Cyril Francis Damon Jr. “Frank”
Damon Jr., one of the founding partners of Damon Shigekane, the state's first interracial law firm, passed away on May 13th, 2017 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 90. Born in Honolulu in 1926, Frank was a 4th generation missionary descendant of Samuel C. and Julia M. Damon who arrived in Hawaii in 1842. Frank attended Punahou School but graduated from St. Paul's School in New Hampshire in 1944. He served in the Navy from 1944 - 1946. Following a degree from Yale in 1950 and a law degree from the University of Colorado in 1953, Frank retuned to Hawaii to practice law for the next 5 years with the firm Smith, Wild, Beebe & Cades. In 1959 when Hawaii became a state, Frank served as an administrative assistant to U.S. Senator Hiram Fong in Washington D.C. from 1959 to 1962. As Fong's assistant, Damon helped with the formation of the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. Upon his return to Hawaii, Governor William F. Quinn appointed Frank to a cabinet post as Director of Labor and Industrial Relations where he served for one year. In 1963, with his friend from Yale, Henry Shigekane, they founded the first interracial law firm in the state of Hawaii, Damon Shigekane which today is known as Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert. Frank's legal specialty was estate planning, wills, and trusts. With his friend, Sig Ramler, he founded the Foundation for Study in Hawai'i and Abroad in 1966 which later merged into the Wo International Center at Punahou School. Frank was deeply committed to community service. He often said, "to whom much is given, much is expected". He embodied that philosophy. Frank was a 4th generation trustee of Punahou School where he served on the board from 1973 - 2002, and was chairman of the board from 1998 - 2001. He was also a trustee of KCCA, The Mid-Pacific Institute, The Sun Yat-Sen Hawaii Foundation and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law. Frank was a word-smith of the first order. He loved books and started a book club called the Discussion Group in 1954 that still meets to this day, 63 years later. He was also an avid tennis player and an Eagle Scout. Frank was a great storyteller with a subtle, dry sense of humor. Frank is survived by his wife Katherine Damon, sons Allen (Delphine), Hugh, Thomas, and Andrew (Vanessa) Damon, step children Sidney Wiecking, David Baker, James Baker and eight grandchildren. Services will be held on Monday, June 5 at Central Union Church at 4pm with a reception following at the Pacific Club. In lieu of flowers Frank would like donations to be made to Punahou School or the Boy Scouts of America, Aloha Council.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased