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Kahu Tuck Wah Kaleiokalani Lee
(September 27, 1919 - November 22, 2012)

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Kahu Tuck Wah Kaleiokalani Lee

“Well done, good and faithful servant!” Kahu Tuck Wah Kaleiokalani Lee, janitor, tsunami survivor, stevedore, missionary to Micronesia, Hawaiian church pastor, friend of the houseless, fighter for justice, quietly passed away in his Panaewa home in Hilo at 93 years old on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012. Born on September 27, 1919, Tuck Wah was the second son of ten children. He is survived by wife Patricia, sons Kenneth (Brenda) Lee of Hilo and Francis (Pat) Lee of Kamuela, brothers Kwai Wah Lee of Hilo and Peter Kin Wah (Florence) of Kona, sisters Miu Chee Matsumura of Hilo and Miu Lin (Billy) Sibayton of Keaau, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Tuck Wah’s life is best described by the Old Testament prophet Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is Good, and what does the Lord require of you—but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” In 1992 Tuck Wah was presented with the Yoneo Ono award by the Rural Community Assistance Corporation of Sacramento, CA for recognized volunteer services that have improved the lives and communities of disadvantaged rural people in the whole western region. Kahu Lee was a member of the Olaa First Hawaiian Church. He began his theological training by graduating cum laude from Yankton College of Theology in South Dakota. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Boston. The churches served by Kahu Lee included Imiola Congregational, Waianae Protestant, Hoolehua Congregational, Kalaiakamanu Hou Congregational, Kawaiahao, Central Union, Kalapana Maunakea Congregational and Haili Congregational. He and his first wife Alice served as missionaries for nine years in Micronesia from 1958 through 1967, serving at Ohwa Mission School in Pohnpei State, on Tonoas in Chuuk State and at the Rong Rong Mission School in the Marshall Islands. Among the various activities that Kahu Lee initiated were the following: 1) the Keaukaha Houseless Children’s Christmas Party in 1991, 2) the resolution “Recognizing the Right of native Hawaiians to Self-governance” that was passed by the Aha Paeaina in 1990 and became the resolution at the 1991 General Synod of the United Church of Christ which mandated President Paul Sherry to apologize to the native Hawaiian people at the 100th anniversary of the so-called Overthrow for the “complicity of the church in the overthrow” and 3) the Hilo Hawaiian Homebuilders Support Group organized in 1989. Kahu Lee has written his autobiography which is expected to be published in the near future.


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