Te are toa o te patoa o marouna Tama Pikikaa Benioni (Patoa Tama Benioni) age 76, passed peacefully on January 20, 2018 in Laie, Hawaii surrounded by his beloved children and grandchildren.
Patoa was born on April 20, 1941 in Rarotonga, Cook Islands to Pikikaa Benioni and Vaevae Aratangi, the eldest of six children. He is survived by sisters, Mata Tuaeu, Tuku James, Una Mita, and brother, Riki Benioni. Preceded in death by his father, Pikikaa Benioni, brother, Tangianau Benioni and sister, Anne Wiapo. He attended Arorangi Elementary School on Rarotonga.
Patoa’s lasting faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, his constant positive attitude, and unshakable desire for education drove him to complete high school at the Church College of Western Samoa, Pesega (CCWS). This journey took him from the Cook Islands to Samoa, arriving alone without family, connections, or an understanding of the Samoan language.
He was not alone for long as he was quickly adopted in the big loving family of Patrick and Mariah Peters. He was preceded in death by his father, Patrick Peters, sister Margaret Atoa, and brothers Faatalale, Leonard, Iuli, Louis and Arthur Peters. He is survived by sisters Jessie Skelton and Fusi Ledger and brothers Sam and Walter Peters and many nieces and nephews.
Patoa credits Dad and Mom Peters with teaching him many valuable gospel-based life lessons.
Upon graduation from CCWS, he traveled to Hawaii to attend the Church College of Hawaii/Brigham Young University-Hawaii. He was the first Cook Islander to attend CCH/BYUH and the first Cook Islands employee at the Polynesian Cultural Center where he was also a member of the original night show cast as a drummer, musician, and dancer. He completed the Bachelor of Science degree at BYUH and a Master’s Degree in Education from BYU, Provo, UT.
At CCH/BYUH Patoa met and married his eternal companion, Juanita Nalani Chang and together they raised a large family of children who were born to them, adopted/hanai by them, and more but definitely each one very much loved! Surviving children include: sons, Terangi Benioni, Eldon Campbell, and James Kinau Tollefsen; daughters, Daphne Fuimaono, Michelle Hunt, Jennifer Peters, Jessica N. Benioni, and Tui Sina Isaacson. Preceded in death by son, Patric Tangianau Alofa’aga Joseph Benioni. Patoa had a special ability to love others.
In their fifty-four years together, Patoa always taught the value of work and service. His children and grandchildren have great memories of working on the farm, the family home(s), serving in the community and the Church, and their father’s special methods of discipline. (Please get these stories from the children or grandchildren.)
February 10, 2018 Saturday
Laie LDS North Stake Center (55-630 Naniloa Loop. )
Burial to follow: Laie at 1:00pm.
Casual attire; Flowers welcome.