Henry “Hank” Takashi Iida

Posted On March 12th, 2017 -

Henry Henry "Hank" Takashi Iida, 82, of Kaneohe, passed away on February 11, 2017. He was born in Ka'a'awa, Oahu, to parents Tomitaro and Shizuyo Iida. Hank graduated from Castle High School and attended Purdue University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He went on to Lehigh University to obtain his Masters degree then completed his education at USC earning his PhD in Aerospace Engineering while working full time. He started his career at Convair Astronautics in San Diego, CA, working as a Thermodynamics Engineer on the Atlas Missile and Atlas-Centaur projects. His unassuming demeanor belies the fact that he also worked on the Apollo 11's "Man on the Moon" project for Rockwell International, formerly known as North American Aviation in Downey, CA. There he headed the "heat transfer" section when he was only 27 years old. He later worked on the early stages of the space shuttle project before returning home to Hawaii. Until his passing, Hank was President of T. Iida Contracting, Ltd. where he strived to continue his father's legacy of honesty and integrity in business as well as giving back to the community. Hence, T. Iida Contracting was recently awarded the Outstanding Union Builders of the Year award. Hank was a trustee for the Hawaii Carpenters Health and Welfare Trust Fund since 1977 where he was respected by his peers for solid and diligent leadership. He was an advocate for construction workers, their families and what the benefit plan served. Hank left an indelible mark in the Windward community. Quiet and "low keyed", he had a profound impact in providing opportunities for others through the various charitable organizations he was involved in. He served as the volunteer President of the Minami Community Foundation for the past 20+ years. The foundation directs critical funding to support area clubs, organizations, schools and individuals. They impact environmental needs and initiatives, public recreation and education at all levels in the Kaneohe Bay/96744 area - his home town. A long time leader with the Castle High School Alumni Association, he will be especially remembered for his tireless efforts in providing tremendous support for Castle High School. In 2010 he was one of six graduates honored by Castle High School for his contributions to the school as well as his accomplishments within the community, state and nation. Hank was a revered active member of the Kaneohe Rotary Club since 1975. He was once awarded the "Quiet Rotarian" award for his many years of "quiet" generosity and contributions to the club. Hank was also a member of the Kaneohe Business Group for many years. Hank was involved in many other independent community projects. Most notably, he spearheaded the 1997 H3 Run/Ho'olaulea fundraiser before the opening of the H3 freeway and tunnel. He recently published a 2nd edition book chronicling a historical perspective of Japanese in Kaneohe of which the donations go to Castle High School. In 2009, he was honored at a Ko'olaupoko Hawaiian Civic club banquet for his contributions to the Hawaiian community. He was a man of many talents and interests. In his youth, he was known to be a strong swimmer. He was a self-taught ukulele player. He loved to pen cheerful "hapa haole" songs and wrote 13 songs for the musical group Hawaii Loa. As an avid musical buff, he loved jazz, chamber, country, classical, pop, and Broadway musicals. He had a passion for the performing arts and shared this with his friends and family. For the last 20 years he made an annual 6 day trip to NYC and would see 9-11 performances each trip. He loved museums. He loved paintings, especially by Jean Miro. He was known for his love of koa and other woods, and he helped design some of the koa pieces that he loved to share with family and friends. He loved to travel and especially enjoyed his annual trips to Japan. He was an avid sports fan. You could always find him parked on the couch on a Sunday afternoon watching a sports game. Those who knew him describe him as kind, generous, humble and amazing, although these words do no justice to describe this "One-of-a-Kind" man. He was cultured, strong-willed, and very hard working. He was known to be very generous with his strong opinions. As a visionary, he was community-oriented. Children and animals, with instinct for kindness, gravitated towards him. In his quiet and unassuming manner, Hank touched countless lives, family and friends. Being the remarkable and unique person that he was, Hank will be sorely missed. Survived by wife, Patricia (Uehara) Iida; daughters: Kim Ringler (David "Bino"), Chanda Kuriyama (John), Michelle Garlock (Keith), 6 grandchildren, sisters: Grace Kumabe, Florence Fanning (Harry), Thelma Kimura (Shuzo); brothers: Charles (Winifred), Alvin (Mary Lou), Hamilton "Koni" (Sheri). Celebration of Life on March 24 at Hawaiian Memorial Park at 6:00pm. Visitation at 5:00pm

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran