Honolulu bus transportation veteran passes away

Posted on October 14, 2010

HONOLULU — Donald Fred Gomes, former owner of Don's Bus Co. and Gray Line Hawaii, died of cancer on Oct. 2 at his Pahoa home on the Big Island, the Star-Advertiser reports. He was 75.

Transportation is the family business. Gomes' father founded Gomes School Bus Service, where Donald got his start and which is still run by Donald's brother David. Donald's son Louis later started his own school bus company, Ground Transport.

Donald Gomes was born in Honolulu on March 20, 1935. After graduating from Castle High School he enlisted in the Coast Guard. His service included some time overseas, his son told the Star-Advertiser.

In the 1960s, Donald Gomes worked for his father's business. After his father died, Gomes started his own school bus business, Don's Bus Co., in 1973. While running that business in the 1980s, Gomes bought part of Gray Line Hawaii, at the time one of the state's largest tour bus companies.

He helped run Gray Line Hawaii for about five years. He retired from the transportation business after selling Don's Bus Co. and his share of Gray Line Hawaii in the late 1980s, his son told the Star-Advertiser. Both companies have since closed, he said.

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