The Maunakea Observatories wish to convey their heartfelt sorrow for the loss of a treasured member of our Hawai‘i Island community with the recent passing of Barry Taniguchi. His warm personality, generosity to a broad cross-section of our community, and steadfast leadership will be missed.
Barry was always a strong advocate of astronomy and the Maunakea Observatories will always be grateful for his support. Some of his most important contributions came during his 12 years on the Maunakea Management Board, when it and the Office of Maunakea Management were forming nearly 2 decades ago. He helped ground the Maunakea Management Board, and its links to Kahu Kū Mauna, in our community, during a time of important transition in the management of the summit. He invested countless hours helping develop policies and decisions that today serve as cornerstones in Maunakea stewardship. Barry came back last year as a member of the Maunakea Management Board – an indication of his fierce dedication to his community even while his health was failing.
Perhaps less widely known was the important role Barry had in establishing the THINK Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation. His 21st century vision of our community included injecting additional educational resources into classrooms across Hawai‘i Island from the Maunakea Observatories. He saw STEM education as a critical pathway to prepare Hawai‘i’s youth for a challenging world. Barry’s early push for the launch of the THINK Fund was consistent with his own generosity, supporting countless educational programs through donations from KTA Superstores for decades. Empowering today’s youth through education was among the pillars of Barry’s approach to community support.
Barry’s reach extended so far across our community that his legacy is ensured to thrive for a very long time. His compassion and aloha lives on in everyone he touched during his life. The Maunakea Observatories are grateful to Barry for his decades of support for us and the community we call home.