HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Robert Kekaula, a longtime journalist and sports presenter in Hawaii, died Saturday morning with his family.
Kekaula died at 8:25 a.m., according to family members.
In a statement, his family said:
“We have a heavy heart this morning because our ohana has lost her mighty wings. He lived his life his way and was so much to so many people. His heart was full of love for his family, sports and especially music. Our wings are broken, but one day we’ll fly again. And Robert will fly next to us and continue to guide us along the way. Mahalo to everyone who touched his life on this journey. Aloha ‘Oe to our father, partner, brother, uncle and friend. We ask for privacy while we get through this difficult time. “
The exact cause of death is currently unknown.
Kekaula, a legend in the Hawaiian sports media, began his first broadcast journalism job at KGMB as a weekend sports producer.
In 1989 he joined KITV as a weekend sports presenter and reporter. He later left the station for KHNL in 1994 and returned to KITV in 1997 to work as a sports director.
Kekaula most recently worked as Managing Editor at KITV.
Following the announcement of Kekaula’s death, Janice Gin, news director of KITV4 said, “He leaves a legacy as a great communicator, one who understands people of all stripes. He valued the human mind and potential. He loved Hawaii and the culture that made him proud to be a native son of the islands. “
Members of the sports community also shared their sadness and condolences on social media after the news.
I can not believe it. That is absolutely shocking and sad. One of the most recognizable characters in all of the Hawaiian sports media. Has had a huge impact on all of us. Prayers to his family. https://t.co/htHr3Yt1Cy
– Kanoa Leahey (@KanoaLeahey) June 19, 2021
“Robert truly was a sports broadcast legend in the state of Hawaii and the voice of the University of Hawaii Football. He loved UH sports with a passion. He wears green and white, ”said UH Athletics.
For years, Kekaula provided Spectrum Sports with a play-by-play voice for University of Hawaii football games.
Sad to hear the news of Robert Kekaula’s death. Always a top performance and fun to work with. A real sports fan as well as @ HawaiiSB fan that many will miss. Hawaii lost a sports legend. Rest in Aloha. https://t.co/WwgZvI3jNB
– Bob Coolen (@UHawaiiSoftball) June 19, 2021
“A man with a larger than life personality, plenty of talent and pure aloha. He shared his passion for sports and his love of local music with us and we enjoyed an unforgettable Kanikapila session, ”said Congressman Kai Kahele.
“He will be remembered by many as a trustworthy face and voice on the local news, keeping families across the state up to date with his brightly colored Aloha shirts and the latest updates on everything going on in Hawaii and the sports arena every night.”
This story will be updated.
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