Sonny Amelika Samoa Aumoelogo Moa, 79, passed away on September 14, 2017 at his home in Kent, WA. Sonny was born on February 19, 1938 in the village of Alao, American Samoa. His parents were Amelika Moa and Malia Tavai. Sonny grew up and attended school in the villages of Alao, Aoa, and Faleniu. When he came of age, he joined the service in the branch of the US Air Force and served 4 years honorably. He reenlisted a second time with service in the US Coast Guard with total honorable service of 29 years. He was a cook and his duty was served not only on land, but also at sea. He achieved the highest enlistment rank of the Coast Guard (E9) and was recognized with retiring as Master Chief Petty Officer. His military career included time in Vietnam and the Korean War. His duty stations led him to all different parts of the world, which included many tours in the States, as well as Africa, Antarctica, and Korea.
Sonny married Lula Iese Wilson in November of 1961 in the city of Los Angeles. They were later sealed in the Los Angeles Temple. Their children were Sonny Moa Jr. (Leila Hoopii), Joseph Samoaleoi Moa (Satoki Naomi Tateyama), Lula Sonny Moa (Alex Samuel Tuinei). After the death of his wife Lula in 1997 (and later the deaths of two sons, Sonny Moa Jr. and Joseph, along with granddaughter Janelle), Dad lived with part of his heart in heaven. Despite such loss- or perhaps because of it- he held the Gospel of Jesus Christ as unquestionable truth and served in many auxiliaries with the Mormon Church, which included being a Bishop twice. He did not accumulate wealth or prizes in this life, but rather put stock in his family. He was very giving and compassionate and would help everyone. His personality was infectious and his presence could guarantee a smile on your face! He was a fascinating character- complex, unpredictable, and full of contradictions. But we loved him for all his strangeness and texture.
His greatest life's work was not only his service to our country, but service to his family. He is survived by his only daughter Lula (Sam) Tuinei, along with two sisters Aoina (Ierome) Jerome, Makulata (Solinu'u) Leae, his 20 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, as well as many other dear relatives.
Sonny will be missed, but we know he is where he belongs, with plenty of loved ones to surround and take care of him. We pray that his largeness of spirit, made dim by the cares and pain of this world, will find ample room in the eternities to expand to the measure of his creation.
Services for Sonny will be held in Kent, WA Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm at Marlatt Funeral Home. Utah services will also be held in Salt Lake City, UT Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 9 am to 11 am. Family service, Bishop service 11 am to 12 pm, and interment directly following at the Redwood Memorial Estates.
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