UH Issues Statement on Passing of Barry Taniguchi

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Barry K. Taniguchi (center) at a Hilo athletics booster dinner. PC: UH

Barry K. Taniguchi, board chairman and CEO of KTA Super Stores, died Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at The Queen’s Medical Center on O‘ahu as a result of medical complications. He was 72.

Taniguchi was widely known across the Hawai‘i Island community. He was a member of multiple community and business boards and sat on the boards of numerous health and human services organizations.

The University of Hawai‘i issued a statement about the community’s loss on Sept. 23.

“Hawaiʻi lost a true giant and a pillar of our community with the passing of Barry Taniguchi last Friday. The successful leader of KTA Superstores, a thriving Hawaiʻi Island institution, Barry cared deeply for his community and the entire state of Hawaiʻi. He was passionate about giving back and showed it through decades of dedication and service to numerous community organizations, for which he was widely recognized.

“Barry was a strong supporter of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Hawaiʻi Community College and the entire university system to which he provided farsighted contributions of time, talent and resources. He established the Taniguchi Memorial Fund in memory of his grandparents who founded KTA, and he endowed UH Hilo’s first permanent faculty endowments to help the campus attract and retain the best teachers and scholars. The fund provides awards for excellence and innovation that will recognize and support University of Hawai‘i at Hilo faculty members who show special promise in the areas of teaching and scholarship. Demonstrating his aloha for youth programs and for athletics, this year, KTA launched its Score for Scholarships program to benefit UH Hilo student athletes.

“Barry was a strong believer in and proponent of astronomy on Hawaiʻi Island and a driving force behind UH Hilo’s Mauna Kea Management Board since its formation in 2000.”


UH President David Lassner expressed, “Our deepest condolences to his family, friends and to all who were touched by his wisdom, his service, his generosity and his kind heart. He always looked forward and the entire UH ʻohana will be forever grateful for the leadership, vision and steadfast support he invested in making a better Hawaiʻi for all. Barry Taniguchi truly exemplified what community means and will be sorely missed.”

He is survived by his wife, Sandra, his five children Tracy, Toby, Terri, Amanda and Ryan—and numerous grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.



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