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Family, community mourns passing of Judge Bud Love

Updated: 
July 12, 2017 - 12:05am

KAILUA-KONA — Colin “Bud” Love, a community champion and longtime per diem judge, died July 1.

Love died peacefully at his home at the age of 81. He’d suffered from heart failure and was in and out of the hospital since April. He’d been out of the hospital for a week before he passed.

“There was no arrogance about him,” said longtime friend Frank Sayre. “In the world we live in, we sure could use more people like him.”

Family and friends characterized Love as someone with high moral standard.

“He’s just one of those people you don’t come across very often in a lifetime,” Sayre said. “He’s one of the rocks of the community and helped make Kona what it is.”

Love’s family described him as a man always reinventing himself. Before becoming a lawyer, he had a lifetime of careers as a geophysicist, geologist and engineering geologist.

“He would say, ‘you can recycle beer cans, you can recycle me,’” said Love’s wife, Mary Love, while sitting on the lanai of their Alii Drive home.

Love moved his family from California to Kona in 1976 to practice law. In June 1985, he was hired as a per diem judge. The position meant he could be called to fill in for a district family judge or a district court judge.

In 2006, he was forced into mandatory retirement as a per diem judge when he turned 70 years old.

“He was a gentleman above all,” said Lester Oshiro, chief court administrator for 3rd Circuit Court. He added the court could always count on Love, who could be called in to work as needed.

“He was a respected member of the legal community and our ohana as a per diem judge,” he said.

Oshiro added Love was a pleasant fellow.

Oshiro said the attorney practiced in Kona and would a lot of times see him in Circuit Court in Hilo. Those times they saw each other, the men would talk about their dogs.

“He wasn’t a high energy, scream-in-your-face attorney,” Oshiro said. “He was logical and thoughtful. He was an attorney who tried to make this a more civil world.”

While he was well-liked and respected in the community, Love’s impact started in his home with the raising of his sons, Stuart and Greg.

Both men said their father was a good dad. Some of their fondest memories are the hunting trips their dad would take them on growing up.

“He taught us about the outdoors, which led to our careers,” Stuart Love said.

Stuart Love, 52, is a wildlife biologist in Oregon and Greg Love, 49, is an Oregon State trooper.

Stuart Love said his father’s ethics have had a lasting impact on him.

“He inspired a lot of people to do better,” Stuart Love said. “A lot of what helped us get through college was living up to what he wanted.”

Greg Love said his dad was a compassionate man and cared about the people in his life.

“He really dedicated a lot of time and energy to helping the community,” he said.

Greg Love said his dad was a “man.” He raised the brothers to be men and provide for their families.

“He’s such a role model to me to be a good dad and good husband and holding people accountable for their actions,” Greg Love said.

Love’s impact on the community is one that will be felt for years. Sayre said his friend was involved with the first Ironman and stayed active for several years after. He was also involved with the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation from the beginning.

Sayre and his wife, Laura Mallery-Sayre, started the foundation as a way to thank the Hawaii Fire Department personnel for risking their lives in the recovery of their son’s body, Daniel, who fell 500 feet in a 1997 hiking accident in North Kohala’s Pololu Valley.

Over the years, the foundation has raised funds and provided equipment to the department.

Bud Love was also involved with the restoration of Kamoa Point State Historical Park and a member of the Kona Sailing Club.

Mary Love thinks her husband’s lasting impact on the community is honesty in law.

“He was very ethically oriented, yet he always had time for other people,” she said, adding he had a phenomenal sense of humor, which her sons inherited.

“He left me a beautiful legacy,” she said.

Before he got sick, Bud Love was planning on taking the test to get a broker’s license.

A private memorial service will be held. However, condolences can be sent to the Love family by mail at P.O. Box 2072 Kailua-Kona, HI, 96740.

In lieu of flowers, gifts or food, the family requests all donations be made to the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1285 Kailua-Kona, HI, 96745.

Info: danielsayrefoundation.org.

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