Former Mayor Eduardo E. Malapit died Monday at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, surrounded by his family after a long bout of failing health.
Malapit was frequently honored for his distinguished career in public service and lifelong contributions of community service to Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i. The highlight of his career was his election to four consecutive two-year terms as mayor of Kaua‘i. When elected in 1974, he became the first mayor of Filipino ancestry in the United States.
During Malapit’s tenure as mayor, he oversaw the development and improvement of numerous public facilities for the health, safety, and recreation of the people of Kaua‘i. Neighborhood parks, neighborhood centers, sports facilities, fire and police stations, and refuse transfer station and sewer treatment plants all became reality during his terms in office.
Prior to being elected mayor, Malapit served four two-year terms on the Kaua‘i County Council. He later served as the chairman of the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (1983-1987) and was the governor’s representative for the County of Kaua‘i (1987-1990). He also served as part-time magistrate.
Malapit’s career was also characterized by leadership in community service. He served as president and legal advisor of Kauai Pop Warner; president (Gold Key Award) of the West Kauai Jaycees and its Outstanding Young Man of the Year (1965); and president of the Koloa School PTA. He also served in various other capacities: advisor and organizer of the Koloa Youth Baseball Organization; president of the Koloa Lions Club, director of the Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau; Kauai Catholic Vicariate board member advising the Bishop on Kaua‘i Catholic schools, and participant in the Kauai Filipino Community Council.
After graduating with his BA degree in economics from the University of Hawai‘i, Malapit entered the University of Notre Dame Law School and earned a jurisprudence degree in 1962.
Mayor Malapit and his wife of 45 years, Elizabeth, have four sons: Kevin, Lon, Kent and Lyle and four grandchildren: Nicole, Kirsten, Eduardo K. and Brock Malapit.
Details of his memorial services are pending.