lab School and retired as an Associate Professor from the UH Curriculum Research and Development Group. He was a lecturer at the Bishop Museum Planetarium where he met Nainoa Thompson in 1978. Using the Planetarium as a resource, Will worked with Nainoa to develop knowledge concerning the movement of the stars as Nainoa prepared to be the navigator on the Hokule’a’s successful roundtrip journey between Hawaii and Tahiti in 1980. Will and his wife, Lee, were on the Ishka, the 48-foot sailing vessel that escorted the Hokule’a on that 1980 journey to Tahiti. Will also sailed aboard the Hokule’a itself during a part of its 1986-1987 Voyage of Rediscovery. He wrote the book An Ocean in Mind in 1987 as well as co-authored North Star to Southern Cross, Maui-How It Came to Be, Anatomy of an Island and Stars in Mind. Will was a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society as well as the Church of the Crossroads. He and his wife built a beloved home on top of Tantalus in 1968 and lived on Forest Ridge Way until 2011. A celebration of Will’s life will be held at Church of the Crossroads, Honolulu on Friday July 27, 2012. Visitation 4:30-5:00 pm, service at 5 pm, reception at 6 pm. Please, no flowers. Donations can be made in his name to the University of Hawaii Press, the Polynesian Voyaging Society or Church of the Crossroads.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran