More in Tributes
Georgine Redmond
Tributes
July 2

Georgine Redmond

She was the parish nurse for several years till her own health began to decline, but even then Georgine sought ways to serve those in need. She initiated our branch’s outreach with the Lamb Center—a ministry to the homeless in our area.

Whit Au

by Mary Duddy

Other scientists knew him as Dr. Whitlow Au, Ph.D., the preeminent world expert in the echolocation of dolphins and whales, and 2016 recipient of the Acoustical Society of America’s Gold Medal. We knew him simply as Whit, humble and unassuming, who along with Dorothy opened their home and picturesque back yard for branch potluck dinners and Fourth of July picnics.

In 1971 Whit was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and to the end of his days he promoted baptism in the Holy Spirit. He wrote: “I felt like I walked through a spiritual door into a different spiritual realm that I never knew existed.”

Whit was a mentor—to students of science (“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong”) and to branch youth like Chris Macalintal. While pulling weeds with Whit, Chris received doses of life-skill wisdom such as, “Remember, we may lose some battles, but we won’t lose the war.” 

Whit led the Catholic charismatic renewal in Hawaii for over 25 years, including 15 years of charismatic conferences, healing services and workshops. For years, he met with an ecumenical group of charismatic pastors. Whit always sought God’s will in decisions. In 1993, the Naval Ocean Systems Center, where he worked, was transferred to San Diego. Most of Whit’s co-workers moved, but Whit felt the Lord wanted him to continue his People of Praise commitment, so he and a partner created a new lab on Coconut Island, the Marine Mammal Research Program.

Whit’s brother Wilke said, “His life and work showed that science and faith need not be antagonistic, but can coexist harmoniously in a person.”

FACTS 

● Whit Au was born July 31, 1940, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and died February 12, 2020, in Kailua.

● He married Dorothy Wagner, his wife of 53 years, September 3, 1966. They raised four children and their family now includes seven grandchildren.

● Whit was a founding member of Light of Christ prayer group, and he initiated the discernment process for the group joining the People of Praise in 1983.

● Whit wrote History of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Hawaii and three science books, including the seminal Sonar of Dolphins.

Responses

  1. Jon Grams says:

    Such a great example for us all.

  2. Peter Walters, Muncie Branch says:

    I am blessed to have known Whit and look forward to seeing him again in Our Father’s House.
    Our walks after Leader’s Conference Lord’s Day dinners always inspired me and encouraged me that faith and science go hand in hand. A wonderful, humble, bright,spirit filled brother has passed to the next phase of life in the kingdom. I will miss him here.
    Many prayers for his family and Branch bro’s and sisters who must be grieving .

  3. Rod Macalintal says:

    My son Julian was amazed during Whit's wake to hear of this great man of science, and great man of God; Whit is is godfather, and never knew of Uncle Whit's achievements because of the humility of this man.
    Whit never lost hope in the midst of declining numbers in the branch, or that our outreaches were in vain. In his mind the spread of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was all that mattered. God will take care of the rest.

  4. Wil Juare says:

    Whit was my spiritual head for a couple of years who helped me past some personal life issues I was going through. His wisdom was of immense help to me. I shared my life with him during those difficult times. Thank You, Whit for all your help. I recall a time when another scientist level person who was in deep personal trouble agreed to meet with Whit at a Lord's Day dinner. This individual had made a bad decision about his life and needed help to get back on the right path. I introduced this scientist to Whit so they could share at that level of discourse. It helped the individual a lot and made a tough decision to return to England to continue his work at Oxford.

  5. Jocelyn D’Eon says:

    Mary, thank you for writing so well about Whit. It is a fitting tribute to a man that many of us were fortunate to know.

  6. Chong Wei says:

    Whit was not only my mentor in science, but more importantly, he was my mentor in life. I've learned so much from him, who changed my life and influenced my family.

    That night, when I received the invitation letter from Whit (to work in his lab), it was a huge bless from our God.

    Words can't describe how much I miss him!

  7. Karen Murray says:

    My husband Mike & I were Blessed to stay with Whit & Dorothy when we visited Oahu to celebrate our 10 year Anniversary. They were so very generous to share their beautiful home, backyard, and snorkeling equipment with us. I'm sure they have shared their home with many people over the years! Whit was very helpful to tell us where to go to see the dolphins swimming along the coast! With him being so humble, I learned a lot more about him from the article by Mary Duddy. The Duddy's were also generous to host us for Lord's Day when we were there! Thanks to all of the members of the Oahu Branch for their years of hospitality to other Branch members! Praying for Dorothy as she so lovingly cares for her mother in their beautiful home! Thanks & God Bless!
    Mike & Karen Murray (New Orleans)

Leave a Response