HCB: Fred Dodge Made a Difference in Leeward Oahu

By Alyce Dodge, Honolulu Civil Beat, 15 April 2022

His children continue his work and love of aina, peace and justice.

Fred Dodge died April 3, but his work lives on. 

Physician and activist Fred Dodge, who was well known in the Leeward community, died on April 3 after a long decline. He was 90.

Frederick Arthur Dodge was born in 1931 in Trenton, New Jersey. He was the first one in his family born in the United States. His parents and three older siblings were immigrants from Europe.

Growing up during the Great Depression, Fred often wore shoes that were too small, resulting in foot problems throughout his life. Not many people knew this; he was not a complainer. Fred was a person who lived his beliefs, and who learned and grew throughout his life. He went from being a smoker to a marathoner, from a bow-tie-wearing conservative in the Army to a great peace activist who got arrested for his beliefs.

Some things that were consistent through his life were a love of old time jazz music, the habit of picking up litter on his daily walks and at the beach, and going on long hikes.

In 1963, Fred completed his residency at St. Francis Hospital and opened his private practice in Aiea. Being a family doctor back then meant office hours, hospital rounds, house calls and occasional middle-of-the-night deliveries of babies.

Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center services Leeward Coast residents. Dr. Fred Dodge was its first medical director. 

Although he and his wife, Aiko “Sparrow” Dodge, had four young children and a new practice, Fred didn’t turn anyone away for lack of funds and sometimes got paid in homemade quilts or food.

In 1975, Fred became the first medical director of the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Under Fred’s direction, the WCCHC gained a helicopter pad and emergency room, which saved many lives.

He recruited staff including doctors and specialists, nurses, care managers and outreach workers. He brought in University of Hawaii medical school students for family practice training.

The WCCHC’s mission was to provide quality health care to all, even the uninsured and those with low income and complex health conditions. Fred encouraged and educated the staff to know the mission of the health center and to deliver it.

Later, Fred walked back down the carrier ladder to become that special family doctor for so many generations of families on the Leeward coast. In 2014, WCCHC dedicated a courtyard in honor of Dr. Fred Dodge and his friend and colleague, Dr. Terry Claggett.

Activist for Peace

Fred maintained a tireless advocacy for peace and justice. His activism started in the 1960s, with the support of his wife, Sparrow. He was arrested for protesting the Vietnam War and again during the eviction at Hale Mohalu, a home for people with Hansen’s disease.

He also protested evictions in Kalama Valley, Sand Island and Chinatown. Fred was involved with Kahoolawe, Hawaii People’s Fund, United Farm Workers, Makua Valley, the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club and more.

He served on the boards of Hoaaina o Makaha and Opelu Project/Kaala Farms. Fred was recognized for his efforts with the 2003 Hawaii Peacemaker Award presented by Church of the Crossroads.

In 1992, Fred, with Sister Anna McAnany, held the first Christmas Vigil nonviolent protest in front of the Makua Military Reservation gates. He was keeping a promise to Ivanhoe Naiwi to work for the return of Makua Valley.

Over the years he organized access to Makua Valley, offered education, and advocated for the end of bombing and live fire training in that beautiful, sacred place.

Recently, Fred watched U.S. Representative Kai Kahele introduce a bill to Congress for the return of Makua Valley to the state of Hawaii.

Fred, his second wife Karen Young, and her two daughters also supported many good causes and welcomed many people to their home on the Leeward Coast. Karen took care of Fred in his years of decline.

Fred was predeceased by his first wife. His survivors include his second wife, 14 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and six adult children: Vince, Francesca, Charley, Alyce, Maile and Summer, who with their children continue the work and love of aina, peace and justice.

My step-father, Dr. Fred Dodge’s, 80th birthday celebration at MA’O Organic Farms.  Dr. Dodge is survived by his wife, Karen Young; children, Vince, Francesca, Charley, and Alyce; grandchildren Daniel, Chisa, Shyam, Tamal, Samadhi, Vyas, and Maya; great-grandchildren Harley, Koiahi, Maaloa, Kulailai, Viliami, Puea, Kahanhaiki, Savannah, Kanai, and Hiro; step-children/grandchildren Radha, Narottam, Bala, Kamau, Kiya, Mandali, Bala, Maile, Summer, Keani, Keohi, Kamanaoli, and Ilima. -Maile

May 2022 Westside Stories article by Karen Young

2 Responses

  1. Hi Maile. I’m so sorry to hear about Dr. Dodge passing away may Rest In Peace. He took care of me for many decades I loved him. My condolences to you and your family. Love mike & family 💯❤️


  2. My deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and many friends.
    A fine man and his kindness I want to remember most.
    Rest in love Fred…
    🙏 🙏 🙏


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: