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:
Best obituary EVER!!
What a beautiful tribute
What a beautiful tribute. I truly feel he impacted every person he met for the better.
What a reunion you all must be having! Until we meet again on that beautiful morning. We’ll see you all real soon! Love you forever Papo. 🤍#FamiliesR4Ever
Just wanted to share a memory. Myler did a talent show one year for the Christmas party. I submitted a song, and Opapo accompanied me on the guitar. We didn’t get to perform it. Honestly, I think his talent exceeded mine. He was a good man. I was so very happy for him when I heard he and Renee were getting married, and so very sad to hear he had passed. My condolences to the family.
I have known Opapo since elementary school, he was definitely a great guy. Life’s journey sends people in n out of our lives and certain people stick. You will be missed my friend. Condolences to the family.
So sorry to hear ! God Bless the Family !
I am so sorry for your loss. Opapo came to institute when I was the director in Glendora. I loved having him there. What a great spirit he always carried! I still tell some Opapo mission stories in my classes. May his wife, children, and loved one be blessed with the peace which passes all understanding. The resurrection is real, and we will meet again.,
Such a beautiful tribute! I’m grateful for his love and example to his older cousin. Sending our love to Renee and their boys.
Big man with a bigger heart he was a beautiful companion for Reene. Warm and welcoming will be missed
Mahalo for sharing his celebration of life Opapo Fonoimoana carried his ancestors spirit all his life we’re so proud of him. Great example to us all. Love you all family!