AFIMUTASI "GUS" HANNEMANN JR.
AFIMUTASI GUS HANNEMANN JR. Afimutasi Gus Hannemann Jr., 78, of Hawaii Kai, Director of American Samoa Government's Hawaii Office passed away peacefully on the evening of January 2, 2015. American Samoa's Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga described Hannemann's passing as "a big loss for us" [ because ] he touched a lot of lives ... in a lot of ways...He was a go- getter ... Everything he did was for others." Throughout his life, Hannemann was regarded as the voice and face of the Samoan community as he spearheaded numerous causes to benefit all age groups and was an articulate and effective spokesperson. According to younger sibling Mufi Hannnemann, former Mayor of Honolulu, "no was not in my brother's vocabulary when it came to helping people - the bigger the challenge the more he rose to the occasion to get the job done. He was the quintessential community leader." Born on Christmas day in the village of Nu'uuli, American Samoa, Gus was the eldest son of the late Gustav Arthur Tafu Tupulo Hannemann Sr., and Faiaso Cecilia Dale Soliai Hannemann. His paternal grandmother, Rosie Young Hannemann, was the younger sister of Queen Makalita, Samoa's last reigning monarch of the Manua Islands. On his maternal side, he was the great-grandson of Paramount Chief Muliufi Pinemua Soliai, one of the original signatories of the deed of cession that ceded Eastern Samoa and eventually the Manua Islands to the United States of America. In 2001, he was bestowed the chiefly title of Afimutasi in an investiture ceremony in American Samoa. He was a 1955 graduate of Farrington High School, who enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 19 and was assigned intelligence work in Germany and Japan. He became the youngest Bishop in Hawaii for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 26 and in 1963 was appointed as the youngest member of the original board of directors for the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. In 1992, he was elected as a Faipule (Representative) to American Samoa's Fono (Territorial Legislature) and in 1997 commenced serving for 4 years as the House Liaison for governmental affairs under then Speaker of the House Aina Saolunga Nua. In 2005, he was appointed as Special Assistant for governmental and international affairs for then Senate President Lolo Matalasi Moliga. While serving in his government capacities, Afimutasi worked tirelessly to organize many disaster relief efforts, Samoan Flag Day observances, Special Olympics Summer Games to send a Samoan delegation to Los Angeles, Job Corps initiatives to increase the number of youths from the Territory participating in the federal program and several projects benefitting the Independent Nation of Samoa, where he enjoyed an excellent rapport and relationship with government officials from Upolu and Savai'i through the years. Gus' career also involved several successful business, marketing and public relations endeavors in tourism, entertainment, (including managing his brother Nephi's professional show biz career) sports, media, insurance, automobile and commerce. Despite his extremely active professional schedule, his family was what he held as most precious and dear to him. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years Lydia Leimomi, son Tafu Keola "T.K.", a transportation manager and daughter Teuila Ku'uipo Kaimikaua, a hotel manager in Nevada, seven grandchildren, two great- grandchildren and brothers Miller, Nephi and Muliufi "Mufi" Hannemann, and sisters Lady Vaofua Maughan and Gafanua Memea. Sister Faiaso "Titi" Hannemann passed away in 2013. Visitation is Sat., Jan.17 @10 a.m. Service begins @ 12 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 219 Lunalilo Home Road, Hawaii Kai. Burial is Mon., Jan. 19 @ 11:30 a.m., National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. Aloha attire.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased