David “Kawika” Talisman, a former Honolulu Police Department officer and a badge-carrying Private Investigator, died May 2 at his Waikiki condominium. He was 79.

Kawika, or “Kawiks,” as he often called himself, had a remarkably varied life.  He was a scriptwriter, a singer-composer, a lyricist,  a videographer,  a filmmaker, and website wizard.

Among his cherished  show biz credits was his involvement in “The Jeffersons Go to Hawaii,” a four-part CBS special filmed in Waikiki and aired in 1980, which also became a calling card for the former New Jersey native, who fell in love with Hawaii and relocated here.

David “Kawika” Talisman

“He had a strong personality, and he loved to make people laugh,” said his widow Kyoko Talisman. “He brought happiness to many people. Everywhere I go, people tell me, ‘I know your husband.’  Everybody called him Kawika; only me, I call him David.” (Kawika is the Hawaiian equivalent of David).

“He had so much pain,” said Kyoko, who  was married to Kawika for 28  years. Kawika had a multitude of health issues, including cancer.

He loved to tool around in his SUV, with its rear lift, for access to his mobile scooter, which gave him independence to drive hither and yon. Even with pain, Kawika had joy, meeting pals for breakfast or lunch.

All that changed, when his health worsened.

Kyoko was Kawika’s primary caregiver over the past few years. “Of course I had to be supportive and (caregiving) was something I had to do,” she said “But we had hospice help, too, and I also hired an aide for homecare every day. At the end, I was very, very tired.

“But he went peacefully. I played new Japanese music, and we liked to do stupid things, like dancing, if no one was there. In the end, with the music on, I realized that he was not breathing. He was gone, but he was smiling,” she said.

Ken Makuakane, a pastor at Kawaiahao Church, baptized Kawika and conducted the last rites at their home.

Kawika Talisman, Kyoko Talisman and Frank DeLima, at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

Kyoko said she met David through mutual friends. Dates were meaningful in their lives, so a Celebration of Life for Kawika will be held on June 30, their wedding anniversary date, at Borthwick Mortuary. A timetable is not yet set.

Kawika was adamant to create  his own video that would be shared at the Celebration of Life, but he was too ill to complete the project, but made the decision on what photographs and music would be included in the video.

“He was very good at producing video,” said comedian Frank DeLima, a longtime friend, who hired Kawika to produce “Best of DeLima,” a Betamax  release.

Kawika and DeLima customarily celebrated each other’s birthdays over dinners. “He was always fun to be with and we discussed aches and pain often. But toward the end, the pain was horrible,” said DeLima. “Now, he has no pain.”

In the mid-1990s, Kawika joined HPD and donned a police uniform to join the team of HPD Chief Michael Nakamura, headquartered at Ke Kula Makai, a HPD training facility, where Kawika spent four years producing video re-enactions of notable HPD shootings, a model still used now by HPD and also the FBI.

In 2000, Kawika was selected by the FBI Honolulu Division to help launch a chapter of InfraGard, a partnership between the FBI and the private sector including private businesses, academic institutions, and state and local law enforcement agencies, to share data and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the U.S.

Kawika re-activated his P.I. credentials in 2009, as an adjunct to his IT operations. That’s when his buddies kidded him, being “Talisman, P.I.,” like in “Magnum, P.I.”

He designed and built complex websites that earned him awards; with more than 13 years of experience as senior engineer for NTTA/Verio Professional Service, he has worked in most web technologies.

In 2015,  Kawika received the prestigious FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, bestowed by then FBI Director James. B. Comey in Virginia, for his contributions through services that made a lasting difference in the region.

Kawika was born on Nov. 24, 1944 in New Jersey, but was destined to settle in Hawaii, because he truly had a Hawaiian heart.

Knowing he eventually would pass, he bought an apartment for Kyoko, with no mortgage worries for her, and “large enough for a big dog,” said Kyoko, whose 75-lb. dog now has a place to romp.

The couple earlier owned a home at Hawaii Loa Ridge, relocated to a rental on the Koko Marina in Hawaii Kai, then moved to temporary quarters at a friend’s home in Manoa.

The Talismans bought a condo, where Kyoko now lives with her latest dog companion, a rescue pet from the Humane Society, because her earlier pet, a Labrador named Hanako died.. “I was so sad, I cried, cried, cried,” she revealed.

It took her eight weeks to finally decide on a replacement pet, which was a he, not a she, and he came with a peculiar name, Aladdin.
“I changed his name to Hachi, and he was born Nov. 8 and I adopted him Jan. 8,” she said. Eight is a prominent figure in her life  (it appears in some of her private codes), so Hachi — named after a famous real-life dog named Hachi, with legendary popularity — was the ideal name, since “hachi” is the number 8 in Japanese.

There’s a possibility that the Talisman name might pop up on a TV screen. Prior to his death, Kawika was co-writing, with a Los Angeles colleague, a one-hour pilot for a proposed season of shows, entitled “Cane Fire.” Their agent, Roger Strull, is shopping the show for a potential pick-up…

And that’s Show Biz…

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