Hawai'i Kai waterman Bill Aspengren, 63
By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer
By Suzanne Roig
HAWAI'I KAI - Bill Aspengren, the founder of the Hawai'i Kai Christmas Boat Parade, died yesterday. He was 63.
He died surrounded by his children, water skiers and a lei-draped water ski handle that hung on his doorway at The Queen's Medical Center, said his wife, Deanna Aspengren. He had been at home for the past several months and was taken to the hospital two days before he died.
An avid boater and water skier, Aspengren took up the sport late in life, but nonetheless was an eager participant. He encouraged Mainland water skiers to come to the islands, and he worked to establish the sport in the Hawai'i Kai Marina. He served as president of the association last year.
"He never gave up on trying to master the sport," said fellow water skier Gayle Carr. "He was a motivator to all the friends that surrounded him. He extended his hospitality above and beyond to share in his passion for water skiing and the Hawai'i Kai Marina where he resided."
Aspengren also is credited with encouraging the Hawai'i Kai Marina Association to start up the boat parade nine years ago, said Beverly Liddle, marina manager. With Aspengren's help, the marina had 30 boats that first year. Last year's parade was dedicated to Aspengren, Liddle said.
"He was a man of the people," Liddle said. "A peacemaker and people really adored him. He tried to do the right thing and tried to take everyone's concerns in, before making a decision.
"He was a good person and will be sorely missed."
Aspengren came to Hawai'i in 1979 from Chicago. He set up a travel agency here and later founded CCH, a courier company. He is survived by his wife; sons Seiji and Ryan; four brothers and two sisters-in-law: Alfred and Lia, Paul and Carla, Gary, and Jon. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Feb 25 at Calvary By the Sea Church. The family asks for no flowers and attire is casual.
"He thought of everyone as his friend," his wife said. "He was a wonderful human being, very genuine and generous to a fault."
Reach Suzanne Roig at firstname.lastname@example.org.