Opapo Makahanohano Fonoimoana passed away peacefully at home on May 18, 2023, after a well-fought battle with lung cancer. He was 46 years old.
Opapo was born in Kahuku, Hawaii on July 19, 1976, to Carl Malele Fonoimoana and Alva Nalani Kalama Fonoimoana. In December of 1985, he and his family moved from Laie, Hawaii to Azusa, California. He graduated from Gladstone High School Class of 1994, then lived and worked in Orem, Utah, shortly thereafter.
Opapo was a jack of all trades, with a specialty in helping others and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. His resume includes being a physical therapy aide, an after-school program director, an assistant for autistic youth, a restaurant manager, a VR arcade owner, a podcast host, and a music producer. He had an array of skills, from building his own computers to creating short films and music videos. Outside of work, he served faithfully as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving a full-time mission in the Jamaica Kingston area (1995-1997), and serving diligently in callings including young men’s leader, ward clerk, high councilman, and bishopric member.
Opapo’s relationships with his friends are unmatched. He was loyal and protective, understanding and kind. He loved to have fun, and everyone loved to have fun with him. He remembered names and experiences uncannily, and he rooted for every single person that came into his life. As one of 12 children, the bond he had with his siblings was unbreakable, which spilled over to his 44 nieces and nephews. He cared for them in a way that only he could, attending most of their weddings and baptisms, spending undivided one-on-one time, and converting many of them into Lakers fans.
Opapo met Renee Broadhead in Utah, and they were married on August 19, 2016 in Laie, Hawaii. His wife and their sons — Patrick and Colton (Oli) — are the pride and joy of his life. Opapo and Renee spent their life together remaining close to family in both Laie and Kanab. Even as his health and strength declined, Opapo held his boys when they cried, played the guitar for his boys to sing along to, and remained a steady and loving partner to Renee. Throughout his entire cancer journey, he never let a day go by without telling his boys how much he loved them, how important they will be in the world, and how amazing their mother is.
Opapo is survived by the following: his wife, Renee, and their sons, Patrick and Colton (Ole); his father, Carl Malele Fonoimoana, Sr.; 9 of his 11 siblings, his in-laws, and his nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Alva Nalani Kalama Fonoimoana; his sisters, Sapi Nahele Fonoimoana and Nalani Emma Young; along with his 4 grandparents, several aunts, uncles, cousins, a niece, and 3 brothers-in-law. He will be forever known as the cheerleader of underdogs, the world’s greatest uncle, and the most devoted husband and father.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 27, 2023, 12:00pm at 1075 S. Geneva Road in Orem. A visitation and family service will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 am prior to the memorial. A burial service will be held in Laie, Hawaii the following weekend.
Opapo requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to his sons. You may send your donations via Venmo to @opapo.
They would also love any stories of Opapo to share with his sons emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
A livestream of his memorial is listed below: