VETERAN EDUCATOR, DR. ADELE SATELE GALEAI SUCCUMBS TO CANCER AT 61
Local veteran educator and former president of the American Samoa Community College, Dr. Adele Satele-Galeai passed away last Saturday around 12:30 p.m. at her parent’s home in Carson, Calif. She was 61.
Her husband, Sen. Galeai Tu’ufuli said his wife “passed away peacefully” and he, along with three other family members were at her bedside. “She looked at us and went to sleep thereafter,” said Galeai via telephone from Los Angeles yesterday. “She will be missed.”
Asked what he would miss about his late wife, Galeai said, “Her companionship. She is my dear friend and we have been married for 25 years — a quarter of a century.”
“Adele knew for a long time that the end was near and she was prepared. And we were all prepared as well,” said Galeai, who noted that his wife had had a long battle with cancer. “And she is in peace now in the hands of our Lord.”
“As for me — for an old guy — I’m holding up pretty good,” he said with a bit of humor and noted that Dr. Satele-Galeai’s wish was to be buried next to her mother in Los Angeles, “and I will abide with her wishes.”
Sen. Galeai said his wife had a “passion for educating our young people and that’s the reason she headed the Governor’s Council on Youth during the first administration of Gov. A.P. Lutali. She is a veteran educator and she wanted to make sure our young generation are well educated.”
“Her message was that our future is in the hands of the youth, and to be successful in the future, the territory must have a well educated population,” said Galeai.
Satele-Galeai also served as director of the Human Resources Department during the first Lutali Administration — which was in the late 1980s — and towards the end of that administration, she worked on establishing the Health and Social services agency in American Samoa.
Prior to the start of yesterday’s session, Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie told his colleagues that he just received some very sad news, in that Dr. Satele-Galeai passed away over the weekend. Gaoteote asked senators to remember Sen. Galeai and his family during the opening prayer.
Gaoteote also expressed the Senate’s condolences to Sen. Galeai, his family as well as to Dr. Satele-Galeai’s family during this time of grief.
In late July of 2001, Satele-Galeai was installed during a ceremony as the ASCC president. Prior to the president’s post, she served as the ASCC Director of Institutional Advancement and also served at other administrative positions within ASCC.
In April of 2007 she was reappointed to a fourth term as ASCC president and in July of the same year, she was appointed for a three year term as a commissioner on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), one of the three commissions that are part of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
But in December of 2007, ASCC announced that Satele-Galeai was stepping down as president due to her cancer and was already undergoing chemotherapy in California.
In her farewell speech to the ASCC faculty and staff in December 2007, she shared the concept of the “Gifts of Life”, taken from a book written by a man severely injured in a car accident, according to an ASCC news release at the time.
“When you come close to losing everything you have, as the author of this work did,” explained the President, “you only have left the Gifts of Life, which I would consider dreams, family, friends, giving, gratitude, laughter, learning, financial stability, problems because they make you stronger, work because it gives value to your abilities, perfect days, and the ultimate gift of love and service to others.”
Dr. Adele Satele-Galeai is survived by her husband, Sen. Galeai Tu’ufuli, children and grandchildren.
Samoa News extends our deepest condolences to the grieving family.