RUFUS ULUWEHI AKA KAUKANI JR. (KUNANE)
Our humble patriarch went on his huaka’i to heaven on September 17, 2023. Born on April 16, 1942 in Waimea, Kaua’i to the late Rufus & Elaine Kaukani. He was one of four keiki & graduated from Waimea High School. Eventually, he moved to O’ahu after meeting his soon to be wife, Lucile. They were married for 61 years & had ‘elima mau keiki (though first born twins deceased shortly after birth). He later became an idolized, one-of-a-kind & irreplaceable papa (kupuna kane) to ‘eha & papa (kupuna kuakahi) to ‘eono.
He served as a Honolulu Police Officer & retired as a Homicide Detective after 25 years. He competed in swim meets at the previously held Police Olympics in San Francisco, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New York & Australia & won numerous gold, silver & bronze medals. He along with several of his past homicide cases were featured on the TV shows ‘America’s Most Wanted’ & ‘The New Detectives.’ He was also acknowledged in the books ‘Honolulu Cop’ & ‘Honolulu CSI.’ After retiring from HPD, he became a Loss Prevention Manager for Jack in the Box (Hawai’i region) for 13 years. He was well-respected & gained lifelong friends throughout both careers.
He enjoyed spending time with his ‘ohana, traveling, Hawaiian & country music, lifting weights/exercising, learning ‘olelo Hawai’i, growing kalo, fruits & vegetables in his yard, talking story & being a jokester. He visited 46 out of the 50 United States via Gold Wing motorcycles, which he loved to ride for comfort. He was a first-class jet-setter & fan of cruise lines (more so because he was spoiled by having a personal butler his second time around) & traveled to Japan (Kansai, Kobe, Hakodate, Sakata, Kanazawa, Sakaiminato, Yokkaichi & Tokyo), Korea (Busan) & the Panama Canal (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco & Cartagena).
He was always fun to be around (often cracking jokes & wise remarks), made people feel welcomed & was often called “Papa” by others outside of ‘ohana. He was our safe haven, #1 positive kane role model, the one kane we could always rely on for kokua, guidance & advice & our very own version of Akua (self-proclaimed, mind you).
He’s survived by his wife (Lucile Kaukani), na keiki (Lisa, Ryan & Wendal Kaukani), namo’opuna (Cherie, Chalei, Chayce & Chelden Wong), na mo’opuna kuakahi (Hilina’i KeAkua, Ho’okuna’i, Hana’iokalani & He’iwana’i [Kunane] Lyman, Kainalu [angel baby] & Faith Wong) & siblings (Roberta [Mamo] Kaohi & Roseline [Cookie] & Richard [Ricky] Kaukani).
His ‘ohana will be holding a private celebration to honor his legacy.
“Waimea Valley born & raised, Kaua’i das why.”
Aloha ma kou ‘ia ‘oe
Me ke aloha pau ‘ole
Notice #: 0001433193-02