The IAM is saddened to report the passing of DL 141 Hawaiian Airlines Safety Director Kaulana Pakele, who died Monday after he was found unresponsive in the water off Makaha Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. He was just 47 years old.
“Brother Pakele was a beloved member who tirelessly fought to ensure our members’ safety,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “He contributed to our union in many ways, but none greater than the way he made us feel after spending time with him. I send my condolences and best wishes to his family and to all the IAM members whose lives he touched.”
Pakele initiated into IAM Local 1979 in Honolulu in 2006 when he began working at Hawaiian Airlines. He became a Shop Steward and, soon after, DL 141 Safety Director in 2016. He was a member of the contract negotiating committee for Hawaiian Airlines, and also served on the IAMAW Joint Airline Transportation Safety Committee (JATSC).
Pakele was also an award-winning musician as lead singer of Mana’o Company, who were one of the leaders of Jawaiian music popular in the islands in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Pakele, who lived in Kapolei, Oahu, is survived by, among others, his wife, Lisa Huihui Pakele, children and grandchildren, and parents, Don and Lani Pakele.