James (Jimmy) Kwan Kee Park
JAMES (JIMMY) KWAN KEE PARK James (Jimmy) Kwan Kee Park passed away peacefully on February 12, 2012. He was a man who always had a friendly smile with twinkly eyes, a hearty laugh, a generous spirit who was always compassionate toward everyone he met. He was born on February 22, 1913 in Pyongyang, Korea and immigrated to Hawaii in 1923. Dad was born to be an artist and never wavered even when his father broke his brushes and threw his paints away. He became an illustrator of Hawaiian flora for Dr. Otto Degener, Professor of Botany at the University of Hawaii. Later he studied in New York at The Art Students League and illustrated for the New York Botanical Gardens. He graduated from the University of Hawaii and taught art until his entrepreneurial spirit took him into various businesses. He founded Park's Art Shop which produced ceramic art, etched-glassware, abstract oil paintings, wire sculptures, ceramic art and hand-screened silk shirts. He then co-founded Park-Forrest Ltd., a textile design and printing company. He created realistic Hawaiian flora print designs that were becoming popular for aloha wear. Later the company was sold to Von Hamm-Young Textiles. His art was displayed in many galleries of Honolulu, including the Advertiser building and Honolulu Academy of Arts. He belonged to the Metcalf Chateau a group of seven Asian-American artists with ties to Honolulu. It flourished after World War II, and its other members were Satoru Abe, Bumpei Akaji, Edmund Chung, Tetsuo Ochikubo, Jerry T. Okimoto, and Tadashi Sato. Dad lived for many years in Los Angeles, California where he opened William's Art Studio and Amme House Gallery. One of his last paintings was of our Lord God, a beautiful peaceful painting. Our Dad lived a fulfilled artistic life. He is survived by wife, Han Kap Chung Park, sister Dorothy Tong; daughters: Signe (Roger) Godfrey, Coral (Art) Vellocido, Dawne (Richard) Hotema, April (Robert) Hamatake; sons: Conrad (Kathi), Reuben (Marion), Edison (Toni), and Rodney Park, and stepson William Chung Kim. Other survivors include 3 nephews and 1 niece, 26 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and 4 great great grandchildren.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased