A father’s lasting legacy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

A father’s lasting legacy

University of Hawaii Cancer Center University of Hawaii Cancer Center
Kenton Nakamura Kenton Nakamura
KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The University of Hawaii Cancer Center is an architectural marvel. Designed by Jeff Nakamura, it features open spaces, incredible sight lines, and encapsulates the feel of its environment.

"He tried to incorporate the Hawaiian values of taking everything from the mountains to the oceans" said his oldest son, 20-year-old Kenton.

Kenton stands proudly in the hallways of the center. He has been interning there since returning home from the University of Washington in June. Unfortunately, aside from memories and photos, the building is all that he has left of his dad.

In June of 2013, Jeff died from, ironically, cancer. Kenton says he sees the cruelty in that, but that his father saw things differently.

"I think that actually galvanized him. That inspired him to put his heart and soul into designing this place, and making it as beautiful as it is".

When walking through the building, one is overcome with a sense of serenity. Kenton feels it, and says it connects him to his dad.

"Now that he's gone, that he's passed away, it's kind of a way for me to get in touch with my dad and see his work and to see how he lived his life and what he valued".

The center is truly the father’s lasting legacy. His son will try to honor it as best he can.

"I hope that I can make full use of what he's given me, and I hope I can make him happy up in heaven”.

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