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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, April 13, 2002

Mid-Pac educator Cingcade dies

By Jennifer Hiller
Advertiser Education Writer

Cingcade: Modernized Hawai'i court system

Lester E. Cingcade, a key figure at Mid-Pacific Institute and in the development of the Hawai'i court system, died March 12 at his home in Edmonds, Wash. He was 68.

Cingcade earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Oregon and joined Mid-Pacific Institute in 1955, where he taught American history and was the track coach.

He left the school in 1959 to serve two years in the Army, but returned to the school in 1961.

He earned a master's degree in education from the University of Hawai'i-Manoa in 1966 and was encouraged by former Chief Justice Bill Richardson to go into the judiciary.

Cingcade became the administrative director of the Hawai'i courts from 1966 until 1985, where he worked to streamline the jury system and court reporting, and started the program that lets people pay fines by credit card.

The National Center for State Courts honored Cingcade with a distinguished service award in 1987 for his efforts to modernize the Hawai'i courts.

Cingcade had remained on the Board of Managers at Mid-Pacific during his years in the state court system and returned to the school in 1985 as president. By the time he retired 10 years later, he had been with the school for more than 40 years.

He also was president of the Hawai'i Association of Independent Schools from 1992 to 1994.

Survivors include his wife, Judith; daughters, Jennifer Lei Cingcade and Mary Lani Cingcade; mother, Hazel Baldasty of Spokane, Wash.; and sisters, Helen Lehman of Spokane and Carmen Cox of Oakland, Ore.

No funeral services were held, but Cingcade's life will be celebrated at a memorial service at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Bakken Auditorium at Mid-Pacific Institute, 2445 Ka'ala St., Manoa.