Community celebrates the life of entertainer Chief Kamu - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Community celebrates the life of entertainer Chief Kamu

Source: Lisa Gresci Source: Lisa Gresci
Source: Lisa Gresci Source: Lisa Gresci
Source: Lisa Gresci Source: Lisa Gresci
Source: Lisa Gresci Source: Lisa Gresci

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Hundreds gathered on the beach Friday for a Hawaiian-style paddle-off for beloved entertainer, Samuel Kanekoa. 

Kanekoa's wife, Mary Kanekoa, started the paddle-off ceremony with the story of how they met.

He had walked into the Hawaiian hospital she was working in to see his father, when other nurses told her she had to kick him out.

"You need to have that guy leave, he doesn't have any shoes on, and it's against the rules, and I said, 'I'm not making that guy leave!'" she said. 

However, it didn't take long for Mary to learn who he truly was.

"..that he wasn't a big scary guy at all. He had a very soft, kind, generous and loving air," Kanekoa said. 

Mary said they came back to South Carolina to start their family, where they had two daughters together. 

"He was a good dad, for me, and I just wish he was alive," Nanea Kanekoa said. 

Nanea's father may be gone, but at just 11 years old, as she danced in front of Friday night's crowds, she realized he'd always be with her. "It was so good because I actually thought my dad was with me," she said.

Sam Kanekoa's good family friend, and fellow entertainer, Robert Taylor, felt him too.

"Heart-touching man, I know he's upstairs.. looking down .. loving it," Taylor said. 

Taylor says Sam Kanekoa, or Chief Kamu, brought the Hawaiian spirit to Myrtle Beach and felt he had to leave with it too.

"This is what we do, for our people in Hawaii, when something like this happens, we get together at the beach, and more celebrate, his life than mourn his loss," Taylor added. 

"They wanted to tell him, 'A hui hou,' until we meet again," Nanea said. 

As the group paddled off to sea to say goodbye, his loved ones found comfort in the mark he's left behind.

"We're just going to make sure his legacy over here continues, with the hula shows, and the get-togethers," Taylor said. 

"I'm going to keep on doing his destiny, I'm going to keep on boogie boarding for him, and surfing for him," his daughter said. 

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