By Hugh Clark
William H. “Buck” Donham III, a news reporter and editor with ties on Oahu and the Big Island for nearly 40 years, died Tuesday in an Arkansas hospital following a long bout with cancer. He was 70.
After graduating in journalism from University of Missouri, Donham, came to Honolulu with the Associated Press and later joined the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as a political/legislative reporter.
He moved to the Big Island as a reporter and editor, later becoming news editor at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald before being promoted to editor of West Hawaii Today where he directed its news staff as well as wrote editorials and a frequent opinion columns.
He was a board member and president of the Bg Island Press Club and was a script writer and performer in its later “Imu” productions, a one-time parody of life on the island.
Buck eventually wound up his 39 years as a public relations consultant for the Hawaii County Police Department under now retired Chief Wayne Carvalho.
“He was a news figure who was a serious competitor, a good friend whose word was trusted by legislators, council members, mayors and his rivals,” said Hugh Clark who knew Donham for much of his time in the islands.
He embraced computers early on and helped tutor slower learners, including his BIPC friends. He assisted police in making better and fuller use of them, according to Carvalho.
After retirement, he returned with his two cats to the family home in Little Rock and kept close ties with his only surviving sibling, Mimi Nation, who was at his hospital bedside as he died.
He also is survived by his daughter, Laura Katherine Donham of Oakland, Calif., many nieces and nephews.
Services will include visitation 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Little Rock Funeral Home and a graveside funeral at10 a.m. Saturday at Roselawn Memorial Park.
Family members said memorial contributions may be made to the Human Society of Pulaski County,14600 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock 72210.
There is an on-line guestbook atlittlerockfuneralhome.com