LESLIE APIU AIPALENA KULOLOIO
Hawaiian leader, Leslie Apiu Aipalena Kuloloio of Honua`ula and Hamakuapoko Maui passed away peacefully at Hospice Maui with loving family by his side on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the age of 79. He was born in Paia, Maui on October 23, 1940. Affectionately known as "Uncle Les", he was a member of community organizations including the Kukahiko Corporation, Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana (PKO), Hui Alanui `O Makena, Maui Lanai Island Burial Council, Royal Order of Kamehameha, and Arc of Maui. He was a graduate of St. Anthony High School, where he played on a championship football team. He was a black belt student of the late aikido teacher, Shinichi Suzuki. With his parents, they founded the Paia Aikido Association. A proud US Army "crypto" veteran, he honorably served his American Country and was stationed in Italy and across Europe. He was the heir of the kuleana and books of the late and esteemed Hawaiian Minister Tutu Kahu Moses M. Kahiapo of Pau`wela, Maui and Ho`omana Na`auao Church, and he became the Head of Deacons, Moderator, and Licentiate Minister at Paia Hawaiian Protestant Church. When his father "Uncle Wally Kuloloia" convened his "Alaea Clan" and formed the Kukahiko Corporation with counsel from Honolulu attorney Helen Ryan to stop Ulupalakua Ranch and land speculators attempts to disinter and relocate their ancestral Kukahiko graveyard at A`awa Bay, the home of his Tutu Moloa, the young Leslie was thrust into a leadership position and inherited the "heavy burden of decades of unpaid legal fees" associated with this landmark victory mentioned in the book "Land and Power in Hawaii". When a local physician named Dr. Pfeltzer denied access to Puniawa Bay, Leslie, with son Manny in hand, led a group of family, friends, and community members in scaling the fence at the Pa'uwela Lighthouse walking down the slopes below to enjoy the beauty, bounty, and blessings of Puniawa Bay. This area remains open today, and his first grandchild is named Puniawa. When a local resident locked a gate at the Keawala`i Church end of Maluaka Bay blocking and denying customary access for his nephew Guy Kinimaka Wallace to go diving, Leslie teamed with Hawaiian activist Dana Naone-Hall to form Hui Alanui `O Makena in the monumental battle against Yoshiaki Tsutsumi (then, the richest man in the world), Seibu Fudosan, and the Maui Prince Hotel. With legal counsel from Isaac Davis Hall, and Alan Murakami and Arnold Lum of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, and uncommon expert witness testimony by the late Aunty Marion Kelly of Kupikipikio (Black Point), O`ahu, (a longtime family friend, scholar on the 1848 Great Mahele, and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at UH Manoa), the hotel was moved mauka and sand dunes preserved. This Maluaka roadway, a remnant of the ancestral Kiha-a-Pi`ilani Trail which circled around Maui Island and which was also found at the Honokahua Burial Site at Kapalua, was lined with cobblestones granting unprecedented 24 hour access to the general public and Native Hawaiians. Leslie was responsible for the "ocean water safety" of the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana from his landing at Ki`i Bay, Kaho`olawe (right in the impact zone) until October 22, 1990 when US President George Herbert Walker Bush issued a Memorandum to Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney directing the Secretary to discontinue use of Kaho`olawe as a weapons range effective immediately. October 22nd is also the birthdate of his son Manny. With his mother, the late Alice Kuloloio, also a spiritual leader to many Hawaiian activists, they blessed many Maui and Hawaii businesses, organizations, and families in a Hawaiian ceremony. Leslie was proud of his small efforts in the gathering of `Ohana and Reunions of the Kuloloia, Kauaua-a-Mahi, Kekahunanui, Akuna, and Kahiapo Clans. "Uncle Les" will be remembered as a protector of land, ocean, culture, and history. He is survived by his three children Manuel Wayne Makahiapo DeCosta Kuloloio (Cessna Zablan), Francille Leinaala DeCosta Kuloloio Vedder (Kekoa Vedder), and Kekane Mana`opiliiaoe Kuloloio (Josh Ponce). Six grandchildren Puniawa Kuloloio Vedder, Kuumakalehiwaonalani Ruidas, Kamaluokalani Kuloloio Vedder, Dionne Yukie Ruidas, Piper-Ann Kekauonohi DeCosta Kuloloia, and Abraham Kahiapo Kekahuna Kuloloia. Sister Comfort Moana Sado. Leslie is predeceased by wife Lucille Philomena Leialoha DeCosta Kuloloio, parents Wallace Aipalena Kuloloio and Alice Ka`ohiki Akuna Kuloloio, and siblings Wallace Eldon Kuloloio and Justine Kamaka Moloa Wallace. Public viewing will be held at 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 3 at St. Anthony Church in Wailuku, Maui. Prayer service to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased