The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001307735-01
Funeral Notices


D.O.D. November 19, 2020 in Honolulu

D.O.B. October 23, 1946 in Hilo, HI

Survived by Vi & Manny Barretto, brothers, sisters, family, and friends.

The Chanter

One day a preacher came to our church just to stay for a short while. But after seeking others, the church thought that he should stay.

A humble man, he was. Quiet, some would say, of Hawaiian and Chinese, heritage.

From far off Hilo, the preacher had made his way, through the island of Maui, the Kahu taught and preached The Way. The Maui people adored and loved him, as he spoke like them, and lived like them. They were sad to say that he would leave and preach to the Chinese, so far away. The preacher had won a Hoku for religious music along the way.

For 10 years, the preacher taught, prayed, and loved the "kanaka Pake" congregation the Hawaiian way. He taught to "pule", "mele", and "ho’okani ‘ukulele, play the ukulele. He refused to be called "kahu", but only a humble Kekapa.

People came from close and far, from different churches, to hear him pronounce and sing the Hawaiian songs. His soft voice would boom, and resonant, when he sang, or when he would correct the poorly pronounced Hawaiian words.

But he would also chant, at funerals, at special occasions, and all who were there would hear his prayer. All would stand quietly to hear what he had to say, even though they did not understand a word he chanted. But we knew what he said was good.

Now the sounds of his voice and his chants are silent. They do not echo through the pews, the hall where we sat and played, the choir loft, or through the trees or bushes, but rather in our hearts and minds.

He was a silent man, a godly man, a chanter.

Arthur Wong, in memory of Rev. Kekapa Lee, 11-20-20.

Please send condolences to:
The First Chinese Church of Christ in Hawaii
1054 S. King St.
Honolulu, HI 96814

The Virtual Memorial will be posted online 12/30/20 (

Arrangements Provided By:
Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary LLC