Dr. Paul H.I. Coleman, 62, Astrophysicist at the University of Hawai`i Institute for Astronomy, passed away on January 16, 2018. Paul was the first Native Hawaiian with a doctorate in Astrophysics. A St Louis School graduate, he received his BS in Physics at the University of Notre Dame, and his PhD in Physics at the University of Pittsburgh.
At the University of Hawai`i Institute for Astronomy, Paul was key in education and public outreach. He spoke passionately about astronomy, its importance to Hawai`i and Polynesian voyaging, and how Hawaiians could play a role and earn careers. He was a member of councils dedicated to increasing Native Hawaiian participation, education and careers in the sciences. He was an excellent professor, and he received many awards.
Paul advocated for astronomy in Hawai`i. He supported the Faulkes Telescope, Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) and the Thirty Meter Telescope. Paul’s vision was that Native Hawaiians would become users of these facilities, connecting the future of astronomy with the history of Polynesian voyaging. He mentored young Native Hawaiian scientists and was dedicated to the Native Hawaiian community and to Native Hawaiian youth in STEM. He was an advisor for the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, served on the State’s Hawaiian lexicon committee, led the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and led the National Science Foundation’s mitigation program for the DKIST.
He is survived by his wife, D. Dianne Bowen-Coleman and daughters Catherine Hali’amemaheaikekai Bowen Coleman and Elizabeth Noheahinali`imauliola Bowen Coleman. Paul was a supportive, involved and proud father, and his daughters follow in his footsteps, continuing to strive for the highest. Paul is survived by father, William Edward Coleman; brothers, William Coleman, Jr. and Michael Coleman; sisters, Ka’ala Coleman and Manu Ka`iama. He was preceded in death by mother, Pearl Maile Luning Coleman, and grandparents, Henry & Daisy Luning and Paul & Virginia Coleman.
In lieu of flowers, a GoFundMe scholarship fund has been set up to provide for Paul’s daughters’ educations: https://www.gofundme.com/pauls-daughters-school-fund.
A Celebration of Paul’s Life will be held on Thursday March 15, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu at Ko`olau. Visitation: 3:00 pm; Services: 4:00 p.m.; Reception: 5:00 p.m..
He is deeply loved and missed by his wife and daughters.
Notice #: 0001079481-01