Kalameli Timu passes away in Seattle

Kalameli with her husband Malaki in a Samoa News file photo.

Kalameli Tuitele Malaki Timu passed away at the Washington University Medical Center in Seattle Monday evening. At only 45, she left her mark on many aspects of American Samoa life — daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, journalist and servant of God.

Kalameli’s sister-in-law Mariana Timu-Faiai described Kalameli in a Facebook message, as a warrior and steadfast servant of God, a faithful wife, a loving sister and aunt, a woman of many talents and one who possessed the brain of a genius. 

“Not many are given the chance to bid farewell to loved ones. Some have passed without even saying a word, a nod or just an indication of an expression to say the least. I have witnessed all kinds of passing,” said Mrs Faiai.

However with Kalameli, Faiai said she together with all who were in her presence witnessed the love, faithfulness and truthfulness of the Lord.

She further said that Kalameli was given time and she took advantage of it.“She made sure her loved ones were prepared to send her off to be with her Lord and Savior without hesitation.

“She choreographed the entire production with songs, talks and laughter to name a few as we all know she was always so good at that kind of thing. “We cried, laughed, cried again, laughed, joked around and sang her favorite songs.

“We all know that Malaki likes to joke around on her expense but she was still smiling all the way till the end,” said Faiai. She thanked Kalameli’s brothers, the Uti boys for the soothing music and their love for their sister.

On behalf of the Pago Pago Diocese Catholic Church, Chancellor Ivona Mauga said Kalameli was a faithful and loyal servant of the Lord, who was always dedicated and committed to her duties and responsibilities within the church.

Mauga said Deacon Malaki Timu and Kalameli served in many parts of the Diocese of Samoa- Pago Pago.Their latest service was given at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker in the village of Faga'alu. 

Kalameli was a very talented individual and was the editor of the Diocesan Newsletter, "Talaiga 2000”. Her experience in news media included being an announcer at the old WVUV Radio Station in Vailoa, a reporter for Samoa News, one of the first editors of the Samoan language newspaper, Le Lali, and a newscaster for the government TV station, KVZK.

Kalameli also conducted the 15-minute Catholic Radio Program on KSBS FM.

“She will be missed by so many people, the youth especially will sorely miss her.”

Mauga said Kalameli was fond of singing and dancing and one of the highlights while Kalameli and Malaki as catechists is that they took a Youth Delegation across the world to Spain.

Mauga added that Bishop Quinn Weitzell received a farewell message via email from Kalameli saying,"I luv you Bishop and thanks again for your prayers… Kalameli".

According to Mauga, Kalameli married Malaki on December 13, 1988.

Mauga said Kalameli was commissioned a lifetime, full time Catechist for the Diocese of Samoa – Pago Pago on July 18, 1998, and they served at the St. Peter Chanel Fagasa Aulotu and Co-Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph the Worker, Fagatogo. On February 14, 2000 they were appointed as the Administrators for Christ the King Parish.

Kalameli served with her husband as director of Youth for Central District and she served on the Diocesan Youth Advisory Board for a year. She also served as Diocesan Audio/Visual Consultant and represented the Diocese at the International level.

In 2004 Kalamei was appointed Chairperson of Commissioned lifetime full time Catechists (Servants of the Lord) and three years later appointed as Chaplain for the L.B.J. Medical Center at Faga’alu.

In 2009 Kalameli was then assigned to be the Director of Diocesan Youth and in the same year she and her husband then served at the Holy Family Aulotu, Pava’ia’i, St. Paul Parish- Ili’ili. A year later, she was reappointed to Diocesan Youth Director and they last served at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Faga’alu Aulotu.

Former Samoa News owner Lewis Wolman said "Kalameli had a great love for the Samoan language and the Samoan people.

“She was a leader in the efforts to broaden the scope of the Samoa News to appeal to a wider range of the community.”

Wolman said Kalameli brought a smile and a laugh to the newsroom every day, and when she left Samoa News, she carried that smile and laughter to all the other places where she helped define what a great Samoan life looks like in the 21st century.


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