From the pool at Pearl City High School, to the pool as a WAC Champion at the University of Hawaii, to the Bows-O mascot debacle, to Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom and finally to Washington D.C. Takai was an active participant in life locally and nationally.
I talked with Takai in person long ago for an extended period of time and was completely taken by his heartfelt love for his home state. He was a huge fan of UH Sports and could not hide his enthusiasm for the program. He was my kind of guy and had my support because I knew he listened to his heart, maybe sometimes to a fault, but always with love and progress in mind. He wasn’t afraid to ask some of the tougher questions when grilling UH during tough times, that told me he really wanted a solution found.
After that Facebook became the only avenue for contact with Takai. To have the ability to chat with him while in Washington was a wonderful way to keep that energy going and his love light for home lit at all times. Mahalo Mark for your time.
Statement from the late congressman’s office:
Today, Congressman Mark Takai passed away at home, surrounded by family. Takai represented Hawaii’s 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th Congress and spent 20 years serving in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. In Congress Takai served as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business’s Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce in addition to being a member of the House Committee on Armed Services.