Remembering Moke Kim, Jr.
By Lisa Kim, spouse
The ‘ohana of Moses Soo Chun Kamana’o’i’o Kim, Jr., (Uncle Moke/Kumu Kim) extends a heartfelt mahalo to the Molokai community for their love and kokua. He was born on April 26, 1945 and passed away a year ago, on April 17, 2021.
Uncle traveled, lived, and worked in many places in his life, but he loved living, teaching, and serving on Molokai for 35 years the most. He had endless aloha for this island, especially the keiki. He enjoyed coaching and mentoring students during his time Molokaii High and Intermediate, and on his homestead, Na Mala o Hana Kupono, which served as a home for continued Native Hawaiian aina-based education.
Uncle was primarily raised by his grandmother, Esther Kameakaulana Nuʻuhiwa, until fifth grade, as his father served in the military. He attended Island Paradise, then Farrington High until his junior year when he joined his father who was stationed in France. The trajectory of his life changed when he graduated from high school in Portier, France. He was destined for the military like his father, when his mother called her brother, John Velasco, the legendary football coach at Radford High School in Honolulu, who arranged for Uncle to attend BYU Provo, where he had success as a linebacker on a four year football scholarship under coach Lavell Edwards.
Uncle had lots of stories from his time in France, and from BYU Provo — where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees — and many places in between.
Years down the road, Uncle found Molokai (or Molokai found him) where he re-invigorated himself in his passions: Hawaiian language and culture, coaching and mentoring keiki to kupuna.
He always taught his students to impart aloha to others and their community, to always serve without having to be asked, to be a good steward of the land that gives us life, and to continue to learn, seeking knowledge and truth. He was an “out of the box” thinker and believed students needed to see things from different perspectives and become critical thinkers. He also believed in hard work and working together to strengthen oneself physically and mentally.
He was the son of Moses Soo Chun Kim, Sr and Lurline Gladiola Dawn Kaleiwahine Medeiros. He was the oldest of three brothers, Joynal Kaʻiminaʻauao, Jonn Wesley Kaleialoha, and Kelvin Kiaʻaina. He has four children, Kahale Kim, Momi Nu’uhiwa, Kalei Kim and Kamo’ilani St. Hill, 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.