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Thursday, January 18, 2001

Rites Tuesday for
Samoan community
leader Gustav

More obituaries

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

He was a leader in the Samoan community and the father of two politicians and a Waikiki entertainer.

Gustav Arthur Tafu Tupulo Hannemann III, 89, died Sunday at the Hale Nani Rehabilitation Center.

He was born in Lotopa, Samoa. His mother, Rosie, was the younger sister of Makalita, Samoa's last queen of Manua.

His first contact with Hawaii came when he was 20 and was the first Samoan recipient of a teacher training scholarship at Kamehameha Schools.

After marrying Faiaso Soliai, he converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the couple baptized hundreds while opening and serving in village churches throughout the islands.

After several years in Guam, the Hannemann family migrated to Hawaii in 1953.

For years, he was bishop of the church's Moanalua Ward, and the family would often take in Samoans on their way to and from Samoa and the mainland.

While a prominent teacher and principal in Samoa, he learned it didn't pay the bills for a family of seven, according to his youngest son, Muliufi, known as Mufi.

So instead, Gustav Hannemann worked at Foremost Dairies and eventually became a supervisor in charge of distribution.

But he also had part-time jobs, and Mufi Hannemann recalls his father juggling his Foremost duties with selling shoes at Liberty House and Sears.

"He was the hardest working individual I have ever met in my life," Mufi Hannemann said.

That work ethic was coupled with a devotion to family and church, lessons that were passed on to the children, Mufi Hannemann said.

"I don't recall him hanging out with friends, or buddies at a football game or anything," he said. "Everything was oriented around his family."

Son Nephi would grow up to be a Waikiki entertainer, while Mufi became a city councilman and candidate for mayor.

His eldest son Gus, also a community leader in Hawaii and Samoa, recently lost a hard-fought battle for the territory's representative to Congress.

"He was a great source of inspiration. He was my role model," Mufi Hannemann said. "If I can be half the person my father was, I'd be very happy."

Gustav Hannemann is survived sons Gustav "Gus" A.T. Hannemann, A. Miller, Nephi Pinemua, and Muliufi; daughters Faiaso "Titi" Cecilia Dale Soliai, Vaofua "Va" Maughan and Gafanua "Nua" Nemea; brother David Tausilinuu, 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Honolulu West Stake Center. Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m.

Burial will be Wednesday, 11 a.m. at Laie Cemetery. Aloha attire.

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