The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001077949-01
Funeral Notices


Ilai Jennings, 87, passed away on January 20, 2018 in Honolulu. He was born on January 2, 1931 on Swains Island to parents Samuelu Heo and Vitolia Jennings. Known to his friends as Sam and to his family as Uncle Saka or Sata, Ilai retired from the ILWU Local 142 on December 31, 1996.

He was known for his kind and generous spirit, sharing his handcrafted shell and bead necklaces, hatbands and headbands with others. A familiar face at the piano bar at the old Tahitian Lanai and other Waikiki locations, Ilai was always ready to entertain others with his repertoire of Tokelauan, Samoan and Hawaiian songs and dances. His large presence, beaming smile and genial personality would light up the entire room.

Survived by siblings Alofaga Aviu, Lufo Samuelu, Ietitaia Samuelu Jennings, Victoria Seiake Samuelu- Heo, and Vitolia Amanda Tuia of New Zealand; partner Melva Miyasato; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Services on Sunday, March 11th at Mililani Memorial Park, Mauka Chapel; 9:30 am visitation, 10:30 am services, 11:30 am burial.