East Hawaii News

Former State Legislator Bob Herkes Dies

August 22, 2014, 5:16 PM HST
* Updated August 22, 7:32 PM
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Former State Legislator Robert “Bob” Neil Herkes died Thursday Aug. 21, at age 83.

Herkes began his political career when elected to the Hawai`i County Council in 1984. He later served terms in the state Senate in 1988, and terms in the state House of Representatives from 1992-2000, and from 2002 to 2012.

Herkes was also a retired hospitality industry executive with Kona Surf Hotel, Inter-Island Resorts, Naniloa Hotel, Kona Inn, Kona Marlin Club, Cannon Club and Coconut Island Resort.

“Even after leaving the Legislature, Bob never stopped contributing to the well-being of our state,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim in statement issued today.

“The Senate in April confirmed him as a member of the Hawai`i Tourism Authority Board and he was scheduled to attend his first meeting just a few days ago. Until the end, he was committed to improving the lives of Hawaii’s people,” Kim said.

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“Many will remember him for effectively passing legislation helping homeowners during the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and spearheading efforts to address the impacts of VOG on health and safety, agriculture, the economy and tourism,” Kim said.”Because of his work, Hawaii Island received a mobile medical van that acts as a roving clinic in under-served areas.”

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“He was a respected lawmaker, sharp businessman and compassionate mentor and friend. We will miss him dearly.

Friends said he was also proud of creating legislation to eliminate telephone party lines on the Big Island (more than 5,000 at the time legislation introduced), funding for the Ocean View well, creating legislation to preserve areas in the Kau District, establishing a Disaster Shelter in Kau, and being a U.S. Amy veteran.

Herkes was also affiliated with numerous community service and professional organizations.

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He is survived by his wife Jo-Anna, sons Bobby (Lynn), Ken (Beverly), Doug (Ann Cobb), granddaughter Sara, brother John Herkes and sister Jana Herkes.

Services are scheduled at Dodo Morturary on Saturday, Sept. 27, with visitation from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and service at 11. Refreshments to follow.

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