The Maui News - Landscape architect and planner Chris Hart died early Monday, Nov. 12, at age 71.
The 2010 mayoral candidate formerly headed two Maui County departments.
Hart, a Wailuku resident, had gone to O'ahu to undergo preventative surgery to his aorta at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center and Clinic, but he subsequently suffered several strokes that led to his death, according to Jordan Hart, the youngest of his four sons.
A man who Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa said “left his fingerprints on community planning on Maui for decades” died unexpectedly on Monday, Nov. 12. “He was a really nice guy,” added the mayor. “We’re really going to miss him.
Jordan said his father's passing was "definitely not expected" by family members.
Hart is survived by his wife, Maria. His other three sons are Matthew, Jon and Andrew. He also leaves four grandchildren.
Maria Hart said she married her husband about a year-and-a-half ago.
"I always call him 'my heart,'" she said. "He's very sweet. He's a very caring man."
"He was very, very committed to Maui now and Maui in the future," said Hart's younger sister, Connie Hart of Florida. "He loved this island. He loved being here and loved being part of the community. He fought hard for many, many years to preserve the beauty of the island. He was a wonderful brother. He was an inspiration. He will be missed terribly."
Mayor Alan Arakawa said that he worked with Hart in planning communities back to the late 1980s.
"Chris has always been very, very thoughtful," Arakawa said, adding that Hart left his fingerprints on community planning on Maui for decades. He was looking out for the betterment of the community."
"He was a really nice guy," added the mayor. "We're really going to miss him.
Maui County Councilmember Gladys Baisa, incoming council chairwoman and current chairwoman of the council's General Plan Committee, said her big regret was that Hart had not recovered from surgery when the council's General Plan Committee recommended passage recently of the Maui Island Plan, which Hart had worked on "since the very beginning."