Gil Kahele, American politician, Died at 73


Gilbert “Gil” Kahele was born on May 15, 1942, and died on January 26, 2016.
He was an American politician and a Democratic member of the Hawaii Senate since January 16, 2011, representing District 1.
Kahele was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to fill the vacancy caused by the appointment of Russell S. Kokubun as Hawaii Commissioner of Agriculture.
He was still in office when he died on January 26, 2016, after being hospitalized one week prior.
His parents were Peter and Rebecca Kahele, both of Hawaiian descent, Gilbert was the third-born behind brothers Ronald and Peter and would be the older brother to Leighton, Mona, and Corrine.
He attended Hilo High School, played on the Vikings football team and graduated in 1960.
Gilbert Kahele served in the United States Marine Corps. for four years in the engineering troop responsible for refrigeration.
Following his military training, he graduated with an Associate degree in Science in 1967 from Laney College.
After, he moved back to Hawaiʻi where he began a civil service career that would last 33 years.
Gilbert received a job with the Federal Government at Naval Station Wahiawa as a refrigeration mechanic.
Mr. Kahele married United Airlines stewardess Linda Haggberg in October of 1971, and the couple lived in Wahiawa.
In 1976, the married couple moved to Hilo, they had two children, Kai and Noelani.
For the next 25 years, Gil motored from Hilo up the Saddle Road to his job at the Pohakuloa Training Area, where he would eventually retire in 2000 as the Director of Public Works.
During the 1980s, Mr. Kahele spent a lot of time in Miloliʻi and made a name for himself as a successful community organizer in South Kona.
Governor Neil Abercrombie Elected Gil Kahele to represent Senate District Two on Hawaiʻi Island after Senator Russell Kokubun resigned his seat to take a position in Governor Abercrombieʻs cabinet.
State Senator Gil Kahele passed away at after a short illness caused him to miss the 2016 Hawaii State Legislature’s opening day.