Kalama Valley Hiker’s Legacy Lives On In Family’s Book

Melissa Moniz
Wednesday - April 07, 2010
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A tragic hiking accident took the life of outdoor hiking enthusiast Daniel Levey, who is the inspiration for a special book. Photo from Dr. Joyce Cassen.

To honor the life of Daniel Levey, his family has published Daniel’s Ocean Views: Inspirations of a Young Hiker, a book that contains some of his favorite quotations and photos about the ocean - photos taken from the mountains where he loved to hike.

An outdoors enthusiast who grew up in Kalama Valley, Levey fell to his death on July 25, 2003 while hiking the Konahuanui Trail. He was just 19 years old. He spent his first summer home from college climbing the mountainous terrains of Oahu with the goal of reaching the four corner points and climbing every summit.

“He was with other people, but he was so fast and ahead, so on his way back he was alone when he fell,” said his mother, Dr. Joyce Cassen.

The book, compiled by Cassen, and Levey’s father Norman and sister Sara, highlights his fascination for life’s insights - insights that could be expressed in words as well as through the ocean and shoreline, and in settings words cannot express.

“We hope that people will be inspired by the book - to stop and smell the roses, to speak, to appreciate the life we have,” Cassen added.

Daniel’s Views, an initial book on friendships, learning, exploring, seeking new perspectives and gaining spirituality, was released in 2004 to celebrate his life well-spent.

“After the first book, we found a lot more pictures that Daniel had taken, and he had made a time capsule with quotes that he liked, so we thought it would be nice to combine the photos and quotes,” she explained. “These books are to give us some closure, so it’s steps.”

Daniel and his family moved to Hawaii from Ohio in 1985 when Daniel was just 2 years old. They have resided in Kalama Valley for the past 24 years, and Cassen has established an eye surgery practice at Aina Haina Eye Center.

“I think this has presented enough closure, so right now I’m not planning on a third book,” said Cassen.

“But we are continuing to find information that’s really extraordinary.”

Copies of Daniel’s Ocean Views may be ordered online by visiting http://www.mutualpublishing.com, or they can be found at major bookstores, including Borders and the Barnes & Noble store at Kahala Mall.

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