Family and Friends in Laie Honor Aunty Genoa - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Family and Friends in Laie Honor Aunty Genoa

Keith Ah Yuen Keith Ah Yuen
Aunty Genoa Keawe Aunty Genoa Keawe
Gary Keawe Gary Keawe

By Leland Kim

LAIE (KHNL) -- Family and friends in Laie said aloha to Aunty Genoa Keawe Friday.  The legendary Hawaiian singer was laid to rest in her hometown.

Aunty Genoa leaves behind more than 220 direct descendents.  Many of them gathered at their hometown of Laie to remember the legendary singer.

The first lady of Hawaiian music gets a royal sendoff.  For a second day, family, friends, and fans came to pay their respects.

"This is kind of a festive event for us," said Keith Ah Yuen, Aunty Genoa's grandson.  "We're all sorry our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother passed, but she lived a very productive life and we're proud of the things she did in her life."

Aunty Genoa's family said Friday is a celebration of her amazing life.

"We're honored to have been brought up in her home," said Ah Yuen. "Most of the grandkids, we actually at one time or another lived in the same house."

In last year's interview, Aunty Genoa talked about how much her family means to her.

"I love all my children, my grandchildren, all of them. I love them all," she said. "I tell them, ‘I love you all. I said nobody is more than the next one.'"

"That's how she was," said Ah Yuen. "All of us grandchildren thought we were her favorite.  She made us all feel that way."

Twenty four of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren served as pall bearers, taking turns carrying Aunty Genoa's casket from the church to the burial site next to her husband's.

"She really was looking forward to being with my grandfather," said Ah Yuen. "She'd call, 'Edward, Edward.'  She'd look at you and say, 'When is grandpa coming? Is grandpa coming to get me?'"

Her younger son Eric led the procession, and her eldest son Gary sang for the occasion.  The Royal Hawaiian Band performed.

The family is grateful for the lessons she taught them.    

"Grandma, thank you very much for all that you've shared with us," said Ah Yuen. "She's given a lot to us; she taught us how to love."

How to love through her unforgettable music.

"Just remember me and my music and be happy," said Aunty Genoa in an interview last year.

She was buried at Laie Cemetery.  The family held a party afterwards, to honor her prolific life.

Powered by Frankly