Aloha, Peter Vorfeld

Thursday, March 29, 2012, Peter Vorfeld left us. He'd had heart surgery a couple of weeks earlier, and while the surgery was successful, the incidents that followed were unexpected and eventually caused his death. Pete, like his dad, had presence. Wherever he was, there was energy. And kindness. I love how he tried to appear gruff, but it never worked, at least with me. He had a very tender heart. How he loved his family, and his friends. How he enjoyed helping people solve problems, especially related to things he knew about. And he knew a lot. One of the most beautiful things to happen to him was his marriage to Esther Green. She was the ideal person for him: the polar opposite in almost every way, and together they were an unbeatable team. My gosh, at one time, they even flipped a house in Kailua. This was not Esther's normal activity of choice, but she was a good sport and they did it! The two of them brought six kids into the marriage. Fabulous (now grown) kids who have been such a part of Peter and Esther's life. Their home in Waimanalo was always a haven for me. In 2004, they hosted a beautiful memorial service for Jack, including live Hawaiian music. Memorable. I remember sitting out on the back porch visiting with Peter during that visit. He gave me some excellent advice, and I took it. I'll never forget his kindness to me, his stepmother. We were actually more like brother and sister. It was an honor to be his friend and relative. He leaves many people with broken hearts. We truly mourn his passing. What a privilege to have known him all these years. I first met him when I worked for Amfac in Kakaako. In fact, Peter introduced me to his dad. A year later, I saw his dad again, and from that time on, he was all I could see. Pete's granddaughter, Dana Kukuruda, is getting married in Hawaii this summer, and during that special family time, there will be some kind of event to celebrate Peter's life. I may not get there, but I will still celebrate his life...
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3 Responses to Aloha, Peter Vorfeld

  1. Jack Mullin says:

    Dear Judy,
    Thank you so much for putting Peter’s life into such beautiful perspective.
    The last time I saw he and Esther was I believe in 1990 when I visited at their beautiful home in Waimanalo. I was so taken by the ocean water lapping up against their sea wall.
    I had fogotten about his feigened gruffness but now I remember. I knew him as a kind and gentle person but had forgotten about the depth of his beautiful qualities and how much he cared for others.
    I remember when I did see him on my infrequent visits he always seem so happy see me. That was the kind of person he was. These were times usually when I returned for Punahou class reunions.
    One of those times he and Ted and I had lunch at Pearl City Tavern. Another time I met him in Waipahu, which brought back many childhood memories.
    Another time we met at a Punahou luau, when I looked up and there were he and Ted coming accross the lawn to meet me. What a happy reunion that was.
    I am very sad that he has left us and also so sad that I did not share more time of his life.
    LaRae and I send our hearfelt feelings to Esther, Ted, you and all Peter’s family and friends who love him so much.
    Peter’s uncle Jack

  2. Jack Strubel says:

    Pete was an awesome guy and great father, although I had not seen him for years, one night at the yacht club he was walking in and I was walking out, we made eye contact, passed by each other and stopped at the exact same time and did a double take recognized each other at the same time, he also taught me alot of stuff when I was a boy, he was there for me when my own dad wasn’t. I’ll miss you Pete, my condolences and Aloha’s to his Ohana.
    Jack Strubel

  3. David Crook says:

    It is amazing how certain people impact your life. Many aspects of that impact cannot be expressed in words but that does not diminish the effect. Peter (my sister Judy’s son in law) allowed me entrance into his home and life. He and Esther had limited contact with me over the years but did have a profound effect that has not passed away. His passing is significant to so many but his life effect was so much more significant. He will not be forgotten….

    David Crook
    Peoria, AZ

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