James "Keko" Kelehua Kekuewa
1933 - August 4, 2021
Celebration of Life
A Private Service will be held at Hawaii State Veteran's Cemetery, Kaneohe on September 7, 2021 at 1 p.m.
James passed away very peacefully at home in Makaha, with his wife, Sandra by his side on August 4, 2021 @ 10:08 pm. He was known to many as KEKO, born on November 19, 1933 in Ko'olauloa, Hau'ula, O'ahu to Phillip Kala Kekuewa & Leialoha Ioane Kanakaole. He would tell Sandra, the love of his life for nearly 50 years, how much he loved her daily. Keko was a very strong willed & minded person, but was loved for his kind, gentle and thoughtful ways-always polite & respectful. Keko was a true leader-his word was the law!
He was an Entrepreneur, he owned and operated KOLOHE HAWAIIAN RESTAURANT in Kailua. He was a great cook! His most popular dishes were his pipikaula, aku bone, 2 lb. hamburger steak, everything he made was so ono. He also owned and operated Kolohe Promotions Inc. a limousine service affiliated with Grayline Hawaii, with a fleet of 10 limos. The best in the industry. No one could measure up to him, his knowledge of the business along with his impressive captivating tours made him untouchable. He was Mr. Aloha, warm charming, kind with an amazing personality.
He had a love for music, his band "the Kolohe's" played at Davey Jones Locker in the Outrigger Hotel, also the house band at the Keauhou Beach Hotel in Kona. They also did a lot of private gigs.
James served in the US Army during the Korean War; he was given a Korean Service Medal with the Bronze Star. He was a paratrooper & attack dog trainer with the 187th Airborne Division, Far East Light Weight Boxing Champion, Graduated Top 5 in a class of 800 from the Culinary School and was immediately placed on General Westmoreland's Cooking/Baking Staff. He was also the General's jeep driver.
Keko had a dark & mysterious side to him. He was connected with the Notorious Organization, "the Syndicate", that once ran Hawaii and Waikiki was his territory. The heads of the Syndicate were his good friends & allowed him to do his own thing. He kept all the foreigners & out of state intruders away, they were not welcomed.
Keko is survived by his wife Sandra, children, Charmaine, Lorna, Daniel, Kim, grandchildren, great grand & great great grand children. Sisters Leilani Osorio & Millie Rabe. He was preceded in death by his son James, Jr.