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Community loses David Chenoweth

By Staff | Jan 21, 2010

The West Side community lost a friendly, caring soul in David Victor Chenoweth. He passed away at his home in Lahaina on Jan. 10 under Hospice care. He was 79.

He was the salt of the Earth — a most genuine and honest human being. He always had a smile on his face, a kind word and warmth in his heart to share.

A California transplant, Chenoweth was steadfast in his mission to protect his adopted island home from unbridled growth and overpopulation.

He was like a Don Quixote on his trusted steed Rocinante fighting windmills, driving around town for years in an old Volkswagen van with a saying, “More Inns are Out,” painted in block letters on the rear end.

He wasn’t looking for attention. He didn’t want center stage. The retired engineer was a rare walking the talk kind of gentleman. He stood up for what he believed in, joining his peers on the roadside to wave signs to warn others about the dangers of poor planning.

His letters to the editor were insightful, his artwork perceptive and his testimony at the numerous hearings he attended throughout the years right on the money.

He volunteered and was appointed to serve on the 13-member Lahaina Citizens Advisory Committee to rewrite the West Maui Community Plan in the 1990s… and watched helpless as it was later shredded and laid waste after years of hard work and dedication.

“Developer plans promoted at their ‘community workshops’ might come from forked tongue,” he joked in a 2006 letter to the Lahaina News.   

He was passionate about preserving open space, protecting marine life, promoting environmental stewardship from the mountains to the sea and preserving the open coastline from Lahaina to the Pali.

David is survived by his beloved family: wife Elizabeth Chenoweth, son David V. Chenoweth Jr. and three grandchildren.

Memorial services were held Saturday at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Lahaina. Donations in his memory may be made to Holy Innocents, P.O. Box 606, Lahaina, HI 96767 or to Hospice Maui, 400 Mahalani St., Wailuku, HI 96793.

Those who were fortunate enough to have known this dear and wonderful soul will miss him deeply. Mahalo, Dave Chenoweth, for your shining example and true heart.