Precious photos lost with cell phone


POSTED: Sunday, December 06, 2009

A downtown Honolulu resident is asking for help in locating a cell phone that holds photographs of her father and son, who died within nine months of each other last year.

On Thanksgiving eve, Gaylen Ramolete was on the No. 20 Airport-Pearlridge city bus. She arrived at Honolulu Airport at 3:50 p.m. to catch a flight to Kona for a holiday get-together, and she realized her phone was missing as she stood in line to check in.

Ramolete, a kindergarten teacher at Kalihi Waena Elementary School, believes her phone slipped out of the front pocket of her shorts when she stood up from her seat to exit the bus.

Ramolete later tracked the bus she was on. With help from passengers, she searched the area she was sitting in, with no success. The phone is a black, older-model Nokia 555.

Ramolete said the photos of late family members she kept stored in the phone have sentimental value. She continues to struggle with their deaths, especially during the holiday season.

“;I feel, right now, that I'm going through that whole loss again,”; she said.

Her father, Dr. Chung Tim Lee, died of lung cancer in February 2008. Ramolete took photos of her father while he was hospitalized at Kuakini Medical Center before he died. Despite his condition, Ramolete's father smiled as she took a photo with her phone, she said.

In November 2008, the body of her son, Andre Ramolete, was found in a ravine in King County, Wash., by a transportation maintenance worker, according to police in Kent, Wash.

His death was classified as a suicide, according to the Department of the Medical Examiner. Photos and video of Andre Ramolete's Honolulu funeral service were stored in the memory bank of Gaylen Ramolete's phone.

Ramolete is asking anyone who may have seen her phone to drop it off at TheBus' lost and found at 811 Middle St., no questions asked.