Wednesday, August 25, 2004

People filed in to Borthwick Mortuary yesterday for the funeral of Honolulu police officer Issac Veal.

Family recalls
killed HPD officer

Issac Veal's wife reflects on
25 years with "her best friend"

Donna Veal's voice never quavered as she spoke of her husband, officer Issac Veal, at his funeral yesterday evening.

Donna Veal recalled a perfect day they spent together before he died, eating fresh shrimp in Kahuku, a drive past Windward beaches, singing and laughing the whole time.

"God allowed me to have 25 years of those perfect days," said Veal. "He was my bosom buddy. He's my best friend."

"He was the better half of who I am," she added.

Issac Veal, 58, was killed after his 2001 Dodge Durango crashed on the H-2 freeway while he was responding to a police call about a fight at 9:20 p.m. Aug. 16. Traffic investigators said speed was a possible factor in the accident as Veal, a Wahiawa patrol officer, apparently lost control and rolled his Durango several times after crashing into a concrete barrier.

More than 500 people jammed the services and overflowed Borthwick Mortuary's mauka chapel onto Maunakea Street and the back parking lot.

Attending the service were Veal's family members from Louisiana as well as members of the Honolulu Police Department.

Veal was remembered as a loving husband and father, a devout Christian who led prayer groups, and a 25-year HPD veteran who often went beyond the call when it came to helping those in need.

"Ike was a hero to someone every day of his life," acting Police Chief Glen Kajiyama said.

Over the course of his career, Kajiyama said, Veal had dozens of commendations from people whom he helped. One of them was from a Californian woman who said Veal recovered her stolen purse in 1979, his first year with HPD. Another was an e-mail from a teenager in Waikiki, who said Veal gave her and her friends money to catch the bus home after their belongings were taken from the beach.

"Ike was the finest of Honolulu's finest," Kajiyama said. "His positive attitude was contagious."

"We will miss you, Ike, but you will not be forgotten," Kajiyama concluded.

Though he was known as Ike to his fellow officers, he was known as "Sunny" to friends, family and members of his congregation at the Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church in Wahiawa. The Rev. Kerry Wasson said that from the Wilikina Drive church, he could see the emergency lights on the highway after Veal's crash. At the time, Wasson didn't know what happened.

Later, when Wasson was checking Veal's wrecked Durango for personal effects, he found a business-card-sized invitation to their church on the front seat, with a Bible passage (Matthew 22:37) printed on the back.

"The card said: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,'" recalled Wasson. "He didn't get to speak a last word but he left his final message."

Veal is also survived by daughters Jaciflynn Pina and Denise Veal; sons Shanklyn Russell and Jeffery Veal; mother Agnes; brothers; sisters; and three grandchildren.

Tomorrow, a police motorcade from the mortuary will pass police headquarters on Beretania Street and continue onto Hawaiian Memorial Park in Kaneohe. The motorcade will begin at 10 a.m., followed by graveside services at 11 a.m. Casual attire is recommended.



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