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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, June 17, 2004

Dr. Paul 'Howard' Liljestrand dead at 92

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Dr. Paul "Howard" Liljestrand, who began his career as a plantation physician and became a highly respected doctor in Hawai'i, died May 31 in Honolulu. He was 92.

Dr. Paul "Howard" Liljestrand

Liljestrand was born on Oct. 4, 1911, in Waterloo, Iowa. When he was 4, he was taken to west China by his parents on a medical mission.

In 1927, Liljestrand returned to the United States and attended Ohio Wesleyan University and Harvard Medical School. In 1937, he came to Hawai'i and did his internship at what was then called the Queen's Hospital.

Liljestrand and his first wife, Betty, planned to return to China on medical mission, but with increased military tensions between Japan and China, the couple remained in Hawai'i.

Liljestrand went to work at the 'Aiea plantation's Southshore Hospital, which later became the Leeward O'ahu Hospital and Clinic. He later served as the hospital's medical director.

During World War II, Liljestrand was the surgeon for the secret Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility, which included enormous fuel tanks and seven miles of tunnels. Many people were injured and seven died during the construction of the project.

Liljestrand retired in 1977, but he remained active with the Chamber of Commerce's Public Health committee until 2002. He also was involved with Planned Parenthood, The Adventurers' Club, Rotary Club of Pearl Harbor, Kaneohe Yacht Club, Honolulu Art Academy, and the Oriental Art Society, and was a member of the Academy of Family Physicians and Hawai'i Medical Association.

Liljestrand is survived by his wife, Alberta Chartier; sons, Robert and Eric; daughters, Lana Craigo and Wendla; brothers, Eric and Robert; five grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

Private services have been held.