Bernard ‘Kanahele’ Makuaole
Bernard “Kanahele” Makuaole was born on Sept. 20, 1940, in Makaweli Valley, to Katherine Kaluna Makuaola and Douglas Christian. He was raised by his hanai-grandparents Kekua Kuapahi Makuaole and Eva Adolpho Kanahele. He had five sisters Katherine Kawelo (Dennis) Eastman of Oxnard CA, Annie (Julian) Lacro of Waimea, Delphin (James) Newman of Shelton WA, Daphne (Gordon) Tremaine of Oahu and Sandra (Henry) Silva of Hilo, and eleven brothers Mitchell (Laverne) Apo of Oahu, Lani Kaeo (Debra) Apo of Waimea, David Koani of Oahu, Clifford Apo of Waimea, Roy (Petra) Apro of AZ, and Hartwell (Judith) Apo of Kalaheo.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father Katherine Kaluna Makuaole and Douglas Christian, brothers Gilman (Diane) Apo of Kekaha, Darrel (Lori) Apo, Gary Apo, Samuel Apo, Alvin Apo, and stepfather Sam Apo.
Bernard attended Waimea High School and graduated from Heavy Equipment Operators School on Oahu. He loved the work and loved to learn. His Kauai foreman taught him to operate each new piece of equipment they acquired. This year, Bernard was honored with his “50-Year Service Award” as a Heavy Equipment Operator with Operating Engineers Local 3.
Bernard was married to Sandra Hart Makuaole for 56 years. They had two sons Bernard “Hele-Boy” Makuaole Jr. and Victor Kalakaua Makuaole (deceased). When his son Hele Boy took a bride Jill on January 1, 2001, she brought two daughters 10 year old Kari and 7 year old Hayley into the Kanahele’s family package. Kanahele loved these instant granddaughters. But then on November 30, 2002, Jill produced three more (not the instant kind) grandchildren: triplets: Bernard III, Mason, and Mackenzie Makuaole. He promised the triplets he would be around for their high school graduation and kept his promise. They graduated this year. Great grandchildren include Miles Kerr, Kinsley Kerr and Albert “A.C” Warren whom he instantly loved and were more reasons to live. Kanahele always believed he would die by the time he was 50. We are certain those girls and those triplets and great-grandchildren are the only reasons he lived until now. Little papa, Hele Boy, taught his dad how to use Siri to play his music and Alexa to watch the little ones living in California grow. Visiting with grandkids and great-grandkids on Alexa was probably the biggest part of Kanahele’s staying alive.
Mid June 2020, Kanahele was in the KVMH E.R when he was diagnosed with kidney failure. Sandra set one last milestone and asked Kanahele “Can you live long enough to celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary on July 4th before you go?” With the additional help of his son Hele Boy and grandkids: Bernard III, Mason, and Mckenzie Makuaole flying in to his bedside, Kanahele did meet that milestone. Bernard Kanahele Makuaole Sr. who had grown up certain he would die at by the age of 50, made his final farewell to this earth on Monday, September 14, 2020 at his residence in Kekaha, Kauai (6 days before he would have turned 80). After more than 30 years of fighting Kanahele “The Bear” had lost his valiant battle again his inherited health problems. Due to Corona virus issues no formal services will take place at this time. Bernard Makuaole has opted for immediate cremation and inurnment in the Makuaole plot at the Hawaiian Cemetery in Kekaha. A one year memorial service will be planned. Family and close friends will be welcome at that time.
Borthwick Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.