Photo courtesy of Ethan Tweedie
Mike Luce
  • 68 years old
  • Date of birth: Dec 30, 1946
  • Date of passing: Oct 5, 2015
Join us in sharing a special tribute to the man we all dearly loved.

Important Updates:

December 30, 2016:  

A quick update to remember that today, our dear friend Mike would have turned 70!  Hauoli La Hanau - we miss you every day Mike, in big ways and small…

So Mike, were your ears “ringing” last evening?  A group of your friends gathered with Suzanne, and one of the evening’s highlights was Suzanne “gifting” your good buddy Carol Davies with the treasured pewter clock “trophy” that you two fought over the right to possess during long hours of fiercely competitive cribbage!  The clock went missing but finally surfaced…and yes, while Carol caressed it with affection, she reminded us that, as you once observed, it’s still only right two times a day! 

We also talked briefly about plans to formally dedicated The Mike Luce Studio at Kahilu Theatre in a couple of months!  The studio will celebrate in perpetuity the thousands of hours you dedicated to Kahilu – both in the sound booth and as a very active board member.  You believed in Richard Smart’s “vision” – that Kahilu Theatre should be an educational and cultural beacon for our community and island, and you were ever persistent in supporting this vision! 

We are grateful that so many friends have contributed so generously to create The Mike Luce Studio as a valuable new venue for performances and other events at Kahilu, and we look forward to the formal dedication, though it is already in use – albeit incomplete - for special programs.  It’s a great addition to Kahilu and we hope it will inspire others both to love the arts and to do their share of heavy lifting to support the things they love and believe in! 

Happy Birthday Mike from family and friends near and far.

October 23, 2015:

Mike Luce’s lovely wife, Suzanne Hill, has now confirmed that the Celebration of Life for Mike will be held Saturday, November 7th from 3:30-5:30pm at Waimea’s Kahilu Theatre. There will be a program at 4:30 p.m. and all of his family and friends are invited.

She also thanks Mike’s family members and friends for your warm wishes and kind messages of affection, sadness, encouragement and deep aloha for Mike. Your support during this difficult time is truly appreciated.

Many have asked about memorial gifts. In lieu of flowers, Mike's family suggests making a gift to Kahilu Theatre Foundation to help create a permanent remembrance of Mike Luce for his many contributions that benefited the community he held very near to his heart. 

Gifts may be made payable to Kahilu Theatre Foundation, and mailed to:
Kahilu Theatre, Box 549, Kamuela, HI 96743.  

October 10, 2015: 

A close friend of Mike's said recently "He left a big footprint" on our island and hearts." 

This memorial was created in memory of our loved one and good friend Mike Luce for family and friends to share memories, stories and photos that commemorate and celebrate his achievements, contributions and the fun he had...and the people and places he loved dearly.  

Please take a moment to share your thoughts as a tribute to Mike, who touched our lives in so many ways. Your personal photos can also be uploaded and are much appreciatedWarm aloha!  


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Daniel Donahue on 30th December 2016

"Thank you for the opportunity to to know you. Remember our first meeting years ago at Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota. You will always be treasured."

This tribute was added by Suzanne Hill on 6th October 2016

"I am forever grateful for his love.

Mahalo nui for your kind remembrances, and for sharing in my loss.  


This tribute was added by Barbara Hetzel on 6th October 2016

"It has been a year since you were here for your earth loved ones...I hope all of your spiritual loved ones have been enjoying your generous soul as much as we did on earth. May your spirit heal your best loves here more and more each day. xoxo"

This tribute was added by Patti Cook on 6th October 2016

"How could a year have slipped by?  We think of you often, Mike, wanting to seek your always thoughtful advice or to share something you'd appreciate.  You enriched all of our lives.  Sending my warmest aloha to Suzanne and all of your 'ohana."

This tribute was added by Malcolm MacDonald on 5th October 2016

"Sure do miss you, Pal.  It's hard to believe you left us a year ago already.  The K and I are sending warm thoughts to all your family and friends, and thinking about you, Mike, with a tear and a big smile.  We love you and thank you for being in our lives.  But like I said, we sure do miss you, Pal."

This tribute was added by Jean Mason on 1st April 2016

"Mike,  Forever in our Hearts.
Jean & Sue, Big Sur, Ca."

This tribute was added by Paul Petersen on 30th December 2015

"Oh Cuz, we miss you so.
With Love,
Rana and Paul Petersen"

This tribute was added by Suzanne Hill on 11th November 2015

"Kate’s Tribute to Mike

Mike loved Suzanne. A lot.
He loved the beautiful home they created on the Big Island.  Especially the pool at midnight and the Jacuzzi anytime.

