On January 24, 2021, in Oahu, Hawaii the waste collection and disposal industry lost a legend - Roy W. Eccleshall. Roy passed away suddenly from a heart attack at home on January 24, 2021, at the age of 77. He was a kind, loving husband, father, grandfather, and dear friend, advisor, motivator, and teacher to many in the industry. He will be missed by the thousands he touched during his career with BFI, USA Waste, Waste Management and Honolulu Disposal.
Roy was born on September 16, 1943 in Vancouver, Canada. He worked in the waste collection and disposal industry for 60 years, beginning his career at BFI Waste Systems. He later joined USA Waste and Waste Management, before serving the last 16+ years as the Executive Vice President of Maintenance & Facilities at Honolulu Disposal. His storied career took him to all reaches of the US and Canada from Honolulu to Magog, Quebec, New York City to Edmonton, Alberta. Throughout his travels he touched so many people in such a positive way.
Roy’s first job in the industry was in Edmonton, AB Canada at BFI. Harold Richardson tells the story of Roy arriving at the Edmonton district on a cold winter’s Friday morning, riding his motorcycle asking for a job in the shop. Harold explained to young Roy that there was no job opening. Undeterred, Roy showed up Monday morning, and worked the week without pay to prove his worth. He was hired. That was 60 years ago.
Roy’s management style was unique and is best described as “manage by helping”. Looking back, Roy was practicing servant leadership before it existed. Improving things, all things was his passion. He would make a call, pull the string, get the equipment required - whatever it took to get the job done for the team. It was never about him. He took pride in visiting shops over time and seeing progress in the people. He knew that if the people had a path to success, problems solve themselves.
Techs were Roy’s favorite people. He knew their value to the company and always took the time to listen and hear their concerns. He also spent time with apprentices, new hires to get them on the right track. He wasn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and teach techs how things worked and share any tricks only a seasoned mechanic would know. People responded to Roy not because he was the authority, but because instilled pride in everyone and every task. Everyone wanted to make Roy proud. When he was proud of the team or an accomplishment, he beamed. Roy’s beaming smile was what everyone that worked with Roy wanted to see. That was Roy.
The shop was his home away from home and never saw one that could not be fixed. Any “at risk” shop was a challenge, and he had a unique process with people to get shops back on track. He was patient, understanding and showed the pathway out of trouble for any situation, anywhere. As a mechanic’s mechanic and unique leadership skills, Roy could fix more than trucks – he fixed people.
Roy was a hot rod enthusiast and enjoyed working on his cars and motorcycles. Just like his garbage trucks, as long as it had an engine and tires, Roy could repair it. One story had Roy fixing a crashed rented scooter on a dirt road with a pocketknife and a rock. Roy will be sorely missed by all he so positively touched.
He loved spending time with his devoted family, especially his grandchildren.
Roy is survived by Malulani, his wife of 33 years; sons Kalei and wife Allison, Keaka and fiancée Lindsay; and mo’opuna (grandchildren) Kamea, Mahina, Ryder, and Jordyn.
Known for his witty humor, kindness, and caring nature, Roy was truly one of a kind. He will be missed by many.
Our family would like to express our gratitude for all the love and support, well wishes, and kindness you all have blessed us with.
A Virtual Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2021 10:00 am HST:
This is Roy’s dedicated website. The Virtual Memorial Service and this website will remain active; you can access it at any time. You may also sign Roy’s Guest Book and record your memories of him at this site.