Aloha ʻOe Richard Endsley

On December 16, 2023 at 8:00 pm, family gathered to hold hands and sing Aloha ‘Oe and Hawai’i Aloha to Richard Eugene Endsley. At the same time, family and friends in Iceland, Georgia, Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii joined us in saying farewell. This collaboration was a tribute to a selfless, kind, generous, and loving man who we remember as a fighter for justice. Richard passed away the following day, December 17, 2023 after a prolonged battle with dementia. He is preceded in death by his son Benjamin and survived by his wife, Pat Shigeko Inouye Endsley, his son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Jamie Tanabe, and his two grandsons Zachary and Duke Tanabe.

Richard’s goal in life was to educate children so they could enjoy the “good life” as adults. In 2000, Richard and Pat founded the Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project and established the Lahaina Complex Education Foundation. With the tremendous support of hundreds of organizations, parents, and volunteers, the Tutor Project was a success from 2000 to 2020, coming to an end during the COVID-19 pandemic. Richard never missed a tutoring session in math, social studies, or language arts. The Foundation continued to help the community through education-related grants until 2023. Richard was very proud of the impact he had on the Lahaina community.

Richard also contributed greatly to his community in Berkeley, California as a teacher and administrator in the Berkeley Unified School District for over 32 years. As a leader, he helped integrate the Berkeley schools, making history as the first city to voluntarily desegregate schools. After retiring to Lahaina, Hawaii, he continued to give back by serving on the Lahaina Restoration Foundation board and by volunteering his time and expertise to the Lahaina Town Action Committee.

Richard was born on April 2, 1929 in Hoquiam, Washington to Loren and Ruth Endsley. He had a brother, Loran, and two sisters, Lorine and Barbara. Richard was valedictorian of Hood River High School. He received a BA from Willamette University, a Masters in Economics from Stanford, and a lifetime teaching and administration credential from UC Berkeley. Richard served as a lieutenant in the Navy and was on active duty in Italy, Pearl Harbor, and Japan. In addition to his immediate family, Richard has many nieces and nephews on both sides of the Endsley and Inouye families, and we all have memories of his innumerable acts of kindness, generosity, and sharp wit with language. He will be missed, but the impact he had on the lives of so many people and organizations will always be remembered.

Richard believed strongly in uplifting the children of Lahaina in his many years of volunteer work with the Lahaina Complex Tutor Project.  If you would like to support work that continues to benefit the students of Lahaina, please consider a contribution to PFEE (People for Educational Equality).  Contributions can be made online at or mailed to People for Educational Equality at 1215 S Kihei Rd, Suite O PMB 333, Kihei, HI 96753.