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  • Hawai‘i Conference

In Loving Memory: Richard K.P. Kamanu

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of Kahu Richard Kawaiokalani Puninani Kamanu, 63, on October 24, 2020. His presence and leadership were a blessing to the Hawai'i Conference long before he took up the position of an Associate Conference Minister.

Richard graduated from Kamehameha Schools in 1975 and went on to earn a Master of Divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1982. He was ordained in September 1982 at Kalapana Mauna Kea Congregational Church on Hawai'i Island. Congregations in Hawai'i Richard served include Hau'ula Congregational Church UCC, Kapa'a First Hawaiian Church, and Kaumakapili Church.

In 2015, Richard became part of the Hawai'i Conference staff, where he continued to touch and impact many lives, by providing leadership for congregational Search Teams, Association Boards and Councils and Committees on Ministry. In the office he provided both a wealth of institutional and cultural knowledge for staff members as well as an abundance of smiles and good humor.

Music was one of Richard's passions, and he served as Chairperson of the Nā Hīmeni O Ka 'Ekalesia Hymnbook Revision Committee and Coordinator of the 'Aha Papa Hīmeni 'O Hawai'i. He also served as the Hawai'i Conference representative on the Board of Directors for Local Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ, and as a spiritual advisor for Hawaiian Airlines.

We know that Richard's passing is mourned across the Conference. Here is a short sampling of the memories shared on the Conference Facebook page:

  • "My heart mourns the loss of Kahu Richard's beautiful soul." —Russ Kirby

  • "He was such a gentle, wise man." —Rebecca Woodland

  • "He was a source of wisdom and encouragement for many of us." —Tim Greathouse

  • "My heart is filled with so much Aloha for Kahu Richard and the many, many ways he has helped me, personally, as well as our many churches. He is a true friend that will continue to always be remembered." —Anela Rosa

  • "Love you and remember you always." —Kathy Kealoha

We continue to give thanks to God for Richard's ministry to and among us. Let us also continue to hold the Kamanu 'ohana in our prayers during their time of grief. Once memorial services have been confirmed, we will alert the wider Conference.

In the meantime, the Conference office is opening a Richard Kamanu Memorial Fund. If you wish to contribute, you can send checks to the Conference office and note that they are in memory of Richard and intended for the memorial fund. The Conference Council will work with the Kamanu family to designate the use of these funds. Also be aware that for the short term, Dorothy Lester has agreed to return in the position of Interim Associate Conference Minister. Once the Council has met, further news will be provided concerning future staffing patterns for the Conference.

If you would like to share a favorite memory or photo of Richard for possible posting on our website, please send them to The Conference Office will share more information as it becomes available.

Memorial Service Planned for Richard Kamanu

A drive-in memorial service was held for Richard Kamanu on Tuesday, December 29, at Central Union Church of Honolulu.


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