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Taps: Ronald E. Bright

August 2, 2015

Ronald Bright 2Ronald E. Bright, 81, teacher and director extraordinaire, went to be with his eternal Father in Heaven on July 7, 2015. Mr. B., as he was most oftened referred to, was born in Hilo, Hawaii, on September 2, 1933.

After graduating from Hilo High School in 1951, he attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo, then continued his studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he graduated in 1956, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He obtained his Professional Certificate in 1957 after intern teaching at Roosevelt High School, where he met his wife, Moira. In 1973, he received his Master’s in Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Mr. B.’s full-time teaching career started at Castle High School in Kaneohe, Hawaii, in 1957, only to be interrupted by a 2-year stint with the United States Army at Schofield Barracks from 1958-1960. He thoroughly enjoyed his military career and joined the 111th Hawaii Army National Guard band shortly after.

He returned to education, teaching at Castle High School, up until his retirement in 1993. During his college years, he was a key player in a TV series airing weekly called “Campus Canteen,” moonlighted as a piano player at the Beretania Follies, and later became a dinner pianist at the Kaneohe Yacht Club and Oahu Country Club.

It was at Castle High that he directed over 85 musicals and plays; this, along with other productions elsewhere such as New Hope Christian Fellowship, Kamehameha Schools and Paliku Theatre, numbered over 100 directorial pursuits.

There were numerous accolades bestowed on him throughout his lifetime, more notably, State Teacher of the Year, University of Hawaii Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Milken Teacher of the Year Award, Guardsman of the Year, Father of the Year, Federal Citizen of the Year and Living Treasure of Hawaii.

His love for God never veered and he was content to live the good life that God planned for him. It was in June of 1960, that he married the love of his life, Moira, a made-in-heaven union that produced three beautiful children, Clarke (Lynell), the Royal Hawaiian Bandmaster, Jodi (Lee) Stein, a teacher at Shafter Elementary, Michael (Jade), teacher at Kamehameha Schools, and seven grandchildren he was so proud of: Chris, Timothy, Caitlin, Drew and Colton Bright, and Lauren and Mia Stein. He is also survived by sisters Leilani Aguiar, Judy Pereira, and brother, Wally Bright.

His capacity to love was enormous and he touched thousands upon thousands of souls with his contagious smile, hearty laugh, big hugs and twinkling eyes that communicated, “you are special.” He will never be forgotten but will live in our hearts forever.

Arrangements: by Hawaiian Memorial Park – First Presbyterian Church, Ko’olau Ballroom, Friday, August 7, 2015, visitation from 8:30 – 10:00 am, service 10:00 – 11:15am. Friends and family are urged to car pool if attending services; overflow parking and shuttle service also available at Hawaii Pacific University, Kaneohe. Aloha attire, no flowers.

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