Tuesday, October 6, 2015         

FRED B. SMALES / 1914-2012

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Geothermal pioneer led several companies

By Star-Advertiser staff


Fred B. Smales, a businessman who drilled the first geothermal well on Hawaii island, died Dec. 1 at his home in Kaneohe. He was 98.

Smales, born in Keo­kuk, Iowa, was West Coast and Pacific area vice president of United States Plywood Corp. before his retirement after 32 years and also led the purchase of Hawaii's Lewers & Cook in 1965 and served as its president until 1969.

As an investor and president of Thermal Hawaii Power, he drilled the first geothermal well on Hawaii island in 1960.

He also served as president of Hawaiian Cement and, after his retirement, established Plywood Hawaii in 1995 and served as its chairman.

Smales, a prominent yachtsman who raced in five Transpac races from Los Angeles to Hono­lulu, received the National Governor's Association Distinguished Citizens Award in 1986.

He is survived by wife Connie, daughters Nancy Alice Clark and Catherina Malia Christensen, and son Fred B. Smales III.

A celebration of life will be held at noon Jan. 26 at Kaneohe Yacht Club, after the scattering of ashes in Kaneohe Bay at 10:30 a.m.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Hawaii Sailing Foundation or to Hawaii Pacific University.

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