Paul S. Honda
PAUL S. HONDA Paul S. Honda (1928-2016), beloved husband to Mitsuko; father to James and Erika; grandfather to Alex; father-in-law to Keenan and Minny; and devoted friend to many, passed away peacefully at his Honolulu residence on July 31st. Since retiring in Hawai'i in 1984, he engaged in pro-bono civic activities serving as a board member or advisor for nonprofit organizations and philanthropic activities, most prominently through the Paul S. Honda Foundation, an organization that has supported numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the United States. An example of his efforts is The Honda International Opportunities Fund, which has been described as being one of the largest endowment funds ever established for the benefit of University of Hawai'i Community College students. This Fund, which exists in perpetuity, enables UH community college system students to broaden their horizons by studying abroad. Recently, Paul contributed additionally, specifying that the new funds support faculty development. The Foundation also supports the East West Center and Pacific Asian Affairs Council, among others, in a similar fashion. Paul was raised in Tokyo and in 1945 went to Manchuria as the youngest exchange student to attend the National University of Manchuria. While there, Manchuria was overtaken by Russian forces and he was ordered to transfer to Moscow University, due to his linguistic skills. He refused, knowing that acceptance might mean that he would never see his parents again. As punishment, Paul was sent to a Forced Labor Camp where he suffered for close to a year. During that time, he was often baited and coaxed with promises of comfort and privilege should he agree to the transfer. Paul steadfastly refused and was able to escape to Dalian, supporting himself as a Japanese, Chinese and Russian language translator until his repatriation to Japan. In 1954, Paul left Japan again, this time for the United States to study with but a few strands of local pearls his mother had given him to utilize should the need arise. He attained an M.B.A. from the University of Denver, married Mitsuko, and the two made their way to New York where they established a successful import-export business and lived for over twenty-years before retiring to Hawai'i. Paul will be laid to rest, privately, by the family. Since he took great pleasure in supporting disciplined and ambitious, internationally- oriented students, the family requests that in lieu of condolences or flowers, donations be made to provide such opportunities in the same vein as he was quoted in a U.H. Community College periodical: "Travel is important. It gives young people broader ideas. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to get ahead in life. That's why I support the UH Community Colleges."
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased