Friends and family remember Rae Fonseca - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Friends and family remember Rae Fonseca

Rae Fonseca Rae Fonseca
Leinaala Jardine and Sammy Kuualoha Young Leinaala Jardine and Sammy Kuualoha Young
Jeslie Pavao Jeslie Pavao
Etua Lopes Etua Lopes
Kapiolani Hao Kapiolani Hao

By Malika Dudley - bio | email

HILO, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds gathered on the island of Hawaii to honor the life of the award- winning kumu hula, Rae Fonseca.

"We miss him very, very deeply. I miss him, he was a special friend, like a father to me since like a father to me since my father passed away" said Melana Manuel.

Leinaala Jardine, was Rae's student. She remembers him as a tough but loving teacher.

"If you listen to all his haumana or anyone that was close to him, he made it a point to always tell us how much he loved us" said Jardine.

Hundreds showed up today showed up Friday to show their love for him, sharing food, music and Rae's true love, hula.

"He always helped me when i was doing my hula.He used to hug me and he used to call me bebe nails" said Jeslie Pavao.

Laughter was a big part of the celebration too, with stories being shared that probably would have made him blush. Like the time, he visited Kauai's Na Pali coast and his friends prodded him to jump in the deep blue.

"He dropped his shorts, under his khaki shorts were blue boxers with little orange goldfish. It cracked us up because it was so unlike him to do something like that. And now, a memory that we'll never, ever forget" said Jardine.

Kumu hula Etua Lopes grew up with Rae. They both graduated from Castle High School, and later studied hula under the instruction of Uncle George Naope.

"Danced, drummed together, did everything. So he's a part of me like I'm a part of him" said Lopes.

Born November 17th 1953, Rae Fonseca passed on March 20th at Lanikuhonua right after a performance. He was 56 years old.

"He loved Lanikuhonua, he loved the area, and the peace of everything, the love of all his students, the haumana that day was so maikai" said Kapiolani Hao.

"It was a complete shock, it was something that I'll never forget and I'll always cherish because I at least got to say goodbye and I got to say that I love him" said Sammy Kuualoha Young.

"As a kumu hula that would be the best way for us to leave with all our students and doing what we love, dancing the hula" said Jardine.

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