RICHARD KEKUNI AKANA BLAISDELL
RICHARD KEKUNI AKANA BLAISDELL March 11, 1925 - February 12, 2016 Dr. Richard Kekuni Akana Blaisdell, 90, of Honolulu, HI, passed away peacefully on February 12, 2016, with his family at his side. Founding Chairman of Medicine for the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), he was preceded in death by wife, Irene Saito Blaisdell; sister, Louise 'Iwalani Blaisdell Minton and brother William Kaha'i Blaisdell, Jr. Survived by sister Venus Leina'ala Porter and brother Wallace Gay Blaisdell. Beloved father of son Mitsunori Kamakani (Jill) Blaisdell and daughter Dr. Helen Kaleleonalani (William) Blaisdell-Brennan; grandchildren Melissa Blaisdell, William Brennan, Malia Brennan, Jacob Blaisdell; great-grandson Christopher Oyama; all of Honolulu. He was a proud graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, the University of Redlands, and the University of Chicago School of Medicine, where he later returned to join the teaching faculty. In 1966, he and his family moved home to Honolulu where he joined the founding faculty of the University of Hawaii Medical School. He was a passionate and devoted advocate for Native Hawaiian health; he championed the need to improve the health of kanaka maoli. His efforts were instrumental in the founding of organizations such as E Ola Mau and Papa Ola Lokahi. Over a 37-year career at JABSOM, he mentored and inspired countless physicians, many of whom joined in the effort to improve Native Hawaiian health. He also served as convener of the 1993 Kanaka Maoli People's Tribunal and was the primary organizer of Ka Pakaukau. He was honored to be designated a Living Treasure and to receive the David Malo, O'o and Kalani Ali'i awards, given in recognition for his contributions to the people of Hawai'i. The Blaisdell 'Ohana is grateful for the care and support provided by the Queens Medical Center, Na Kahu Malama Nurses and the many dedicated physicians and caregivers entrusted with our Papa's care. He was a compassionate, generous man who shared his love of life with so many. We will miss his wonderful sense of humor, bright smile, positive energy, and genuine aloha for all. Ho'olewa: a Celebration of Life will take place at the John A Burns School of Medicine lawn on Saturday, March 12. Visitation from 9:00 am followed by Service at 11:00am. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell Proposed Endowed Chair in Native Hawaiian Health at the John A Burns School of Medicine (Account No. 127-2010-2). Checks payable to UH Foundation.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased