Civic leader Daniel Case dies at 91

Daniel H. Case led Grove Farm through some of its most trying times.

He became its chairman in 2000 and for the next 15 years, oversaw its transition from a 38,000-acre sugar plantation to a sustainable community and economic development firm with a keen focus and commitment to the Kauai he loved.

He was known as a kind-hearted, sharply intelligent man with a deep knowledge of Hawaii and Kauai, where he was raised.

Case’s impact and influence continues today.

“I remember his descriptions of childhood during early times on the island when his dad kept the books for Grove Farm,” said Jan TenBruggencate, a writer and member of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. “Years later, he would guide Grove Farm during its darkest days and help the company survive and thrive to be the firm we know today.”

Case died Friday at his home in Honolulu surrounded by family. He was 91.

His life was marked by achievements, generosity, honor and honesty. He was committed to family, to community and to his career as an attorney.

“He was a stand-up guy, I’ll tell you,” said David Penhallow Scott, playwright, historian and theater director who grew up on Kauai and today lives on the Big Island.

“He had a great deal of integrity. He was known for his integrity.”

Scott said the Case family has deep roots on Kauai and influenced it for the better.

“The whole Case family, they’re good people,” Scott said. “Good men. Dan Case was a good man.”

The Hawaii civic leader and the former senior partner of the Case, Lombardi & Pettit law firm was born in Lihue on Feb. 25, 1925, and spent his early years on the Grove Farm sugar plantation on Kauai. He attended Punahou School and later attended Williams College in Massachusetts. He served in World War II in the underwater demolition team that later became the Navy SEALs.

Case earned a law degree from the University of Denver and then returned to Hawaii. He joined the law firm that became Case, Lombardi & Pettit, where he practiced law for 60 years, leading the firm for nearly two decades, before retiring in 2012.

While Case’s career was filled with highlights and he served as a board member to many businesses in Hawaii, it was his work at Grove Farm that served as the capstone of his business and community interests.

Many said he helped turn Grove Farm into the successful and influential company it is today.

He was known for honoring others and putting people first.

“He was always kind to me,” TenBruggencate said.

A celebration of Dan Case’s life will be held Sept. 3 at Punahou School’s Thurston Memorial Chapel, and will be followed by a reception at the President’s Pavilion.

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