The Asian American Journalists Association-Hawai’i Chapter joins thousands of residents across the state in mourning the sudden and unexpected loss of Robert Kekaula, who passed away Saturday morning, June 19.
Robert was a venerable and welcome mainstay in the local journalism community for the past 30-plus years, especially in the realm of University of Hawai’i and high school athletics. His nightly greeting of, “Hi, hope you’re all having a … pleasant evening” followed by his in-depth TV sports reports helped him reach iconic status among viewers from across the state, and his TV and radio announcing of UH football games both home and away are attached to many of the program’s signature moments. As a proud Native Hawaiian, Robert was a pioneer among Pacific Islander broadcasters and served as a role model and mentor for many in the AAPI community.
He also was a talented musician and recording artist, again serving as a role model and inspiration for many Native Hawaiians by honoring his culture and perpetuating cherished language and traditions.
On and off the air, Robert always greeted everyone with a smile and showed much aloha to friends and strangers alike. He will be greatly missed.
AAJA-Hawai’i would like to express its deepest sympathy and condolences to Robert’s family, including his daughter Tiera, who is a former sports department clerk for The Honolulu Advertiser.