Daniel Kapioanuenue Kaeka lll, 79, of Hilo, Hawaii, died on Oct. 29, 2015, after a long-term illness. Danny “Hawaii 5-0” Kaeka was born on Dec. 12, 1935, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was a longtime resident of Vineyard Haven, fondly remembered as the night watchman at the Tisbury Steamship Authority terminal, where he worked for 27 years. Born and raised on the island of Oahu, he was the son of Daniel Kapioanuenue Kaeka Jr. and Maria Louise Clark of Wahiawa, Hawaii.
At the young age of 6, his tutu man and tutu lady (grandparents) woke him early one December morning, telling him to gather some belongings. They quickly hopped aboard a canoe and traversed the small lagoon over to the main island, where they were able to escape and hide within the tropical underbrush. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had begun. With aircraft and bombs falling around them, they used old forgotten footpaths to work their way up to Nu’uanu Valley, hiding with family while the attacks were underway.
Danny served with the 12th U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War as an amphibian tracman, where he earned his Korean Service Medal. After his tour of duty in Korea he was transferred to the U.S. Naval Station in Long Beach, Calif., where he met a young Navy WAVE, Shirley Webb Vincent, who became the love of his life. Due to an illness in Shirley’s family, the couple eventually relocated to Martha’s Vineyard.
In his younger years, Danny loved to play fast-pitch softball for the up-Ianders ball team. To this day there are Islanders who would brag that “no one could hit off of him.” Later in life, handing down those pitching skills, Danny enjoyed teaching friends and family the fine art of horseshoe pitching. After retiring from the Steamship, Danny and his wife moved back to his homeland of Hawaii. He continued playing competitive horseshoes, and won the championship for his age group on the Big Island of Hawaii. Danny enjoyed his many visits from Vineyard family and friends, taking them for tours all around the Big Island.
Danny is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Vincent Kaeka, now residing in Hilo, Hawaii; two sisters, Velma Lou Keanuenue of Napa Valley, Calif., and Kathryn Louise Nakoa of Nanakuli, Hawaii; a brother, Rodney Kaluikaulana Kaeka of Pahoa, and three half-brothers, Dennis Kaeka and Edward Kaeka of Oahu, and Henano Kaeka of Colorado. He is predeceased by brothers Ho’olu Kaeka, Dewey Kaeka, and Charles Kainoa Kaeka, and sister Lily Anne Laniaaloha Kaeka, all of Oahu, Hawaii.
He is also survived by his children, Daniel Kapioanuenue Kaeka IV and his wife Sue, daughter Hannah Kaloke Scott and her husband Jonathan Scott, son Daryl Kalani Kaeka, Dennis Kealoha Kaeka, and Dwight Kimo Kaeka and his wife Beth, who all reside in West Tisbury.
He is survived by his grandchildren Daniel “Fin” Kaeka V, Ali and Jordan Peterson, Leolani Rose Kaeka, Noelani Scott Chase, Ilikea Daniel Scott, Maili P. Scott, Calvin “Alika” Kaeka, Daryl “DK” Kaeka, Marissa and Dwight “DJ” Kaeka, also by three great-grandchildren, Aidan Keoni Chase, Makaela Noelani Chase, and Riley Kaeka.
An observance of his life will take place on Martha’s Vineyard at a future date to be announced. A private memorial service will be held in Hilo, Hawaii.