Lowell Dillingham Dies; Hawaiian Businessman, Legislator

Lowell S. Dillingham, chairman of the Dillingham Shimizu Construction Co. and a former member of the Hawaiian legislator, has died in Honolulu.

A family spokesman said Dillingham, 76, died at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, where he had been undergoing treatment for a heart ailment. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Born June 17, 1911, in Honolulu, Dillingham was the grandson of the founder of the Oahu Railway & Land Co. and joined one of the family companies after graduation from Harvard in 1934.

He became president of the family land, construction and transportation firm in 1955, and in 1961 engineered its merger with another old-line Hawaiian family corporation, the Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Co., to form the Dillingham Corp., a diversified international firm.

Dillingham became chief executive officer as well as president of the firm in 1969, and relinquished the president's post to become chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1970.

He was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 1984.

In addition, Dillingham was a director of Times Mirror, BankAmerica Corp., IU International, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Western Steel Ltd., National Properties Inc. and of the Economic Development Corp. of Honolulu. He also served on the international advisory board of Pan American World Airways.

Dillingham was a trustee of the prestigious Punahou School in Hawaii and trustee emeritus of the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden of New York and Hawaii and of the advisory council of the Japan-America Society of Honolulu.

In 1982, the Dillingham Corp. was sold to a private investment group, and was liquidated in June of this year. Remnants of the Dillingham business empire were subsequently incorporated into the Dillingham Shimizu Construction Co.

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