Friends, family mourn the Samoa 'treeman' who died from COVID-19
Honolulu, HAWAII — Friends and family identified Hawaii’s third coronavirus-related fatality Friday as a well-known scientist and author who traveled the world to teach people about plants.
Arthur Whistler, 75, died Thursday in the hospital, weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.
Whistler was sick when he returned to Hawaii from a trip to Washington State on March 4 and went to an urgent care facility. He was not tested for the coronavirus despite being symptomatic.
Three days later, paramedics were called and he was transported to Kaiser Moanalua.
He had been on life support since March 10.
Friends and family said Whistler traveled the world for many decades, especially to Samoa and Micronesia, and wrote a number of books. His titles included “Rainforest Trees of Samoa” and “Plants of the Canoe People.”
The last 20 or 30 years he’s been very keen on training young Samoans to know about the forest. The forest has been logged mercilessly over the last 50 years.