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Former cabinet director, HTC Lauti passes away

High Talking Chief Lauti Simona, who was a director of the Department of Administrative Services during the Tauese Administration passed away around 7a.m. Wednesday at his home in Vatia from an apparent heart attack, a family member said.


The family, along with Vatia village and church leaders gathered later in the morning at the LBJ chapel for a brief prayer service. Lauti’s sudden passing at the age of 75 has shocked many in his village, his family, and many friends and staff of the Fono, where he has been working for the last couple of years, the family member said.


Family members recalled that Lauti has been very active in the village and church affairs and was a devoted father as well as a village and church leader.


Prior to being a cabinet director, Lauti had served a couple of years as deputy secretary of Samoan Affairs for the Lutali Administration. From his directorship post at Administrative Services, Lauti headed the Arts Council Office and later became the executive director for the Arts Festival Office, overseeing American Samoa’s preparations for the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts, hosted by the territory in 2008.


Over the years, he was a staunch supporter of Samoan culture and arts and he traveled every four years off island with the American Samoa delegation attending the Arts Festival throughout the Pacific.


Lauti is survived by three children, ten grandchildren and one great grandchild. His wife passed away a few years ago, as did one of his sons. Funeral services are pending.


Samoa News extends our deepest condolences to the grieving family.