Native, AM radio broadcaster dies at home in Hawaii
Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 4, 2007
Stewart Diamond, a veteran news broadcaster and Greenville native who helped develop AM radio in Hawaii, died on Jan. 19 at the age of 68.
His daughter, Sharon Diamond Pascual, told the Honolulu Advertiser that her father had only been diagnosed with cancer a short time before his death.
Diamond graduated from Greenville High School in 1956. He served for 23 years in the Air Force before retiring in 1980 as senior master sergeant. He was a Vietnam Veteran and also had tours of duty in Japan and Thailand. Diamond's awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
“I'm so proud of him,” Pascual told the Advertiser. “He got all these medals in the Air Force. He never really talked about it. He wanted us to save his medals for his grandchildren so they'd know what he accomplished.”
After high school, Diamond wed Kimeko Matsuda, a Los Angeles native he had met in Tokyo. According to a Greenville Advocate story on the couple's nuptials, the wedding even made the New York Daily News. Matsuda was one of Japan's most prominent models and founded her own modeling agency, Tahei Fashion Model Group. The Daily News' headline was “Japanese Model Married to Yank,” which led Diamond to comment: “How in the (blank) can a guy from Greenville, Alabama, be called a ‘Yank'?”
Colleagues and friends described Diamond as someone who chose to remain behind the scenes and Pascual told the Advertiser her father often wrote speeches and served as emcee for several events in Hawaii.
“He had a distinguished, deep voice that he used more for live shoes,” she said. “It was his writing and speaking he was known for. He was one of those who could flawlessly pull off a recording.”
The Star-Bulletin reported that Diamond started working as a news broadcaster in the 1960s. In the 80s he was station manager for two Hawaii radio stations. Diamond worked with Hawaii legend Hal “Aku” Lewis before the disc jockey's death in 1983.
Diamond is survived by his wife, Kimeko; three daughters, Shana Diamond-Hoshino, Sheryl Diamond-Yamashita, and Pascual; six grandchildren and a sister, Cile (Vauncile) Diamond Dunkelberg of South Carolina.
Diamond was buried at Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.