It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bob Liljestrand. Bob had many careers and while he was best known as President of Liljestrand Foundation, he was also a hospital administrator, an architectural designer, an award-winning filmmaker and photographer.
Bob dedicated the last 17 years of his life to saving his childhood home, the Liljestrand House. After his father Howard passed away in 2004, Bob was determined to save the house and make it available to the public in perpetuity. Along with his wife Vicky, he co-founded the Liljestrand Foundation in 2007. Bob and his brother Eric sold their respective homes in order to pay the estate taxes and in 2015, they gifted the Liljestrand House to the Foundation with the stipulation that it could never be sold for the benefit of an individual. That he managed to navigate the innumerable and seemingly insurmountable challenges associated with transitioning a private residence into a public museum speaks to his passion and tenacity.
Bob gave us all a priceless gift. A house that is not only a preeminent example of architect Vladimir Ossipoff’s work but also tells a story of twentieth century Hawai`i – the time, the place and the people who made an extraordinary home.
Going forward, the Foundation will continue to be governed by a volunteer board of directors. And the mission of preserving the house and making that preservation beneficial to the community will remain the same.
We are going to miss Bob immeasurably but know that his legacy will live on in his family, the Foundation he created, the stories he told, and the house he grew up in and fought to save.