4780 N. University Ave., Provo 
OFFICES: Orem, Park City & Heber City
Phone: (801) 405-7444
Fax: (801) 841-9702


John Kauwe

John Sai Keong Kauwe Jr.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 1953 - Thursday, August 27th, 2020
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Because of Covid-19, there is a limited amount of people allowed to attend. The family requests that those who are comfortable with viewing the services online please do so.


John Sai Keong Kauwe, Jr. “Maka Nui”, age 67, of Kalihi, Hawaii and Orem, Utah, died Thursday, August 27, 2020, having spent his last days surrounded by his loving family. He was born on March 3, 1953 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Harriet Kaleimokihana (Serrao) and John Sai Keong Kauwe. He married his loving wife Rhonda Beth (King) on May 5, 1979. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mesa Arizona Temple.

John was born and raised in Hawaii but found himself making the decision to live in Orem, Utah with his young family. In Orem he found a neighborhood of loving friends. Together this community loves and supports each other in unique and wonderful ways. John never stopped missing Hawaii, but he loved Utah for the people and love that it brought into his life and that of his children.

John is universally loved for his kind and generous heart and exceptional sense of humor. Many people first met John through his business, Aloha Wholesale Florist. Aloha Wholesale was an incredible place that supported many families and reflected John’s personality. In fact, it was always difficult to separate his identity from that business. He was very generous with his employees and customers- he truly embodied the aloha spirit. Later in life he loved his time as a substitute teacher at Canyon View Junior High School; hundreds of young people in Orem still remember him as “Mr. Hawaii”.

John loved to tell stories- he loved to talk about his adventures growing up in Hawaii (especially fishing), his time as a cook in San Francisco, or his honorable mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan. But in his later years he found the most pride and joy talking about his family, sharing their accomplishments with everyone who wanted to listen and even some who didn’t. Beyond hearing a story, you could never leave the Kauwe house without a home-cooked Chinese-Hawaiian meal. In fact, he would often cook food not intending to eat, but just to share. He strived to live in a Christ-like manner throughout his life.

John lived with significant illnesses for nearly two decades past all predicted timelines. He accomplished this through the blessing of modern medicine, personal determination, faith, and the prayers and support of his loved ones. Those who know him well understand that love for his wife, Rhonda, with whom he has spent nearly every waking moment for the last 41 years, and love for his grandchildren, drove him to preserve every last minute of this mortal life.

John is survived by his wife, Rhonda, his six sons, Keoni (Monica), Keala (Gena), Kalani (Kim), Kawika (Jordyn), Kekoa, and Ka’ai (Emily), his daughter Kamakea Smith (Nathan), eighteen grandchildren, his brother Steward, his sisters Leimomi and Kim, and many, many others that he considered his hānai ohana (informally adopted family). He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Mark Kauwe, his in-laws Dale and Frances King, and many other dear friends and family who surely are delighted to be reunited with him now.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, August 31st, 2020 | 8:00am - 8:45am
    Monday, August 31st, 2020 8:00am - 8:45am
    Nelson Family Mortuary
    4780 N. University Ave.
    PROVO, UT 84604
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, August 31st, 2020 | 9:00am
    Monday, August 31st, 2020 9:00am
    Nelson Family Mortuary
    4780 N. University Ave.
    PROVO, UT 84604
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Monday, August 31st, 2020 | 10:30am
    Monday, August 31st, 2020 10:30am
    Orem City Cemetery
    1520 N 800 E, Orem, UT 84097
    Orem, Utah 84097
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Paul B

Posted at 05:13pm
Deepest condolences to the Kauwe family. I work with Koa and he has told me some wonderful stories about his dad. Rest in Peace.

Kristie Bowers

Posted at 12:58pm
I am so grateful for such a kind, friendly, heart warming uncle. I will always remember his delight in cooking for others. Once when I was very hungry after babysitting most of the day and not having eaten much that day, I visited uncle John at his Aloha floral shop just down the road from where I had been babysitting. He was cooking teriyaki burgers and fish. He offered me a tasty burger. I was so hungry and ate it right up. He offered me another, and another, and another. He kept chuckling at how much I could eat. He ended up feeding me 8 burgers and two small fish! He delighted in seeing how much I could eat. They were very tasty and gave me energy to keep going on a Saturday when I needed some rejuvenating! It was always a treat to eat Uncle John's food and he was so generous with it. He also was very generous with letting me get flowers at for friends who needed some cheer. He loved to see people smile with good food and fun humor. He had a contagious smile and laugh. We will miss him. So thankful that families are forever!

Glen May

Posted at 09:52pm
There are too many fond memories to mention of John Kauwe. Sharing food, playing ukes and always listening to him of how proud he was of his family. He had a great spirit about him, and we always loved his warm smile and his sense of humor! Malama pono a hui hou! Glen and Kaera May

Kristen Kauwe

Posted at 09:16pm
My husband Makakoa is named for his Uncle Maka. A tender memory of ours was when despite ill health he attended our temple sealing and following reception, where he played and sang in Hawaiian tradition. We are so grateful for his love, the example he was to Makakoa as a namesake, and the love he showed to our little family and our son. Uncle Maka’s favorite thing to do when he saw Teddy was to send photos to his brother Stew (Teddy’s grandpa) and brag about seeing Stew’s grandson. We will miss his laughter and aloha.

Robert Palfreyman

Posted at 02:35pm
Our hearts go out to all the Kauwe family. John was such a Christ-like person. We feel honored to be his friends. His memories will live on forever. Whenever we visited John, we always came away feeling better because of his outlook on life. We will truly miss him. Robert & Neta Palfreyman

Todd Ortiz Posted at 06:15pm

The Kauwe family is one of my favorites, and John was always a perfect example of love and warmth. So many great childhood memories spent at the Kauwe home and with his family. And his cooking was incredible! All my love to the Kauwe family. John will be missed by all who knew him.

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