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    Bernaldo Daniel “Bernie” Bicoy: He was a member of the last Territorial Legislature

Bernaldo Daniel "Bernie" Bicoy, a former lawyer, state representative and Army lieutenant colonel who served in World War II and the Korean War, died March 15 in Hono­lulu. He was 89.

Born in Lahaina as the eldest of 12 children, Bicoy grew up on Molokai until his parents sent him to Oahu to attend Wai­pahu High School. He graduated in 1941 near the top of his class.

On Dec. 7 that year, Bicoy enlisted in the Army after watching the bombing of Pearl Harbor from the roof of his Wai­pahu home, said daughter Dawn Bicoy-Stephenson.

After the war, Bicoy served as a researcher for the Allied War Crimes Commission during the Nuremberg Trials and then attended the University of Missouri Law School until the start of the Korean War.

He returned to military service and served in Korea as commander of a rifle company. He earned a number of medals, including a Bronze Star with "V" device, Purple Heart and Silver Star. Even after the war, he was an Army reservist, retiring from the military at age 60.

After the Korean War, Bicoy finished his studies at the University of Missouri and earned his law degree in 1953. He was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1956 and co-founded Bicoy & Yamane, where he practiced law for the next 26 years.

Bicoy-Stephenson said her father was a wise and compassionate community leader with a tireless work ethic.

"In his law practice, some people didn’t have money, but that wouldn’t keep him from helping them," she said. "He never denied anybody help if he could help them. He was a leader in the community. No matter where he went, no matter what room he walked into, he commanded a presence. But it was a quiet presence, not arrogant or presumptious. He knew how to lead."

Bicoy was a member of the last Territorial Legislature from 1958 to 1959, representing West Oahu, and served two terms as a representative in the state Legislature in the 1960s. He helped found the United Filipino Council of Hawaii, the Filipino Chamber of Commerce and the Congress of Visayan Organizations.

In 1982 Bicoy ran for lieutenant governor, but was unsuccessful and later served four months in prison for violating state campaign spending laws by illegally receiving $23,430 in tax dollars for his campaign, according to a Dec. 4, 1999, Star-Bulletin story. He resigned from the bar in 1999 and was pardoned by Gov. Ben Caye­tano in 2002.

"We greatly respect Gov. Caye­tano for granting a pardon to our father," the Bicoy family said in an email. "It is the totality of his 89 years, the integrity he brought to his daily activities, the honor with which he conducted his affairs; this is the true measure of our father’s life and legacy. He was an exceptional man who dedicated his life to serving others, through both his military and public service."

In his later years Bicoy enjoyed spending time with friends and family, often going golfing with old friends.

Bicoy is survived by wife Betty; sons James and Bret; daughters Fayrene Delos Santos and Dawn; brothers Franco D., Fred D. and Puncho D.; sisters Prisca Medeiros, Jill Dehayward, Kani Sliedrecht and Lori Kalilikane; 16 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 9 a.m. Monday at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. The service begins at 11 a.m. with the burial to follow at Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bernie Bicoy Memorial Fund at, which will benefit Hawaii charities.

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