Skip to Main Nav Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

Statement from Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald on the passing of Former Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Frank D. Padgett

Posted on Aug 2, 2021 in News & Reports, Press Releases

Image of Associate Justice Frank D. Padgett (ret.)HONOLULU — It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of former Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Frank D. Padgett. He passed on away on July 11 at the age of 98.

Justice Padgett was a giant in the legal profession and in the Judiciary. He was one of the three original members of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, having been appointed in 1980 by former Gov. George R. Ariyoshi. He collaborated with the ICA’s first Chief Judge Yoshimi Hayashi and Associate Judge James S. Burns to shape the direction of the new court, which was created to help address the heavy caseload carried by the Supreme Court.

Justice Padgett had served two years on the ICA when he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1982 by Gov. Ariyoshi. He retired in 1992. Prior to joining the Judiciary, he spent more than 30 years in private practice.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Justice Padgett,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “He was a brilliant jurist, legendary for his ability to author an enormous number of opinions that were clear and concise. During his 10 years on the court, Justice Padgett left an enduring legacy not only through his opinions, but also his passionate pursuit of legal excellence.”

Our sympathy goes out to his family.

According to an obituary in the Aug. 1 edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, there will be a Celebration of Life at a later date.

To learn more about Justice Padgett’s amazing life, including his experience as a bomber pilot and prisoner of war during World War II, watch this 2015 episode of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox.

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at

Subscribe to the Hawai'i State Judiciary mailing list for email notification of press releases and other announcements.