Mike loved his life.
He loved all the many people he worked and played with on the Big Island.  He called them family.
He loved the volunteer work he so expertly took on.
He loved the walks on the beach.  And, counting all the steps he took there.

Mike knew how to live.  He was a contributor to the community.
I toast Mike and salute him for all that he accomplished during his life.

Kate Blunt, Friend"

This tribute was added by Mick Pardini on 4th November 2015

"We will miss Mike.  He was a Dear Friend!  I have known him for over 15 years.  Most recently we worked together as partners with him and Suzanne in their Solar Business.  I learned a lot working with Mike.   He was so organized – when we would do a bid he brought colored photographs, satellite images of the roof, ladders and whatever else was required.  He even did ghost bids for me, when I was too busy.  I would console myself by reasoning that he was semi-retired.  Really he was just being Mike.  The hardest part about working on the solar with him was Suzanne’s orders not to let him on the ladder or roof.  As hard as we tried, he somehow always ended up there.  He would show up on an installation and take the crew out to lunch.  Mike found happiness not so much in work, but in working with other people!  His kindness always shone through.  He was passionate about his love of theater & wanted to share that with others.  
He enjoyed life, but that increased many fold when he met and married Suzanne. Holding you in our Hearts Suzanne! I am gonna miss you Brother, Mick Pardini & Michele Chavez-Pardini"

This tribute was added by Chrystal Yamasaki on 2nd November 2015

"Mike will always be in my thoughts with fondness.  This big tough contractor was filled with kindness, thoughtfulness, ethics, compassion and always wanted the job done right.  It was a pleasure working with him on projects.  I was so happy for Mike when he and Suzanne found each other.  He was a happy man in his "retirement years".  He always had a big heart and thought nothing of giving of his time, energy and expertise to his community and those around him.  Bon Voyage mon ami"

This tribute was added by Juliet Nacino on 1st November 2015

"Mikey truly is a big man in so many ways; he awakened the responsibility to community that my mother modeled, he would kindly scratch his head when less than best decisions were made despite his bringing up forward thinking solutions (seemingly out of the box), he saw the art in the mix of nature and hardscape he carved, kindness and laughter shared with a small boy who would tower physically now over him and his absolute joy in all his Kahilu Theatre involvements. Many years have gone by however the memories and associations continue to be well appreciated. Aloha. You are now resting with your sweet folks."

This tribute was added by Sharon Solmssen on 1st November 2015

"Many years ago, Mike provided his engineering expertise and contracting skills in the planning and  construction of our subdivision road. His willingness to go the extra mile and his integrity greatly eased the stress involved with such a project, especially for clients who knew nothing about roadway and utility construction!  We witnessed the help he gave to Richard Smart and even attended a few productions at the Diamond Head Theatre that would have not been feasible without Mike's able kokua. More recently, I always enjoyed his humor and can-do attitude  in the workout room, he on the treadmill and I on the elliptical monster. Mike, may you enjoy fair winds and a following sea. Mahalo nui loa and a fond aloha to you and our deepest condolences to Suzanne."

This tribute was added by John Knox on 28th October 2015

"Hadn't seen Mike in lots of years, but always remembered and respected him. Deeply sorry to learn he's gone, but he was the sort of guy who stays with you at any rate."

This tribute was added by Barbara Hetzel on 25th October 2015

"Dear Mike, you are my "exotic" cousin with a heart of gold. I am sorry I did not get to meet your beautiful wife, Suzanne. From all the stories from my brothers who did get to met her, I think she brought you much happiness.Thank you, Suzanne! Mike gave me one of the best vacations I have been on: time on the beach with all my siblings..along with a history lesson about the Island he loved! Your parents were special to were just a continuation of their love and generosity. I remember when I had just moved to was you who showed me the way to the top of Camelback Mt....a view of the desert and city  I had not realized was even there!! You were the explorer and always willing to share stories.. I think I will go to the top of the Mt. again...after37 years...and have a toast to your life on earth, as well as a toast to your new life as a free spirit!  Love to Suzanne and all of your near friends.  xoBarb"

This tribute was added by Rick Timmins on 25th October 2015

"Everything about cousin Mike was big: his heart, his laugh, his love for his friends and his family and his home.  He captivated all of us with his welcoming and generous personality.  I regret that the geographical distance between us didn't allow us to spend more time together.  My heart goes out to Suzanne for her loss, but I am very grateful that she was there to make Mike so happy.  We all miss you, Mike."

This tribute was added by Sharon Council on 22nd October 2015

"There is never an easy way to accept losing someone you love.  Death was not a part of God's plan. This is why He has an appointed time when those we've lost will live again without the worry of  sickness or pain. May your family find this promise from God comforting.
Please see  Revelations 21:4"

This tribute was added by Michele Morita on 21st October 2015

"What can I say that hasn’t already been mentioned in these tributes.

Mike was a big guy that matched his big smile, generosity, sense of humor, even temperament, thoughtfulness,  inclusivity;  he not only adopted the laid-back style of Island living but very much reflected and lived Aloha.  

We met Mike when my sister, Mo became his accountant/assistant some 37 years ago.   Mike was very close to his parents, Philip and Helen, and we were invited to their Santa Ana home one year while on vacation in California.  Growing up in SoCal, Mike was the perfect tour guide to all his favorite ocean spots.   Laguna/Newport was and probably still is a hard place to find street parking and I remember we got a ticket that day.  

Mike was a loving son and took good care of his folks in their later years.  Now they are all together, catching up and probably listening to Philip on the piano, singing.

Our hearts and condolences go out to Suzanne.  

A hui hou kakou, Mike

The Morita Ohana"

This tribute was added by Barbara Winters on 19th October 2015

"Mike was an extraordinary person, and it was a privilege to know him.  I'll miss his big smile and welcoming hug, but most of all, his great sense of humor. It was such a delight to make him laugh.  My favorite memory of him is an evening spent at his and Suzanne's  house for a "Quiz Night" party. Mike, who had been a DJ in his school years, centered the quiz all around music from the 60s. He had worked hard to make cuts of each song, and we were asked to identify the artist, the name of the song, the year it was released and the like.  The music brought back so many memories, and the room was full of laughter, singing and, eventually, even some wild dancing!   Mike took a lot of pictures of our gyrations and hinted he might post them online—there certainly was real blackmail potential. ......It was always a joy to spend time with Mike, and we will miss him greatly. He leaves a  hole in the hearts of our Hawaii ohana.  We send our love to Suzanne and their family."

This tribute was added by Mike Camp on 19th October 2015

"It was ironic that I learned of Mike's passing while traveling on Queen K, the very highway that had brought us together back in the 70's. We had come full circle.
I would see Mike sporadically in town, and even more earlier this year when I worked on a project in his neck of the woods. I am so thankful for having made contact with him again. We would slip into our friendship mode and talk as if the years had not even passed. He was that easy of a man to like. He had an inner knowledge of the ripple effect that kindness has in the entire universe. He made everybody feel like somebody. Everything he did - for me, for my family, for the community - was done with a generous heart with nothing expected in return.
I will miss you, Mike. Thanks for the memories."

This tribute was added by jerry blevins on 17th October 2015

"Mikey was my very close friend for the past 15 years. One of the closest friends I've ever had. I started out as his trainer but from the first session we were friends. I miss him so much.  We talked or texted daily about funny  things going on or about sports.  (Told you Mikey that the Dodgers stink) Each of us thought that we were the two funniest people in the world. Together the two of us laughed into tears so many times.
I Love you Mikey

This tribute was added by Penny Nordstrom on 16th October 2015

"Cousin Mike...your spirit will be missed by so many whom you touched throughout your life! When we visited you on our favorite Hawaiian island yearly, you welcomed us with enthusiasm and the gift of your time and undivided attention.
I'll never forget: "helicopter surfing,"  our visits up-country, taking those drives in the back country in your trusty jeep--scary but exhilarating, exploring the beaches of your beautiful island, your hospitality and zest for life, the wonderful plays we saw at the amazing theater you helped develop, and when Suzanne joined you and helped you find your best self.
Reading the tributes above, I can see Mike meant so much to so many...he was truly a leader and was a shining example of a kind and gentle giant.
Suzanne, you are in my thoughts and prayers. There are never enough days/years with the ones we love!
Penny Timmins Nordstrom"

This tribute was added by clive davies on 16th October 2015

"Adieu Michael, successful business man, civic leader, extraordinary community volunteer, loving husband,gentleman and dear friend. Mikey loved the Big Island and cared about it's people and it's future. When I was president of our homeowners association we were looking for a home for a billiard table and furniture. Mike recommended us sending the billiard table to a boy's club in Hilo to keep the kids off the streets after school and to send the sofa and chairs to the Waimea Hospice. Both excellent choices and an example of Mike's caring nature. Mikey will be missed but never forgotten, he left the footsteps of a giant of a man on Hawaii."

This tribute was added by Betty Fettig on 15th October 2015

"When Rick and I were married Cousin Mike surprised us with not only the most entertaining private tour of his Island but he also put us up at the Volcano House for a night.Years later, the Timmins cousins traveled to Hawaii. Mike shared a house on the beach with us!  Coming from Iowa, laden down with fresh Iowa corn and the recipe for my mom's fried pork tenderloin, we were greeted with the BIG smile and the BIG hug.What a party we had! I believe his spirit is now  with his mom, dad and sister. If you listen, you may hear their laughter. And, boy, could they laugh!"

This tribute was added by Jean McKinney on 15th October 2015

"So very sad to lose Mike. He always had a smile and cared for so many. What a remarkable man!"

This tribute was added by Mimi Kerley on 14th October 2015

"I will always remember Mike's passion for Kahilu Theatre, his dedication to its success, and his numerous stories from the old days.... working on productions with Richard Smart (Kahilu Theatre's benefactor), Richard's expectations of excellence, and their trips to Oahu to perform the plays that had been "previewed" on the Big Island. Thanks to Mike we have been able to gain insights into Richard's hopes and dreams for the continued success of our community theatre. Thank you Mike - your passion and support will be forever remembered and forever missed!"

This tribute was added by Susy Ruddle on 14th October 2015

"I will miss our frequent conversations while soaking wet at the beach at Mauna Kea"

This tribute was added by Jane & Randy Klein on 14th October 2015

"I was so sad to hear about Mike. Mike and I were cousins, our Mom's were sisters. Mike was such a kindhearted and caring man. We were always excited when Mike came to Iowa to visit. We loved to hear his stories and he was always interested in our lives and the lives of our kids. I will never forget his beautiful smile and his caring heart. Praying for you Suzanne now and in the days ahead."

This tribute was added by Patrick Hyndman on 14th October 2015

"We will miss Mike!  Even thought we didn't get to see him often, we knew he was always there for us.  He was a caring man with a big heart!  Sorry for your loss, Suzanne!  We will pray for comfort for you. Lynette Hyndman"

This tribute was added by Patrick Hyndman on 13th October 2015

"Mike was my cousin and I greatly looked forward to his visits to the mainland, Iowa in particular. All of his family here will miss him greatly. I knew when we would discuss and tell stories about what was going on in our lives, that he was truly interested and concerned about what was happening. He was a very loving and compassionate man! Suzanne, you will be in my thought and prayers! God bless you and all his family and friends.  Pat Hyndman"

This tribute was added by Keck Observatory on 12th October 2015

"Mike was a tremendous contributor to the Big Island a great friend to astronomy. We will miss your exuberance and passion and keep a look out for your bright light shining in the cosmos!"

This tribute was added by Diane Rivas on 12th October 2015

"Rest in peace Mike.  Thanks for being such a fine contributor in our community.  God bless Suzanne and all the family.  Aloha!!"

This tribute was added by David Tarnas on 12th October 2015

"Mike Luce was a mentor for me - bigger than life, thoughtful and knowledgeable, fair and pragmatic.  He built our roads, guided the island's land use as Planning Commission Chair, and  worked tirelessly for Kahilu Theatre.  Mike was a true Renaissance Man.  I always trusted his sage words of advice, which will remain with me for the rest of my life.  Suzanne - our hearts go out to you.  Please know that we share your grief and that you are wrapped in our love and friendship."

This tribute was added by John Haley on 12th October 2015

"I've known Mike and Suzanne since they first installed solar heating for their swimming pool.  I can only describe Mike as a big teddy bear with a smile as large as the Big Island. He had a tremendous heart and brought joy to all around him.  He will be sadly missed and my love and condolences go out to Suzanne and family."

This tribute was added by Gunner Mench on 12th October 2015

"Damn. We have lost a great friend to the 'aina and to common sense in a place where sometimes it makes no sense at all. Mike built the road to Puako. He built the road to the summit of Mauna Kea, He was an engineer, a man with foresight and forethought and someone with principal. I am so sad for everyone's loss of this great man, but especially for my old friend Suzanne Hill who started Panache Productions in Waikoloa when I ran Donatoni's at the Hilton over 20 years ago. Mike would contact me when something bothered him with traffic and development, and would mentor me in the ways of things and the history of what led up to the things that happen today. He was a great mind and a great heart and soul, and he liked to share his knowledge where it could be beneficial to those who could protect the 'aina into the foreseeable future. I miss him and will continue to miss him every time I chair a meeting of the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, which he attended regularly for years. God Bless You and let him take your soul kindly and gently to that place where there is no pain and suffering. Love you, Mike. Love you too, Suzanne."

This tribute was added by Barrie Moss on 12th October 2015

"Mike was a big man on big machines doing big jobs. His presence and his smile matched that. I hadn't seen him in a while when I first saw him with Suzanne, at the Kahilu, and he was completely transformed. It was so obvious how thrilled he was and I loved seeing that happiness sustain him. A sweetheart of a man who will be very missed."

This tribute was added by Ross Wilson on 11th October 2015

"Shocked and saddened. Our island is losing so many of our big thinkers. Mike was indeed a big thinker and also a big doer."

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This memorial is administered by:

Patti Cook
Carolyn Thomes


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