Sione Fetokai Tukuafu, a loving father, son, brother, husband, and friend, was born on December 29, 1977 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to his loving parents, Aisake Kauvaka Tukuafu and Lose Vaiokema (Kinikini) Tukuafu as the oldest of their seven children. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah before he and his family moved back to their roots in Tonga. He attended Tonga Side School and graduated from the prestigious Tonga High School in 1995. Sione received a scholarship to attend St. Kentigern’s College and played on the school’s First XV Rugby Team. He was there for a year before serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. From 1997 to 1999, Sione devoted his life to sharing a message of kindness and Christlike love in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission; unknowingly, he would continue to share that same message for the rest of his life, as he was always an example of Christlike love to everyone he came in contact with. Following his full-time mission, he returned home to Tonga for a few months and was selected to be on the notable Tonga National Rugby League Team, “Mate Ma’a Tonga”. In the Fall of 1999, he attended Brigham Young University in Hawaii and thereafter met his eternal companion, Verna Vasitaiamoni Tonga. On April 22, 2000, they were married in the Salt Lake City Temple. The following year, they brought their eldest daughter, Lose Lionaini, into the world on April 23, 2001. In November 2002, they returned to Tonga and later had their only son, Aisake Gordon, on June 11, 2003. On May 3, 2005, their youngest daughter, Eveline Elia, was brought into this world to complete their family unit.
On March 10, 2020, Sione, Verna, Aisake, and Eveline travelled to Hawaii to visit their eldest daughter, Lose, who was attending Brigham Young University in Hawaii and was planning to serve a full-time mission. What was supposed to be a two-week vacation, ended up being their last vacation as a complete family. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the borders closed and prevented them from returning back home to Tonga. They decided to travel to Utah to be with family awaiting a time for when the borders would open up. On September 27, 2020, Sione fell ill and was admitted to St. Marks Hospital in Salt Lake City. He fought a good fight but on October 28, 2020, Sione bid his final farewell and returned to his Father in Heaven.
Sione loved being with his family. Everything he did revolved around them. Making memories with them was most important to him. They travelled everywhere together and participated in many activities as a family. He got involved with rugby again to allow him more time to spend with his son. He coached his son’s rugby team and took the National Under 15s to Australia on a rugby tour. It did not end there; he found a way to coach his son’s school rugby team and was able to claim their first rugby league championship title. Sione also loved singing. He loved it so much that he invested in a karaoke system and made sure his family would sing with him every night. He expanded his playlist to Polynesian dance songs so he could sing and play the guitar while his wife and daughters would dance. This was his definition of family time. Sione will always be known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit.
Sione Fetokai Tukuafu is survived by his eternal companion; Verna Vasitaiamoni, by his children Lose Lionaini, Aisake Gordon, and Eveline Elia; his loving parents, Aisake Kauvaka and Lose Vaiokema (Kinikini) Tukuafu and his wonderful siblings Taina Finau, Eveline Pualani, Kaunanga Hehea, Ilaisia Gordon, Kaveinga, and Metui Vaiokema Tukuafu.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, November 6, 2020 beginning at 11:00 A.M at the Redwood Memorial. A link to the services will be posted where friends and family may also share memories and condolences. Masks and social distancing are required.
Until that glorious morning when we see you smile again, watch over us Sione.
Life Story Info
Sione you have fought a good fight your presence spoke volumes.... rest easy now brother Sione till that glorious morning.... we love you Verna and your beautiful children which Sione's memory and legacy will shine through you all.... God bless and comfort your family through these times until you are united in the eternities.... ofa lahi atu, Alipate & Anaseini Ve'ehala & family
Ofa atu ki he Famili Verna , Lose , Sake & Eve . faka au atu emau ofa ki he kainga moe famili he tafaaki e taha o e veili . Sione muomu'a atu , 'oku mate ho sino faka matelie kae kei mo'ui pe ho'o toonga mo e ulungaanga .
Ofa atu mei ho mau kii famili
Kosipeli , Nukuao , Manu leaifanga , Veisinia , lieni , Holeva , Lucas & Mele.
Our deepest sympathy n condolences to Verna n the children, Sister Tukuafu, ‘Aisake n Eveline. May our loving Heavenly Father hallowed hands be upon your heads for a blessing of peace n comfort during these hard times. Trust in Him with humble hearts n fervent prayers that you may feel his spirit n His love. ‘Ofa lahi atu!!. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
#RILSioneFetokaiTukuafu #TillWeMeetAgain #GoneToo Soon #YouWillBeMissTerribly #FamiliesAreForever #BlessWithTheBest #FOE #MuchOFAZ
The Pacific Area Welfare and Self-Reliance team are heart-broken at the passing of Sione. What a huge spirit he had. We prayed and fasted that the Lord would keep this wonderful sole among us, but we must trust in His wisdom and timing. We are truly blessed to know and work with the Tukuafu family. We all love you Verna and your little family and our love and concern goes out to you. We pray the Lord's choicest blessings upon you at this time.
Paul and all your Pacific WSR colleagues.
Reading Sis Tukuafu’s email this past week is a reflection on just how well you and Verna raised her, Sake Leka & Eve Sii! Well done to you and Verna for doing a phenomenal job at parenting. Her firm foundation of faith, humble expression of gratitude, her immense love for our Savior and the sacred mission she is serving, and the fact that she asked us to pray for her fellow missionaries who are also experiencing their own challenges; that was very mature, very selfless, very Christlike of her.
Sione, your love and legacy definitely lives on through Verna and the children. Pres Nelson says that Death is only premature for those not prepared to meet God. If anyone is prepared it would be you. Toka ā Sione e! Ke tau toe fktaha ha aho! Verna mau tolu eni tuu mau pe ho tafaaki fai mai ho fekau ha faahinga taimi pe.
Ofa atu moe lotu!
Our prayers and thoughts are with Verna and your family during this painful time that you have lost your husband. It is not how long a man lives, but how deep that life is. In your pain and sorrow remember that he was a great man. Our sincere sympathies for the death of Sione. May the blessing of Heavenly Father gives you peace and comfort. Ofa lahi atu Ane & Sonatane
Sione You would be love and missed . You were the BEST CO WORKER EVER !! you always made sure I was okay everyday and I appreciate every moment working with you . You helped me a lot and there always a smile that you had on every time you came into work . Thank You for being that special friend and Angel at Work .
Mar 3, 1976
Rest in peace Sione. Ofa atu Verna mo e kii fanau.
Jan 18, 1995
RIP my friend my classmate Sione Tukuafu hange koe fkhua oku ave ae lelei kamau kei feifeinga atu pee 😢
Nov 5, 2020
Sione is a very handsome and a smiling person to everyone he meet. He is fun and caring person. 'Ofa lahi atu Sikalu/Vaipulu Families