Semaia Fautasi Fakapelea also known as âMaiaâ, 24, passed away peacefully with his family by his side at their home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 24th, 2012, due to a failing heart condition, which he fought courageously for over four years. He was a man of many virtues in devotion, happiness and family.
He was born 8lbs, 19 inches on August 17th, 1987 in Nukuâalofa, Tongatapu at Vaiola Hospital to Rev. Penismani Fakapelea and Mele Kukumipa Tafea Fakapelea. His father came up from Haâateiho, graduated from Atele College, worked at the treasury department for 10 years, debt collector at the Cable Wireless for 3 years and ran his own Collection business.
His mother came up from Niua, graduated from St. Maryâs High, worked as a bank teller for 7 years at Bank of Tonga. They moved to the Portland, OR in 1988, Seattle, WA in 1996, Reno, NV in 1997, back to Portland, OR in 2003, Hollywood, CA in 2008 and Salt Lake City, UT in 2011.
Semaia devoted his lifeâs work to the Siasi âO Tonga Houâeiki, traveling from Oregon, Washington, Nevada, California and Utah. He graduated from James Madison High School in Portland, OR in 2005. During his time at Madison High, he played Varsity football his junior and senior year. In his senior year Madison High made it to 2005 Oregon Football State playoffs.
He was an active member of the Siasi âO Tonga Houâeiki UT Vahenga where he worked up to be Lay Speaker (malanga hoko) his final days.
His interested included family, guitar playing, singing and church. He devoted much of his time and energy to caring for his family and fatherâs work in their church.
Semaia is survived by his father, Rev. Penisimani Fakapelea; mother, Mele Kukumipa Fakapelea: brother, Tupou Naniumotu; sisters, Mele Laupala, Lataâi Haâapai and Mele Keke Fakapelea; in-laws Leimoana Fakapelea and Andrew Mataele; nephew Penisimani âo Penieli and niece Taiala Pasepa.
He was preceded in death by his sister Elizabeth Uilani Fakapelea and niece Fakaola He Lotu Mataele
Memorial service will be held Friday April 6th at 6pm at Siasi âO Tonga 532 E. 7005 Salt Lake City, UT 84102. Interment will be Saturday April 7th at 10am at Redwood Memorial Mortuary & Cemetary on 6500 South Redwood Road, Taylorsville, UT. For more information and directions call Mele Laupala (818) 912-3263
Thank you to the Siasi âO Tonga Houâeiki UT Vahenga for their kindness in caring for the family in this time of mourning and to everyone making the journey for Semaiaâs service, the Fakapelea family would like to express their deepest gratitude and respect for your time and kind compassion.
âThe Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his nameâs sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.â
In loving memory of Semaia Fautasi Fakapelea. Sunrise: August 17th, 1987 â Sunset: March 24th, 2012
Contributions to the family can be made to their home residence at 906 Euclid Ave Salt Lake City, UT 84104