Neil Alan Farnsworth

Neil Alan Farnsworth, 59, of Kihei, Maui passed away at home on Monday, March 25, 2013 of natural causes.

Neil was born on Jan. 16, 1954 in American Falls, ID, to Dale and Neva Potter Farnsworth. He was the middle child of five children, three sisters and one brother.

Neil grew up on a farm and attended Aberdeen schools. He loved learning and during the sixth, seventh and eighth grade winters he read the entire set of World Book Encyclopedia. He was a scholar at an early age. He completed four years of college at Idaho State University with high honors. Neil then achieved a Master’s Degree and PhD in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada in 1982. Upon graduation his parents gifted him a trip to Maui and he fell in love with the island and became a local. Living in paradise gave him the opportunity to develop his photography talent into a wonderful hobby.

Neil was employed by the Marriott at Lahaina from 1983 through 2002 and then as the general manager of Kapalani Kai for the past 10 years. He loved meeting and greeting the guests he encountered on an everyday basis and became close friends with many. He took pleasure in suggesting restaurants, sites and adventures for his guests to enjoy. Neil, along with his kind hearted friend Al, cared for a feral cat colony near Kapalani Kai. He found cat behavior intriguing and enjoyed their antics everyday.

Many wondered why he didn’t pursue employment in his field of expertise and he would respond, “Well, I use philosophy everyday!” In our environment of poor grammar and slang Neil’s spoken word was always correct and extremely pleasant to hear. He was an interesting and entertaining conversationalist. He was an avid reader of science fiction and technical information and could remember facts in great detail.

He is survived by his mother Neva of Boise, ID; siblings, Susan of Fruitland, ID, Larry (Kathy) of Camano Island, WA, Diane (Scott Ullrich) of Lahaina, Maui, Cecile (Don Becker) of Boise, ID; three nephews, Jonathan, Aaron, Zachary, and one niece Amanda. His very special friend, Megumi Matsumoto, resides in Tokyo, Japan.

A celebration of life will be planned for a later date. Memorial contributions may be sent to Maui Humane Society Feral Cat Program, P.O. Box 1047, Pu’unene, HI 96784 (808) 877-3680 or

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6 comments for “Neil Alan Farnsworth

  1. Sharon Johnson Fladmark
    April 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Neva and family, We were so sorry to hear of your son’s passing. Family and friends will help the sorrow. Our family thinks of you often and wishes that our heartfelt sympathy will be of some help at this time.

  2. Bruce Stonell
    May 13, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Every time I visited Kapulanikai Neil was there to make sure everything was ready and right. I enjoyed chatting and visiting with him over the years. He enjoyed being manager and because he did, he made it additionally inviting for Kapulanika visitors.

  3. Gary and Shirley Burns
    June 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    We only met Neill once last September while we were at Kapulanikai. He was kind and very attentive and made us feel welcomed. It was easy to talk to Neil and he loved his birds and cats. We will all miss a great man. Prayers for your family that each day memories are what you hold onto.

  4. Dick and Darlene
    November 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Neil was such a kind man. He was always one of the reasons as to why we looked forward to staying Kapulanikai. Like Neil, we also shared the love for the “house kitties” that he so lovingly attended to. We had many discussions about Big Boy and Little Girl. In addition, each time we stayed in Maui, we would always bring Neil a can of Tim Hortons as he had shared so many of his stories of his time spent at school in Canada.

    May your family find comfort in knowing that God needed a very loving and special angel to tend to the “heaven house kitties”. He could not have picked a better person. May you find comfort in knowing that Neil touch so many lives in a such a kind, caring and wonderful way.

    Dick and Darlene (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  5. Reg Quinton & Kate Graham
    September 24, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Neil was a cherished friend from our days in the graduate school at Western back about 40 years go. Neil took our wedding photos in 1980 and they still garner tons of praise. We had reached out to visit with Neil in Honolulu many years ago on a trip to Australia and really enjoyed that visit. In reaching out recently I’ve discovered it’s no longer possible to get together, swap stories and enjoy a drink. Neil will be missed.

  6. Howard Duncan
    December 17, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    It is only today that I have learned that Neil passed away a number of years ago. I was one of Neil’s fellow PhD students at UWO in Canada. We were very good friends and spent much time taking photographs, discussing photographic technique, and of course debating philosophical issues. Sadly, I lost contact with Neil the day after he received his doctorate degree and left London, Ontario. This has long haunted me, and attempts over the years to reach him in Hawaii failed. Neil made an enormous impression on me. Although we lost contact, he was frequently in my thoughts. I wish to convey my sadness to his family and friends.

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