The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001244573-01
Funeral Notices


Hanau: 1-27-1937 ~ Ua make: 7-14-2019
Ona hanau: Kaka`ako

Wesley Tewan Park passed away on July 14, 2019 after living one of the fullest lives ever lived.

There will be a Celebration of Wesley’s Life on Monday,
November 11, 2019, 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. at the
Pier 2 Cruise Terminal in Honolulu Harbor.
(enter on Channel St., off of Ala Moana Blvd.)

Raised on the streets of Kalihi, living a hard scrabble life in his youth, he retired peacefully and comfortably in Maunawili at his home of over fifty years.
As a young child, he contracted polio and was crippled for a time, but he willed his way through to recovery, to a point where he later became known for his prowess as a street fighter.
After being asked to find alternate schooling on more than several occasions, in 1955 he graduated from Roosevelt High School as he would often cite, “when it was English Standard”. From there, he earned his bachelors’ degree from the University of Hawaii and then joined the Air Force, where he ultimately attained the rank of Captain before leaving for the private sector.
In due time, he also earned his Masters as well as a Doctorate in Education, and was named a Fellow at the University of Alabama. In retirement he was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from both the Hong-ik University in Seoul, South Korea, and from the National University of Mongolia.
He leveraged his combined skill sets of his Kalihi street smarts, his formal education and his military discipline, to have a consistently ascending career in the business and education community in Honolulu. Some of his places of employ and titles were: President and CEO of Hawai’i Dental Service; Queen Liliuokalani Trust; Vice President, East West Center; Dean Emeritus, University of Hawaii; HawaiianTel; City and County of Honolulu; Captain, United States Air Force; and even acted as the Business Manager for his high school classmate, Danny Kaleikini.
He also served on numerous boards during his career, including: First Hawaiian Bank; Verizon; International Savings and Loan; Rehab Hospital of the Pacific; Honolulu Museum of Art (Academy of Arts); Bishop Museum and the June Jones Foundation.
Beyond the formal, documented parts of his life, he was probably best known for not being known. He really made his career in moving things behind the scenes. He had the ear of business executives, labor leaders, politicians and “shady characters” and was often called upon to convene meetings, provide advice or settle disputes between them.
In 2005, upon his retirement and the birth of his first grandchild, he wrote a book of some of his simple thoughts and beliefs he wanted memorialized, “Lessons Learned on a Street Corner in Kalihi”. In her review of the book, Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist Lee Cataluna described him, most accurately, in this way:
“You ought to know his name but probably don’t. Wesley T. Park has held high power positions for decades, but has kept himself largely behind-the-scenes.”
He is survived by his wife, Daphne (Kim); sons, Wintehn (Sarah Akinaka) and Ku`uhaku (Shanlyn); most beloved grandchildren, Kamalu, Kahiau; and brother, Marvin.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen (Kim); sister, Sherrill Buote and brother, Michael.