Wailuku Rotary Club To Hold Virtual Remembrance To Celebrate Life of Tom Leuteneker
* Updated February 19, 4:27 PM
The Rotary Club of Wailuku will hold a virtual Remembrance to celebrate the life of founding member and Charter President Tom Leuteneker, who died at age 80 surrounded by his loving family on Dec. 15, 2020.
The remembrance will be held via Zoom on Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. Guests must register to attend. After registering, guests will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Tom was a partner at the law firm of Carlsmith Ball serving on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and Maui before retiring in 2013.
Leuteneker was a popular and highly engaged member who had an immediate positive impact when he helped form the club. He always was ready to provide advice and perspective on any issue, according to a club statement.
His many valuable contributions included the vision to form the nonprofit, Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui. He, along with fellow Rotarians, saw the urgent need in 1989 to help children abused and neglected in Maui County.
Leuteneker was the first president of the agency’s Board of Directors and remained dedicated and engaged with the Friends for the next 31 years. He and his wife Anne have enhanced and enriched the lives of thousands of Maui children dealing with the traumatic effects of abuse and neglect.
Over the years, Leuteneker also was involved and served on the following boards: Maui Economic Development Board, Aloha House, Chamber of Commerce, Malulani Health & Medical Center, Seabury Hall, St. John’s Episcopal Church Elder, Emmanuel Lutheran Church Elder and Charter Member of Hilo Sailing Club.
He was a great philanthropist and had a particular passion for assisting those in our community who were less fortunate than him and others. He changed the dynamic wherever he was, with his tremendous sense of humor, compassion and empathy for others.
“It wasn’t Tom speaking on the issues that surrounded us, more importantly it was that he actively promoted a wide range of practical solutions to address the ever changing challenges of our Maui Community,” said Paul Tonnessen, Executive Director of the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui. “Tom not only deployed his own resources to fund much needed
programs to assist those in need, but he also reached out to others for assistance. He knew the importance of seeking collaboration within our community to be able to have the greatest impact in changing lives. He was forever a thoughtful leader and spokesperson for our club on the
challenging issues that our community faced.”
Rotary Club of Wailuku President Monique Ibarra said: “It was an honor for our club members to serve alongside Tom Leuteneker through Rotary. He leaves a legacy of humanitarian compassion and work that will continue to be a positive impact to our Maui community for many, many years to come. We miss his presence but are so thankful for his drive to help make the community a better place to live, for all.
“His encouragement and support to his community has been instrumental in so many changes on Maui. Tom lived his life knowing that he and his fellow Rotarians could make a major contribution to change things for the better, and, as Tom always reminded all of us that we needed to be concerned for the welfare of those less fortunate and to be part of the solution for change.
“He was also great fun to be with. We’ll remember his love of good conversation and his great sense of humor. He was elegant in every way, the way he spoke with conviction and his immense courtesy and concern towards those in need. In all ways, Tom had a positive presence wherever he went.
“He’s been taken from all of us way too soon. It seems that Tom, who help initiate the formation of the Rotary Club of Wailuku should not have been robbed of his final years with us. He was looking forward with so much optimism to tend to his coffee farm, spending time with his family
and to continue to be part of the change that our community needs. We will remember Tom not for what we have lost, but for who he was, what he gave and what he achieved.”
He is survived by his wife Anne of 54 years, and two children, Christopher and Steffani. Christopher of Maui and his wife Winter, and two daughters Kiara and Sevilla. Steffani of Texas, and her son Riley and daughter Malia, and goddaughter, Lisa Silva of Maui whom he held dear.
Tom is also survived by his brother Jon of California and his wife Megan, their children Erik, Heather and Michael, and six grandchildren.
The Family has asked that donations in Tom’s name can be made to The Friends of the Children’s Justice Center, 1773 Wili Pā Loop # A, Wailuku, HI 96793 or St. John’s Episcopal Church, 8992 Kula Highway, Kula, HI 96790.