Saturday, March 6, 1999

Entertainer Mackey Feary laid to rest

Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
From left, Mackey Feary's sister Dancetta Kamai (partially
hidden), friend of the family Chantell Jay and Feary's son
Sebastian greet mourners at the funeral this morning.

join family in

2,500 friends and fans were
expected by 12:30 p.m.
for services

By Helen Altonn


Bryant Mackey Feary Jr.'s music filled the room as family members, friends and fans paid last respects to the popular entertainer today.

Despite wet weather, hundreds of people began arriving at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary early this morning for viewing and family visits before the 12:30 p.m. services. About 2,500 were expected.

They reminisced about their experiences with Feary, and listened to him sing on special videos made for the occasion by Gaylord Holomalia, a member with Feary of the musical group Kalapana.

"This is nice; we worked hard on this," said Feary's former wife, Marci, mother of their son, Sebastian. "We just want everyone to know what Mackey did."

The entertainer hanged himself in a prison cell Feb. 20 after a history of problems with drugs, treatment programs and relapses.

His story has focused attention on patterns of drug addiction and mental health and treatment needs.

"He wanted people to know other people like him need help too," Marci said.

Feary's family, all wearing blue and beige aloha print shirts and muumuus, arrived at the mortuary about 8 a.m.

"We want to just be happy now," Marci said. "There is a lot of hurt and sadness in our hearts."

Holomalia said: "It's kind of an emotional day. I'm just trying to keep myself busy, to help the family out."

The program included Pastor Chauncey Pang of Word of Life Christian Center giving an opening prayer; Larry Agres, Sebastian's godfather, giving the eulogy and Sebastian sharing his thoughts and memories about his dad.

The 14-year-old was a talent judge at Moanalua Intermediate School last night and during intermission danced and dedicated a song to his father, his mother said.

"My son said, 'I'm going to carry on the legacy. Kalapana Juniors -- the K.J.'s.' "

Leonhard Nicolai was among island residents at the services who knew Feary only by his music.

"I came to pay my respect for an entertainer whose music I like," he said.

Former Mayor Frank Fasi, with his wife Joyce, said Feary "was a legend to begin with. It's a disgrace what happened. He'll be remembered for several generations. He brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people even though he was unhappy."

Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole's widow, Marlene, said Feary "found peace within himself. Here on Earth is our challenge, a major challenge. One day we will all be together. It's God's time."

A number of security guards were posted outside the mortuary.

Feary's widow, DanaLee, was barred from the funeral under a temporary restraining order requested by his father, Bryant Mackey Feary Sr.

In a statement issued through her attorney, DanaLee Feary said she would honor the order.

"But I believe Mackey's wish would have been for all of us to come together as a family, celebrating his life, his love, and his remembrance," she said.

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