Wednesday, April 24, 2002

His songs made him a
Son of Hawaii forever

Wilfred Nalani 'Moe' Keale / 1939-2002


By Rosemarie Bernardo

When entertainer Wilfred Nalani "Moe" Keale sang, "it really ran deep into your soul," said Dennis Kamakahi, former group member of Sons of Hawaii.

"It was a reverent voice. It only comes from somebody who has a big soul," Kamakahi said.

Services for Keale, well-known entertainer, actor and humanitarian, who died April 15 at Castle Medical Center, will be Monday. He was 62 years old.

Keale, of pure Hawaiian descent, was born on Dec. 13, 1939. The respected kupuna touched many with his voice.

Keale's album "Aloha Is -- A Part of Me, A Part of You," includes two of the most requested songs on Hawaiian radio. He was a multiple nominee, finalist and winner in many award categories in the Na Hoku Hanohano awards.

Along with music, Keale had a recurring role in "Hawaii Five-O" and made appearances in numerous TV shows such as "Sanford and Son," "Charlie's Angels," "The Islander" and "Pearl."

In 1958, Keale and three others formed a group called the Four K's. Six years later, he joined the Puka Puka Otea Tahitian Show at Queen's Surf.

In 1969, Keale became a part of the musical group Sons of Hawaii. Kamakahi was the youngest member of the group and described Keale as a big brother whom he could look up to.

"He was quite a showman. He had a sense of humor on stage," Kamakahi said.

"His nickname was Animal because he looked so mean and vicious, but he was actually gentle as a lamb," he added.

Keale was also best known for his ukulele style as a member of Sons of Hawaii.

Visitation will take place on Monday from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at Kawaiahao Church. Services will be from 6 to 7 p.m. On May 4 a musical celebration in remembrance of Keale will take place at noon at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound. A ceremony will be held at sunset while his ashes are scattered at sea.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Keale's memory can be made to the Moe Keale Fund for the American Heart Association.

He is survived by his wife Carol; son Nalani; sister Momi Mix; Niihau Ohana; hanai sisters Martha Noyles, Loke Lyu and Kauhane Lee; godson Kekoaokekoolau Lyu; and nieces and nephews.

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