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Willemma Helene Kaleinani Ernestburg Kekahuna

07/27/1958 - 05/01/2019
Service Date: 05/11/2019
Service Time: 7:00 PM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Grandview Ward
Visitation Date: 05/11/2019
Visitation Time: 5:00 - 6:45 PM
Visitation Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Grandview Ward

WILLEMMA HELENE KALEINANI ERNESTBURG KEKAHUNA Age 60, of Laie, Oahu, Hawai’i, passed away May 1, 2019 in Tempe, AZ. Born July 27, 1958 in Honolulu, HI. Willemma was born in Honolulu and raised in Laie. She attended Saint Patrick School, Laie Elementary, Kahuku Intermediate & High School, Brigham Young University Hawaii and South Mountain Community College in Phoenix Arizona. She was BYU HAWAII’s very first MRS Na Hoa Pono title winner (as an enrolled married full-time student).

She worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center and Brigham Young University Hawaii. She worked professionally for ALOHA Airlines Maui & Phoenix, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines Seattle WA, & other Airlines services, and also at Walmart. She was involved in the Polynesian Community and coached Thunderbird High School and Club Volleyball in Arizona. She was a Primary Founding member of Lokahi ‘O Phoenix – Polynesian Entertainment.

She served in the Arizona Holbrook Navajo Speaking Mission primarily on the Great Navajo Nation covering the Four Corners areas in the states of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, & New Mexico.  She was proud of her family history & cultural heritages of Hawaiian, Samoan, German, and Chinese ancestry.

She is survived by husband, Damien Mahealani Kekahuna; son, Damien Mahealani McWilliam Kekahuna Jr (Pele);  father:  William Kanila Tripp Ernestburg, mother: Aalaonaonaokekaiohaena Emma Safuiago Kaleikini Ernestburg (proceeded in death) brothers:  William K.T. Ernestburg III (Ann), McKay K.K. Ernestburg (Leimomi); Sisters, Cirilla “Chocho” M. K. Paclib, Leialoha G. K. Mataalii (Lincoln), Gilberta K. L. Ernestburg, Siliwa G. K. Ernestburg; 4 grand-children, Kehaulaniokala, Saige, Junior and Kiana; and a recently born great grandchild.

Visitation 5:00 – 6:45 p.m., Saturday May 11, 2019 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Grandview Ward, 1221 W Howe St. Tempe, AZ 85282 Funeral service 7:00 p.m. Aloha attire. Flowers welcome.



  • Lisa Oneal (Noe)

    Love and Aloha ohana! Prayers for you all! Aunty Willemma was a beautiful soul with a beautiful smile. She will deeply be missed!

  • Lauren Roberts

    Willemma was my student last summer at South Mountain Community College. I loved having her in class and I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. My condolences go out to her family. I know she was a wonderful person with a shining personality. She will be missed.

  • Domonique Romero

    I had a blast meeting you in college, and I cherish every nice conversation we had! GOD BLESS YOU. GOD BLESS YOU.

  • Juanita E Darby

    What a beautiful person and soul… Willie you and your wonderful smile will be missed around the South Mountain Community College campus, S.I.P. Beautiful lady!

  • Harriet Cole

    I am so sorry to hear this. Willemma was a bright star in my class at South Mountain Community College two years ago. She loved learning!

  • Willemma was a member of PTK. We are so sad to hear of her passing. Condolences on behalf of SMCC’s Alpha Eta Delta Chapter.
    Carol Smith, PTK Advisor

  • Dr. Carol L. Smith

    Willemma was a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). We are so sad to hear of her passing. Condolences on behalf of SMCC’s Alpha Eta Delta Chapter.

    Carol Smith, PTK Advisor

  • Alicia Washington

    Willemma was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She would always come into the Learning Resource Center at South Mountain with a huge smile on her face no matter the time of day. After talking with her, my day was always brighter. From a fellow Islander and PTK member, Willemma, you will truly be missed and thank you for impacting my life by being a light of happiness for myself and people around you. And to her family, my heart, prayers and condolences are with you all through this time. Rest in Paradise Willemma and God bless the family.

  • Noel Curriston

    Aloha and ohana, I am truly sorry for your passing. I am also a PTK member and I am glad to know that you were the light for many people and accomplished many great and wonderful things. I have not had the opportunity to meet her, but from what I heard she was truly a wonderful person. I will pray for her and her family in the sweat lodge and at church. May Her soul be one with the ancestors and guide those that are in need of her.

  • Christian Madril

    My condolences to Willemma’s family. I am a fellow member of PTK and am saddened by the news even though we’ve never met glad to know she was part of our PTK family. She will be missed.

  • Lynn D. Winslow

    a hālāwai hou mākou, Willemma, a hālāwai hou mākou

    Until we meet again…
    Professor Winslow

  • Leialoha Mataalii

    On behalf of her husband, son, her grandchildren, daughter in-law, siblings, Dad, Mahalo Nui loa for your kind thoughts, love and condolences. It lifts our hearts and spirits at this time to know that she is loved by all of you.. she cherished her friendships, she has you in her heart and she will never forget you. Hope I o meet you today.
    I’m her sister and say please come and join us.
    Ahui hou e malama pono

  • Leialoha Mataalii

    Thank you all for your beautiful comments. I am Willie’s Sister. We hope you can join us. I know that Willie has you all in her heart and memories. She treasures you and we are grateful for your association. Please join us in her celebration of life today.

  • Marianne Smith

    Willemma was one of the gentlest and kindest people I have ever met. She was a pleasure to have in my math class, and all of the other students just loved her. She will be sorely missed.

  • I had the extreme pleasure of knowing Willie through the tutoring center at SMCC. She always put a smile on my face whenever she came in. I am blessed to have known this kind and gentle soul. May you continue to brighten more days in heaven and until we meet again, Aloha, my friend.

  • Nancy McCurry

    We loved having Willie in our class. She always brought a tender smile and some of the very best work in our English class. We loved her very much.

  • Evette Sandifer

    I am extremely sad to learn that a FRIEND / former class mate of mine passed away a week before our graduation. As returning students we ALWAYS encouraged each other to hang in there no matter how much our class assignments overwhelmed us; even when we encountered other outside challenges. We made a pact to one another that no matter what obstacles we faced we will conquer them and prevail by achieving our academic goals. She was such a inspiration to me she had stage 4 brain cancer but she didn’t let that stop her from being persistent, consistent, and a over-achiever. She passed away one week from graduating day as a HONOR student. It hurt me to my core to learn that she passed away because I have been trying to contact her to ask her how she is..she is in the hands of the Lord now a Heavenly Angel. I pray that her family gets her degree because she earned it!!!! #RIPmyFriend #MuchLove #HONORstudent #2019

  • Dawn Chambers

    Ms. Willemma was an friend and colleague. As a tutor I tutored her in computer subjects as she went above and beyond. She was an role model to me, she was strong in her situation. Came to class every day even when I could see she was not feeling well. She pushed, she studied, she prevailed. Words cannot express my condolences to her family on her lost and good bless her family. I know she’s an angel looking down on us.

  • Rozlyn Egnatios

    I first met Willy when I was in middle school. Her son Damien and I were in the same grade and became great friends. Her and her husband chaperoned our Disneyland trip and I spent most of my time with them. Then when we started High School I worked on the Volleyball team with her. After high school I would randomly run into her and her son and it would brighten up my entire day. That’s the effect her and her family have. You will be forever missed. Prayers to your family. You will always be part of my Ohana.

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