The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001083994-01
Funeral Notices


Born in Nanakuli on November 1961, James “Kimo” Waialae Kelii began his journey through life. Kimo was the fourth child of (late) Herman Afoa Kelii, Sr., and Arviella Wai’alae. He attended and graduated from Nana’ikapono Elementary School (1973); Nanakuli High and Intermediate School (“NHIS” 1979). After graduating from high school, Kimo moved to Abilene, Texas where he attended Hardin-Simmons Christian University. He graduated with his bachelors’ degree in Journalism & minored in English (1983). The same year he graduated from college, Kimo’s son, Christopher DeGolyer was born. Kimo returned to Nanakuli for a brief time. One day he surprised his family from the (HNL) airport. He called to say, “I JOINED THE U.S. ARMY, ALOHA” (1984). His father was proud because he was a former Army veteran. In 2003, he moved back home to Nanakuli. Teaching has always been his passion. He worked at NHIS several years & served on various community neighborhood, school and homestead boards. Kimo sensed students would be better represented if he advocated on their behalf by serving full-time on community boards and associations. Being fully engaged with addressing education and community concerns, Kimo left his teaching career and advocated full-time. Kimo was a scholarly, researching, fact finding, credential driven person. His deeds were selfless and substantial to all he encountered. Kimo remained instrumental in countless areas of his journey. To include orchestrating many family reunions connecting ohana. Kimo is survived by his sons Kaiawe Makanani, Christopher DeGolyer; mother Arviella Kelii; brothers Herman Afoa, Jr. and Colin; sisters Rogeitte (Manny) Bernardino, Mapuana (Shayne) Tector, Arviella “Arvie” (Antonio) LinMoe, Kelii Benavides and Lehuanani (Danny) Akau; preceded in death by his father Herman Afoa Kelii, Sr., and brother Elroy Kelii.

He is and will always truly be missed.
~ A hui hou Kimo ~

Services will be held on Monday, March 26, 2018 at Mililani Mortuary, Mauka Chapel. Public Farewell: 9:00 a.m.; Service: 10:30 a.m.; Burial: 2:30 p.m. at Nanakuli Hawaiian Homestead Cemetery.