To many he was Tutu Man, to us he was simply grandpa. Always a man of choice words, he worked hard to ensure he instilled the very best in his family and anyone who simply wanted to learn. A crafty man he is, always taking so much pride in everything he did from his pot of hamburger stew to his coconut hats he crafted daily. The hands of this very hard working man was meant for the creation and care of all that was good in his life.
He loved his family, he worked every breath of his life to ensure the people in his life prospered. Kahalu'u/Kaneohe, HI is where he called home, but his heart belonged to Ka Lei Hali'a O Ka Lokelani and "O.H.A.N.A. Foundation - our hula halau in Aloha, OR. He played a crucial role in the development of the halau and continued to ensure the success of this group year after year. He traveled many miles over the ocean every year to be there to support his 'ohana. Tutu man worked at every lu'au, annual hula exhibition, and grew much of the adornments and decorations that graced the stage at the halau's annual E ALA E ho'ike every single year. His heart belonged this halau, this group he called home.
Tutu man left behind many stories, life lessons, and memories that will ensure his inspiration is one respected and remembered for all times. Those memories can only be best told by the countless individuals he encountered in his lifetime.
"We love you Tutu-man! I can still see you so clearly sitting front and center in the crowd. You were the loudest one at every E Ala E clapping, cheering, and crying with us. Thank you for loving all of us! We will miss you! Rest in love Tutu-man!"
"My forever favorite memory will be of him this past E Ala E after sweet lei poina'ole standing, clapping and crying like a mess. The love, the pride, the heart. Will never be forgotten and forever cherished mahalo for letting us all be a part of your ohana tutu-man!"
"Tutu-man was one of the most family loving guys I have ever met. He was always so proud of all of you, I could tell by just looking at him looking at you guys. Before he headed back home after our last E Ala E, our interesting conversation somehow lead him to tell me how he just could not forget about this boy who bought his hat a couple of years prior at Alpenrose and was in love with it. He told me how excited this boy was when he handed it to him and how this boy wore his hat all evening at Alpenrose. I could tell he was so tickled by this boy - he thought it was the cutest thing. I wanted to show him pictures of Kyma wearing the hat from him all around the ice rink from about the same time just to show him he made Kyma very happy also. When I showed him the pictures, his eyes lit up, his smile beamed and he said, "That's that boy!!!" I will never forget the footprints he left in my and my kids' hearts."
" I remember one of our gatherings, he assign me to cut the salmon. I cut my finger with the knife he looked at me and said "You no need bandaid, I have gorrilla tape, here tape it." I did use the gorrilla tape I put a clean set of gloves and continue cutting. Tutu-man had a easy fix for everything. "
"I only got to meet him once but you could see and feel his aloha. His smile just made you feel like ohana a great trait of your entire Ohana I believe! Much love and prayers out to the Ohana."
Tutu man lived his life to its absolute fullest and it is with a heavy heart that we reach out to our community/our 'ohana to ask for help. This is unfortunately a very hefty burden and as such we humbly ask for your assistance to take his grandchildren and great grandchildren home to put this great man to rest, assistance for medical expenses, as well as, his Celebration of Life service.
Mahalo for our the amazing support and Love!
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- Natalie Smith
- Lauren Oka
Organizer and beneficiary
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