Family and friends said goodbye to Lau Fiatoa Dec. 12.
Funeral services were held in Alamo at the home of Gary and Darla Davis, Fiatoa’s parents-in-law. A rainy morning gave way to some sunshine as the funeral began, with many attending the backyard service in person, while several hundred watched over a video feed on Facebook. The program featured several musical numbers, including songs hailing from Fiatoa’s Polynesian heritage, and tributes from family members, who remembered him as a devoted family man, a person of faith and a generous contributor to his community and those in need.
“He did everything to provide for his family,” cousin Juval Fiatoa said. “He loved them and he loved them hard, both immediate and extended, in-laws and all.”
Father-in-law Gary Davis related instances when Lau would give the food from his grocery cart or a coat to someone on the street.
“Lau gave the coat off his back more than once,” Davis said. He later added, “Several young men in our community were also recipients of Lau’s generosity. Lau gave the shoes off his feet to more than a few boys here. And if they didn’t fit, he bought them new ones.”
A recording of a talk Fiatoa gave at his father’s funeral was also played. In the talk, he expressed his faith in life beyond death and a future reuniting with his family. “I hope to see every one of you there,” he said.
Following the funeral, community members lined both sides of Broadway Street and displayed American and American Samoa flags as the procession, led by a police escort, made its way up the road. The husband and father of four was laid to rest at the Richardville Cemetery.
Laci Fiatoa, Lau’s wife, expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support the family has received.
“I cannot thank you all enough for the love and support,” Laci wrote. “My mind has been blown from all the compassion and generosity given. This community is amazing.”
In the days prior to his passing, Lau created an Instagram account to express gratitude as part of his church’s #GiveThanks initiative. On Nov. 26, his 45th birthday and the day before he died, he posted a picture of the sun rising through his hospital window.
He wrote, “#Givethanks views the sun rising on another day for us to give thanks. I thank God for community. The outpouring of love and support is awe inspiring. Thank you to all…for everything. EVERYTHING.”
Lau Lulu Fiatoa passed away Nov. 27, 2020, in St. George, Utah. He was born Nov. 26, 1975, in Torrance, Calif., to Eletise Fagavo Fiatoa and Julie Fa’alelepue Wilson Fiatoa. A graduate of Mililani High School, he married Laci Davis Oct. 12, 2001, in the Las Vegas Nevada Temple and was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Fiatoa is survived by his wife, Laci; sons Kobi, Jordan, Bronson and Dusty; mother Julie; siblings Elie pa Kaupoe, Jacqylun, Nanuma, Kise Fiatoa Aniseko Fiatoa and Vasati Phenix; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Eletise, and grandparents.