Services this Sunday for Lin Pang, 78, founding Friend of the Natatorium

We invite you to join his family, his many friends and us to honor the late Lin Pang at services this Sunday afternoon.

Lin died on Oct. 27 at the age of 78.

Linuce Pang was one of the founders, the first vice chairman, and then chairman and president of the Friends of the Natatorium. For 25 years, until he stepped down last year, he was an officer and director of the Friends and a stalwart, energetic, patient, diplomatic and wise advocate for the preservation, restoration and reopening of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium.

Lin Pang's mahalo lunch

Lin Pang and wife, Jeanette (both in lei), were honored last year by current and emeritus FoN board members (l-r) Mo Radke, Yvonne Geesey, Joanie Apo, Frank Weight and Jim Anderson.

Services will be Sunday, Nov. 18, at City Church of Honolulu, which meets at Central Seventh-day Adventist Church at 2313 Nuuanu Avenue. Visitation will be at 2:30 p.m. The service begins at 3:30 p.m. Dinner will follow, at about 5 p.m., at the Empress Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Plaza at 100 N. Beretania Street, No. 304.

If you are unable to be present, online condolences may be offered here.

Lin, also known as “Hunky,” was a Honolulu native and a Navy veteran. He worked as a manufacturer’s representative for Builders’ Hardware. He is survived by his devoted wife, Jeanette; sons Laeton, Bryan and Randall; brothers Rodney, Glenn and Dennis; sisters Myrna C. Hoon and Merilyn Lee; and five grandchildren.

Aloha and a hui hou, Lin.

Remembrances of Lin Pang

Joanie Apo
Joanie, also a co-founder and the first executive director of the Friends, met Lin at the very first Friends meeting in August 1986.

“We would never have accomplished anything if Lin was not there,” Joanie said at the time of Lin’s retirement from the board. She said he was the “peacemaker of the group,” bridging the differences between advocates of various strategies. It was Lin who brought people to a shared vision and a common purpose.

“We would never have made it without his level-headedness, calm demeanor and good solid judgment,” Joanie says. “He was the one guy all of us could trust to keep things centered. He was our lifeline in all crises.”

Lin was also the Friends’ chief ambassador to the business community, and a master of the logistics and coordination with city agencies that make our annual Memorial Day observance at the Natatorium and our other events so successful.

“Lin’s spirit, solid good sense and calm demeanor held the whole thing together,” Joanie says. “God bless Lin Pang.”

Ron Yasui
Ron, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a charter board member of the Friends, recalls: “In the early days we frequently met informally to discuss strategies on how best to tell our story. Lin graciously offered the use of his office space for storage of our growing files. Joanie Apo and I were tasked with the job to meet with legislators and to provide testimony at hearings. In 1988, John Henry Felix, the inaugural chairman of the board of the Friends of the Natatorium, stepped down to take his new office as a city councilman. Lin stepped forward from his position as vice chairman, leading the group as board chairman and president for 23 years until passing the baton to Peter Apo in 2011.”

Donna L. Ching
Donna, the current vice president of the Friends, says: “Lin was a fighter, not only for the Natatorium, but with the very serious health challenges that recent years had put up before him. I think we all came to think he was bulletproof and would pull through yet again. It certainly looked like he was going to!”

“We have lost too many who have committed their hearts and heroic personal efforts to the Friends of the Natatorium and passed on without having the satisfaction of seeing the restoration completed. Among these Original Friends who gave their all for literally decades are Nancy Bannick, Fred Ballard, Kay Napoleon, and now Lin Pang.

“When people ask me why I am so passionate about preserving the Natatorium, I have to be honest. As much as I believe in saving the Natatorium for its own sake, my resolve is truly steeled each time one of the Original Friends like Lin Pang falls before seeing the completion of the full restoration that was stalled in 2001. The kuleana of carrying on for those who worked so hard and so long but were denied the satisfaction of success has become a non-negotiable matter of personal integrity for me. Let’s remember Lin as we move forward to carry on his dream of seeing the Natatorium restored to use and its rightful place of honor.”

Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, Uncategorized, and Veterans.