Maui News

Maui Philanthropist and Businessman Dorvin Leis Dies

June 23, 2015, 3:16 PM HST
* Updated June 23, 3:19 PM
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Dorvin D. Leis. Photo courtesy: Ballard Family Mortuaries.

Dorvin D. Leis. Photo courtesy: Ballard Family Mortuaries.

By Maui Now Staff

Family and friends are mourning the loss of longtime community philanthropist and businessman Dorvin Duane Leis who died Monday, June 15, at the age of 86, following a five year battle with cancer.

Leis, who was born on July 10, 1928, was the founder and chairman of Dorvin D. Leis Co., Inc., the largest mechanical contractor in Hawaiʻi.

Recently Dorvin and his wife Betty were honored with the Lei of Distinction, the highest honor that the Maui Arts & Cultural Center bestows upon individuals with exceptional vision.

In making the announcement, board members described Dorvin Leis as “the epitome of philanthropy for the Maui community.”

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The two were honored in 2003 with the Outstanding Philanthropist award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Aloha Chapter.  They also donated funds for the advancement of sustainability initiatives at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College and are credited with a $1 million commitment to UHMC, the largest gift to the college at the time.

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In recognition of their contribution, the school’s fine dining facility was named “The Leis Family Class Act Restaurant” in their honor.

Dorvin and his wife Betty were also recognized last month during a ground breaking ceremony for the Hospice Maui’s Hale Ho’olu’olu facility in Wailuku.  The two were among the many individual donors who helped to make the project possible.

In an obituary published by Ballard Family Mortuaries, the notice stated, “Above and beyond Dorvin’s many successful business ventures, community services, and generosity to the community, Dorvin was a family man who enjoyed gardening and loved animals, especially Molly, his beloved retriever. Dorvin lived by these guiding principles: family is priority; to genuinely care about people and believe that no one should feel hopeless, helpless, or alone; to embrace a culture of loyal and lifelong friendships; and to give back and support the community.”

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According to the obituary notice, Dorvin is survived by his wife Betty of Kīhei, and six children, Luke of Sacramento, California, Stanley and his wife Becky of Eagle, Idaho, Stephen and his wife Sherry of Kīhei, Nancy and her husband Ralph Overton, of Kīhei, Timothy of Honolulu, and Charles and his wife Cindy of Eagle, Idaho. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by his brother, Don and his wife Carol of Pasadena, California, and his sister-in-law, Diane (Bill) Leis of New Mexico.

Services will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. at the campus of University of Hawaiʻi Maui College between the Library and the Student Center.   Visitation will run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, prior to the service.  Arrangements are being made by Ballard Family Mortuary.

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