Obituary: Dorvin Duane Leis

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Dorvin Duane Leis. Photo credit: Ballard Family Mortuaries.

Dorvin Duane Leis. Photo credit: Ballard Family Mortuaries.

Dorvin Duane Leis

(Tuesday, July 10th, 1928 – Monday, June 15th, 2015)

Dorvin Duane Leis, age 86, passed away at home in Kihei, Hawaii assisted by Hospice Maui on June 15, 2015 after a long and hard fight with cancer over the last five years.

Dorvin was born on July 10, 1928 in Riverside, California. He was the son of Ward and Susan Leis. He was the oldest of three boys, growing up with his brothers Bill and Don. Dorvin married Betty Mae Hess 68 years ago in Pasadena, California.

Dorvin received his high school diploma in 1946. He attended Pasadena City College and Pasadena Junior College. Dorvin was a very accomplished athlete who golfed, and competed in California’s Golden Gloves Boxing.


In 1961, Dorvin started his mechanical contracting business in Pomona, California. Beginning in 1967 with the construction of the Travelodge Hotel in Lahaina, his construction business took him back and forth between California and Maui. Dorvin and his family made a permanent move to Maui in 1972. Dorvin D. Leis Co., Inc. has become the largest mechanical contractor in the State of Hawaii. Dorvin had established the business on all of the Hawaiian Islands and in Guam, with the headquarters remaining on Maui. The company has over 400 employees and has received many industry awards for its achievements.


Dorvin was chairman and owner of Hawaii Premier Realty Corporation, and Construction Development Inc., a general contracting company in Hawaii. He was also chairman and owner of Dorbet Inc., a real estate development company located in both Hawaii and Texas.

Dorvin’s businesses also included banks in Texas, a real estate company in Texas, a music publishing company in Nashville, several radio stations in Texas, and National Pasteurized Eggs Inc., which operates in all 50 states and several countries.

Dorvin served on the Small Business Review Board for the State of Hawaii, the Maui Community College Provost and Horizons Advisory Council, the Board of Water Supply for the County of Maui, the Board of Directors of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, the Board of Directors of Hospice Maui, and served as a trustee for the University of Hawaii Foundation.


Dorvin also served as the co-chairman for both the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s “A Gift for Generations to Come” capital fund committee, and the “Ten Million Dollar Capital Fund Raiser” for the Maui Family YMCA. Dorvin supported the University of Hawaii Maui College, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation and Maui Arts & Cultural Center. He and his wife also donated the Kihei Canoe Club’s first canoe and supported the Kihei Little League and Kihei Youth Center.

Recently Dorvin and Betty were honored with the Lei of Distinction, the highest honor that the Maui Arts & Cultural Center bestows upon individuals with exceptional vision. Dorvin has been honored as Maui’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Maui Chamber of Commerce and Island Business Magazine, the Outstanding Philanthropist Award for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Aloha Chapter, the Maui Chamber of Commerce, T.S. Shinn Award, the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Maui County Council of the Boy Scouts, the Stephen L. Jackstadt Award from the Hawaii Council of Economic Education, the Kahului Rotary Club Employer of the Year Award, the Maui Contractor of the Year Award, the Maui Contactors Association Subcontractor of the Year Award, and the Maui Community College Certificate of Appreciation.

Dorvin was a member of several organizations, including the University of Hawaii Founders Club, Masons, Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Maui County Club, King Kamehameha Golf Club, American Society of Heating and Refrigeration, Maui Contractors Association, Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, American Institute of Architects, the Elks, Honorary Member of Kihei Rotary Club, and Life Member of the Hana Community Association.

Dorvin is survived by his wife Betty of Kihei, Hawaii, and six children, Luke of Sacramento, California, Stanley and his wife Becky of Eagle, Idaho, Stephen and his wife Sherry of Kihei, Hawaii, Nancy and her husband Ralph Overton, of Kihei, Hawaii, Timothy of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Charles and his wife Cindy of Eagle, Idaho. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, Ben, Blair, Mandy, Rafael, Theodore Jr., Angela, Brian, Daniel, Jessica, Tyler, Meghan, Gabriel, Jillian, and six great-grandchildren, Tehani, Dylan, Kaleb, Noah, Kaniela, and Neveah, and his brother, Don and his wife Carol of Pasadena, California, and his sister-in-law, Diane (Bill) Leis of New Mexico. Dorvin is preceded in death by his parents, Ward and Susan, his brother Bill, and his son Theodore, whose wife, Sandra, resides in Apple Valley, California.

The service will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 on the campus of University of Hawaii Maui College between the Library and the Student Center. Viewing will be from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The service will start at 5:30 pm. Food and refreshments will follow the service. Arrangements are being made by Ballard Family Mortuary, 808-871-7911. Memorial donations may be made to Maui Contractors Women’s Auxiliary, 1640 Halama St., Kihei, HI 96753; American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Hawaii, 2370 Nuuanu Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96817, online donations may be made at; and Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui, Inc., 100 Kanaloa Ave., Kahului, HI 96732.

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.

***For more information, to leave condolences, or to send flowers, visit the Ballard Family Mortuary website.

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