Statements on the Passing of UH Law School Professor Jon Van Dyke

Governor Neil Abercrombie 

"Jon's passing is a lesson in treasuring every moment with those you love and admire.  His loss will be deeply felt.  

"I first met Jon in the 70s at the time of the Constitutional Convention.  He was one of our advisors on the establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  It was then that we became friends.

"Jon was an invaluable resource.  His intellect brimmed over with energy and brilliance. He was a patient, calming influence in every instance of tension and conflict. Jon was endlessly courteous, no matter how trying the circumstance and equally resolute to his commitment to the public good.

"He was a warm and caring individual – true to his friends and true to himself – and always, always for Hawai'i.  

"My sincerest condolences go out to his family.  His legions of friends grieve with them."

Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz

I join the community in mourning the loss of Dr. Jon Van Dyke and expressing condolences to his family, friends and many associates.

At a personal level, I knew Jon as a member of the Tantalus community, dedicated to preserving this unique area and ensuring that it remained a legacy for all of Hawai`i forever.  Jon approached life by making good things happen every day, with no challenge too small or too great. His contributions are a remarkable body of work and a model for us all.

We are deeply sorry for his passing.  Jon's inspiration lives on.

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono

"We cannot reflect on the state of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders' rights without finding Jon at its heart. His passion, depth of knowledge, and dedicated advocacy is an example of Hawaii at its finest. I will always be grateful for his friendship and can never forget his service to our community. My thoughts and sincere sympathy are with Sherry, Jesse, Eric, and Michelle."

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye

"Jon Van Dyke was a legal scholar of the first order and a tireless advocate for Native Hawaiian and civil rights.  He believed in the preservation and protection of history and culture and his research and writings have expanded our understanding of the Constitution and helped change, for the better, the laws that govern our land and sea.  What Jon Van Dyke meant to the thousands of students who he taught and mentored through his work as a professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law can never be quantified.  For 35 years he has helped to build and shape the legal minds of generations of attorneys.  The legal community in Hawaii is better because of his work.  But above all, Jon was a good man, possessing a sharp wit, a ready smile, and Aloha for all.  It is with great sadness that Irene and I offer our heartfelt condolences to Jon's wife Sherry, sons Jesse Broder Van Dyke and Eric, and daughter Michelle. May God Bless you and your family during this difficult time."

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka

"I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my very dear friend, Jon Van Dyke, a celebrated legal scholar, ardent defender of human rights and the environment, and beloved educator, husband, and father. 

"Hawaii has lost a steadfast advocate for Native Hawaiian and civil rights, a leading expert on Hawaiian land and water rights law, and a tireless defender of public lands and natural resources. 

"The world has lost a man with a brilliant legal mind and compassionate heart, readily willing to travel great distances to promote and uphold international human rights and to preserve and protect the environment. 

"Jon always stood up for what he felt was pono - right and just.  He was an inspiration for our community and his students.  Because of Jon's work, the principle of protecting our cultural and historic resources has been preserved, and the tradition of sharing our beautiful beaches and other natural resources with all continues to be honored.

"He will be deeply missed by his family, students, colleagues, and all those whose lives he has affected around the world.  On behalf of Millie and our 'ohana, I extend our warm aloha, heartfelt sympathy, and prayers to his wife, Sherry Broder, and the rest of his family."