JACK LUCAS LARSENJACK LUCAS LARSEN, 1924 TO 2015 At age 91 Jack was still doing the things he loved. Sunday, August 16, 2015 he went for a hike in the morning near his home at Del Mesa Carmel and then brought a bouquet of wildflowers to his "ladyfriend." That evening they went to dinner with friends and enjoyed conversation and champagne. He returned home, sat down on the bench outside his front door and passed away peacefully. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 30, 1924, Jack Lucas Larsen grew up in his parent's home on Diamond Head, next door to Lydie Lucas, his grandmother, one of the first kama'ainas to build a home there. His father, Dr. Nils Paul Larsen, was known in the Islands for his contributions to medicine in Hawaii. His mother, Sara Lucas Larsen, traced her ancestry back to her grandfather, George Lucas, who arrived in Hawaii in 1852. He established the Honolulu Planing Mill which contributed furniture and detailing to 'Iolani Palace in Honolulu. The Lucas brothers also helped build the Moana Hotel in Waikiki. Jack attended high school in the Islands and graduated from Culver Military Academy in Indiana in 1943. After Culver, Larsen served for two and a half years in the U.S. Army Air Corp. ending up as a Radar Counter- Measure Operator on B-29s in the air war against Japan. Following the war, in 1946 he attended the University of Hawaii for two years as a pre-med student before graduating from Colgate University with a BA in Natural Science in 1950. In 1951, he married Louise Erdman. A daughter and son were born in Pahala, Hawaii where Jack was working on the sugar plantation. In 1955 the family moved to Lana'i. Jack worked on the Dole Lana'i plantation for three years and was then moved to Dole's Wahiawa plantation before a position took him to the cannery in Honolulu. He worked as Corporate Director of Industrial Engineering before moving to California in 1967 as Assistant to the Vice President of Dole's mainland canneries in San Jose, California and Salem, Oregon. Larsen returned to Honolulu in 1969 where he was named Director of Pineapple Planning. This position entailed a worldwide search for overseas expansion opportunities for lower-cost pineapple production. Larsen left Dole in 1971 soon after marrying Chonita Gibbs Newport in Honolulu and the couple moved back to the same Diamond Head beach home where he grew up. He set up his own consulting firm, Agroland, Inc. where he continued for 18 years as a consultant in tropical agriculture, assessing project viability around the world from Venezuela to Asia. During this period, he was elected to three terms in the Hawaii State House of Representatives between 1974 and 1980, twice as a Republican and once as a Democrat. In 1996 Jack and Chonita moved to the Monterey area and settled in Del Mesa Carmel. Jack's career in the pineapple industry in Hawaii inspired the research and writing of his 676-page book, Hawaiian Pineapple Entrepreneurs. Filled with historic photos, extensive research and interviews with pineapple industry leaders and workers, it chronicles the rise and fall of the pineapple industry in the Hawaiian Islands. Jack was an avid hiker both in Hawaii with his family and with the Haasis group in Monterey, his name synonymous with hiking for all who knew him. Unexpected adventures were the source of many a story. He is survived by his two children, Jennifer Sara Larsen Morrow and Nils Harold Larsen and two granddaughters, Katie Morrow and Sondrea Larsen. He is also survived by three stepchildren, Nason "Tuck," Tiare and Robin Newport who live in California. A Celebration of Life will be held at Del Mesa Carmel on September 26, 2015.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased