POSTED: 4:33 p.m. HST, Jan 8, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 6:37 p.m. HST, Jan 8, 2012
Veteran Hawaii broadcaster and newsman William Gordon “Bill” Dahle, of Kalaheo, Kauai, died at his home Saturday. He was 69.
For 40 years, Kauai residents woke six days a week to Dahle’s familiar baritone on KUAI Radio, the Eleele station of which he was a part owner. His voice was known to radio listeners across the state for his broadcasts on statewide news networks.
"Bill was a consummate newsman, a man of integrity and an all-around great person with an amazing sense of humor,” said Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho. “Kauai was blessed to have him and we will miss him greatly. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and all who knew and loved him. He truly left a mark on our community.”
Said state Sen. Ron Kouchi (D-Kauai): “He was the Walter Cronkite of radio news. I always respected him for the integrity with which he did his job. But most importantly, I considered him a friend.”
County Council member and former Mayor JoAnn Yukimura remarked, “He was a first-class journalist and he helped make democracy work on Kauai.”
Those statements were collected by publicist Jan TenBruggencate, a former Honolulu Advertiser correspondent.
Dahle, born in Duluth, Minn., arrived on Kauai in the early 1960s, leaving a Los Angeles radio career to help launch KUAI 720 along with business partners Ron Gay and John Short. Dahle was the station’s anchor talent, and for decades was also the dean of Kauai’s small cadre of news reporters.
He covered government and politics, business and environment, crime and community, while rising each morning well before dawn to spin records, take dedications and chat with listeners.
His service to the community was legendary. In the days before cellular phones, Dahle developed a code to send messages to residents of Niihau. In one example, the wording of a song dedication told Niihau residents which of their family members would be arriving on the next boat.
He and Short also launched the cable television business that eventually became Kauai’s Oceanic Time Warner Cable operation. Dahle retired in 2002 following the sale of KUAI.
He remained a favored host and moderator for functions of all kinds, including the biennial inauguration of Kauai County elected officials, political debates, and forums of many kinds.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Carveiro; daughter, Robin “Malu” Dahle; granddaughter Tiara Cummings Dahle; sister-in-law Yvonne Dahle, of California; brother-in-law Charles (Sheri) Carveiro Jr.; sister-in-law Grace Carveiro, parents-in-law Claire and Charles Carveiro Sr.
Services are pending. Garden Island Mortuary is handling arrangements.