RICHARD MUNRO TOWILL

Posted On February 9th, 2014 -

2-9 RICHARD MUNRO TOWILLRICHARD MUNRO TOWILL Richard Munro Towill was born in Honolulu to Roswell Murray and Jeannie Munro Towill on 29 June, 1929. His fondest childhood memory was the sweet sound of nahenahe Hawaiian melodies, shared by Hawaiian musicians, who would travel the neighborhood during the holidays in a touring car in Kapa’a, on Kauai. While growing up at the top of Ke’eaumoku Street, he recalled hearing the lions roar from the Honolulu Zoo on a Kona night. A graduate of Hanahau’oli School and then a member of the class of 1947 at Punahou School, he earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by two years of service in the Air Force at Wright Field. Joining his dad in Honolulu, he worked for and assumed the presidency at the RM Towill Corporation and with his leadership; the company became one of the largest Civil Engineering, Surveying and Aerial mapping concerns in Hawai’i. During his tenure some of the most notable projects included the designs of; the Hawaiian Memorial and the Valley of the Temples Memorial Parks, the Honolulu Airport’s reef runway, the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway on Hawai’i island, the Sand Island and Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plants, and his favorite and one he was most proud of; the Mount Ka’ala access road. Inspired by the sweet melodies of his childhood and love of Hawaiian music, and along with the loving help of Marge Hansen his most celebrated achievement and gift to the Hawaiian community has been 29 years of Ka Himeni Ana. Begun at Orvis Auditorium and then home at the Hawai’i Theatre, the concert encourages budding musicians to share their talents of Hawaiian music, the nahenahe way and unamplified. Some of the many successful groups over the years include Alea, Pekelo, Holunape, Kanilau, Hookena and many others. Each concert has offered an evening with the abundance of lei, aloha, the fragrance of awapuhi, and the sweet sounds of nahenahe Hawaiian music. Richard would describe the evening as “a treat to the senses and where all of the participants were winners!” The other remarkable achievement was the publishing of his grandfather “Pa” Munro’s; The Story of Lana’i, which he and son Rick filled with old images of ranching days on Lana’i as well as the genealogies of all of the Hawaiian families on Lana’i that Pa completed, as begun by Charles Gay when he owned the island. Richard’s “service above self” as a long standing member of The Rotary Club of Honolulu also included service as a Board member of; Schuman Carriage Company, the Hawai’i Opera Theatre, the Lyon Arboretum, and The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame. He expected the highest standard of excellence, and at the same time he showered his family, friends, and colleagues with an abundance of love and aloha. He received the Kalani Alii award (the highest of honors) bestowed upon him by the four Royal Societies (Ahu Hipa) in 2012. Richard “pushed off” very comfortably and peacefully at home on the afternoon of 30 January with his beloved caregiver Amara. He is survived by his former wife Pats, their son Rick and daughter Liz, grandsons Mark and Ian, nieces, nephews and cousins. The Family will host a final “Cheerio” and Celebration of Life on 16 February at 3 PM at the home of Crystal and Rick; 47-460 Waihe’e Place in Kahalu’u. No flowers or lei please, but donations may be made to the Richard M. Towill family Foundation.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran