The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001353734-01
Funeral Notices


Lani Ladao loved life, lived life well, and left us way too soon. She would have been 60 on December 17, 2021. The first born of 4, to John Juanito Ladao and Barbara Jean Borges, in Wahiawa. Lani graduated from Leilehua High School, and University of Hawai’i at Manoa with BA in Graphic Design. She loved sports, was a competitive body builder 1980-90s, winning many titles and trophies; on the cover of magazines and Midweek. She was one of 3 artists for Vans in California until moving back to Hawai’i and changing careers. She became a State Law Enforcement Officer in Department of Public Safety, receiving her Masters in Criminal Justice Administration from Chaminade University, while working as a Deputy Sheriff and raising 3 girls.

As a new graduate, Lani joined the Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED), as an Investigator, for 21 years, retiring as a Special Agent in December 2019. While at NED, Lani was an undercover agent, cross deputized with Customs and FDA, having trained at Quantico with DEA and Clandestine Labs. Lani started the Hawai’i Medicine Take Back Program in 2010, getting drugs off the streets, and out of our landfills and water, working with DEA and Attorney General Office (AG). This program continues today, with Medication Drop Boxes around the state. She also started the Kupuna Alert Program, partnering with the AG, Office of Aging and Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). She was a preceptor of students from the UH-Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, and started Hawai’i’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) sitting on the PMP National Steering Committee. Among her numerous awards, Lani Ladao was the 2018 Hawai’i State Employee of the Year.

She was devoted to her family, friends, and Snoopy. Survived by her mother, siblings, Michael, Jody Lovins and Alric, children, Jeila, Rickelle (and their children) and Josaphine, an abundant family, close friends and her beloved partner. Lani passed peacefully on April 8, 2021 at home surrounded by loved ones, after losing her battle with cancer. A Memorial drive-by was held in Wahiawa on May 29, 2021. Hau’oli la hanau, Lani!