REVEREND DONALD RALPH ASMAN
October 25, 1934 – December 29, 2022
Reverend Donald Ralph Asman, 88, passed peacefully December 29, 2022, at 15 Craigside Senior Living Community. “Pastor Don” was a generous, humorous, and memorable friend to all he met, sharing joy at every opportunity. As a longtime enrollee in the Willed Body Program at the University of Hawai’i, Don’s body will serve as a “silent teacher” to John A. Burns School of Medicine medical students.
Don’s family welcomes donations to The Arcadia Foundation, St. Francis Hospice, or your favorite charity, in honor of Don. A Celebration of Life was held at Manoa Valley Church on Saturday, January 21, 2023, and the recording of the service can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/mufv5tkd.
Born in Middletown, CT in 1934, Don grew up in Wallingford, CT, where he began preaching as a teen. He received a Bachelor’s from Defiance College in 1957 and his divinity degree from Hartford Seminary in 1960. Don was ordained at Wallingford’s First Congressional Church that same year, embarking on a lifetime of United Church of Christ pastoral appointments and ministry work in South Dakota (1960-1974), Minnesota (1974-1979), and Hawai’i (1979-2022).
In Hawai’i Don served as pastor of Manoa Valley Church, as chaplain and honorary member of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442 Regimental Combat Team, and as chaplain at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Center on Aging. In his retirement Don served as interim pastor at various United Church of Christ congregations on O’ahu and Maui, including Makiki Christian Church (English Ministry), Waiokeola Congregational Church, United Church of Christ Judd Street, and Hawai’i Kai United Church of Christ. He was also called on to be guest pastor on numerous occasions and served many in the larger community through blessings, marriages, and funerals.
A founding member of the Manoa Interchurch Service and Outreach, Don was dedicated to interfaith programs and initiatives and volunteered with the Hawai’i Conference of the United Church of Christ, Pacific Health Ministries, Family Promise of Hawai’i, the Henry ‘Opukaha’ia Center for Pacific Theological Studies, and numerous other faith-based organizations. Don’s larger community participation included volunteer service with Aloha Medical Mission, the Hawai’i Department of Health, Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i, and the University of Hawai’i.
In his spare time, Don spread ministry and joy through Compassion International and other mission trips, preaching, teaching, and doing gospel music. Don was an avid traveler and led groups to Oberammergau, the Holy Land, Thailand, Laos, and India. He also brought joy to many in both religious and secular settings as the renowned and enthusiastic magician, “Asman the Astounding.”
Don is survived by his wife Judy; 3 children: Lori, Paul, Christopher; 3 stepchildren: Kim Nichols, Tammy Tom, Chance Tom; 14 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; brother Bob (Martha) and 3 nieces and nephews.
Don’s devotion to both faith and secular peace and harmony
will be missed by many.