WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Longtime island businessman Lex Brodie was remembered in a small public memorial ceremony Saturday near his favorite surf spot off Waikiki Beach.
The founder and former owner of Lex Brodie's Tire Company and former Board of Education member died Jan. 11 at the age of 98.
When Brodie died on Kauai, his funeral services were private. Saturday morning's public service was attended by a few dozen family members, along with current and former Lex Brodie's employees and friend. Gov. Neil Abercrombie also ordered the state flag flown at half-staff in Brodie's honor.
Brodie would often surf at a spot called "Canoes" before heading off to work at 701 Queen Street, where Lex Brodie's is located.
Former workers remembered their boss and the lessons he taught them.
"How to treat people. How to take care of the customer. Basically, that was it," said Bobbie Yanos, who worked under Brodie for 14 years. "You treat the customer as if he is the only customer."
"For me, accounting," said Cheryl Farias, who retired from the company on the same day Brodie did in 1991. "I didn't go to school (after high school). I mean, I started, by they pulled me out of there and I worked full time, but he taught me everything. I mean, just even things I use today."
Brodie's family members, including one of his sons and some grandchildren, gathered in a canoe and were paddled out to the spot where Brodie would surf until he was 90 years old. A few others paddled out on their surfboards to pay tribute.
While he did enjoy his surfing, he also was remembered for being a hands-on boss. "I mean if we were writing up an invoice, he would be right there, look over our shoulder, and go and talk to the customer, and basically just looked at what we were doing on a daily basis," said Yanos, who also called Brodie "an awesome boss."
Waikiki Beach was also where Brodie got one of his first jobs in 1933, as one of the original Waikiki beach boys. Now, his friends and family scattered flowers in the waters he loved, their way of saying "aloha" to Lex Brodie.
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