Cover photo for Viliami Fakatou Naeata Kongaika Aholelei's Obituary
1956 Viliami 2023

Viliami Fakatou Naeata Kongaika Aholelei

November 24, 1956 — December 13, 2023

Viliami ‘Fakatou’ Naeata Kongaika-‘Aholelei of Salt Lake City was quietly called home to our Heavenly Father on December 13, 2023. 

Fakatou, also fondly known by his family as Willie, was born November 24, 1956, in Pangai, Ha’apai, Tongatapu to Viliami Taumoefolau Kongaika and Luisa Olivia Brown. He was born into a large and loving family, the fifth child of eight. As a child, he was adventurous and took every chance to swim, whether school was in session or not, to jump into the ocean. He was a talented athlete who played high school football, ran track, and learned karate. Fakatou was a Tongan-American trailblazer in education, he was the first Tongan to graduate from El Monte High School in El Monte, California (1974) and attended BYU-Hawaii while raising four young children. Fakatou traveled across oceans from Ha’apai, Tonga to New Zealand to Hawaii and California, and finally settled in Rose Park in Salt Lake City, Utah to raise his family.

In his final years, he was loved and cared for by his wife, Sofolonia Leilani Pututau Kongaika, whom he married in the Hamilton New Zealand Temple in 1981 and is survived by her and their nine children: Nina (Aaron), Mafile’o (Annelise), Luisa (Alan), George (Brittany), Ana (Soti), Isileli (Leizl), Sandy (Philip), Sione (Leilani), Mele (Tevita) and twenty-six grandchildren. Fakatou was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings. 

He led a life full of service and was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With every kid he sent off on a mission, he’d give this advice, “You don’t prepare to go on a mission, you prepare to be a missionary because you will be a missionary your whole life.” Fakatou served as a full-time missionary from '78 -’80 in the Nuku’alofa, Tonga Mission. He also served as a Second and First Counselor in the Bishopric, Stake High Councilman, Sunday School Teacher, Stake Missionary, and Home Teacher. 

His most important calling, however, was that of a husband, father, and grandfather. He dedicated his life to ensuring his family was provided for by working long hours in various jobs as a light technician at the Polynesian Cultural Center, a shipping manager, and a Delta Airlines reservation agent from 1994 until retirement in 2013. His children will remember his work ethic, sacrifice, and storytelling and his grandchildren will miss seeing their ‘Papa’ at weekly Sunday dinners and family gatherings.

The family will be holding funeral services on Wednesday, December 20th, 2023 at the Meadow Ward (1955 W 400 N SLC, UT 84116). Family Service will begin at 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM, the Bishop Service from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM with the Burial to Follow at the Memorial Redwood Mortuary & Cemetery (6500 S Redwood Rd SLC, UT 84123).

Thank you everyone for the outpouring of love and support for our family. We love and appreciate it.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Family Service

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

8:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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Bishop Service

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

11:30am - 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Memorial Redwood Mortuary and Cemetery

6500 S Redwood Rd, West Jordan, UT 84123

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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