A tribute to Bill Haywood
He was Aquaman, the Jolly Green Giant and the Good Humor Man all rolled up into one. At a ripped 6’4″ and 230 pounds, Bill Haywood was a big man, but his gregarious persona that beamed into your heart every time you met up with him is the indelible smile that will be imprinted into our souls forever.
After nearly a decade battling the scourge of cancer, Big Bill left this Earth on July 10, but he leaves behind an imprint of the Maui golden spirit that defines the integrity of the Valley Isle.
Born to Dr. Guy and Anita Haywood at Puunene Hospital in 1953, Bill was the youngest of their five children – Guy, Fred, Anne and Jim before him – but grew to be the biggest and most flamboyant.
He advanced through Hawaii schools before attending the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he excelled as a collegiate swimmer. Upon returning to Maui, Haywood began what would become a leadership role in two of Hawaii’s most successful business endeavors: TS Restaurants and Maui Jim Sunglasses.
He was a charter fixture at TS Restaurants’ flagship store, Kimo’s, in the rock ‘n roll 1980s in Lahaina and then led the visionary venture of Maui Jim that would ” not see the world better, but see it clearer.” In nearly 40 years in the management role of both companies, they have since solidified their stature as top guns not only in Hawaii but across the nation and worldwide.
But it was in the day to day encounters – at the beach, driving through town and all of the daily routines of life – where we would all be touched with the warmth and good humor of his island wit and unrelenting aloha. This influence was clearly evident at Bill’s celebration of life at D.T. Fleming Beach Park on Aug. 3.
Hundreds came to revel in the pristine surroundings for the paddle out and flower ceremony in his honor. This moment was highlighted by a spectacular helicopter flight that emerged from the shoreline trees, flew over the bay gathering and then out to sea.
The camaraderie displayed throughout the daylong celebration clearly manifested the breadth of Bill Haywood’s character. Surely now his spirit will be paid forward, as we have all been touched by his peaceful, positive personality.
Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Haywood family, and especially to his children, Montana and Cody Haywood, and Christa Edwards, and grandson Colin Edwards. May the Lord’s Peace be with you always.