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Ma’oputasi Sen. Amituana’i Eteuati passes away

Sen. Amituana’i Eteuati Sr. passed away over the weekend at LBJ Medical Center. He was 78 years old, according to his son Rep. Vailoata Eteuati Amituana’i Jr.

Amituana’i, one of three senators for Ma’oputasi County, entered the Senate in January 2009 serving his first four-year term in office. He was chairman of the Senate Communications Committee and served as a member of other Senate standing committees.

Vailoata said his father had been in the hospital for about two and half weeks for pneumonia when he passed away peacefully around 11:30p.m. Friday, surrounded by family members.

The family held a prayer service at the LBJ Chapel not long after Amituana’i passed away. Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie along with Sen. Asuega Fa’amamata were in attendance.

“He is a very humble person, a very humble guy and an excellent father,” Vailoata said of his father, who retired from LBJ hospital after working as a supervisor at the LBJ cafeteria for some 30 years. “My father will be missed by all of us, his family and those who knew him well over the years.”

“Right now I’m doing pretty good despite this time of sadness in my father. I’m hanging in there,” he told Samoa News in a telephone interview Saturday morning.

Asked what he remembered most about his father, Vailoata said “his advice — he always provided advice for us to deal with in life and better ourselves as well as our relationships with others.”

“I will also remember his cooking,” added Vailoata, who added that his father learned a lot of many different ways of preparing food from the years he worked at LBJ’s cafeteria. He said his father shared many of these cooking methods and ideas.

Upon retirement from the hospital, Amituana’i served as Ma’oputasi County Chief for one-year and not long afterwards, he was selected to the Senate.

Vailoata said funeral services are pending as the family is awaiting some of his siblings who reside off-island,and an official announcement will be made at a later time. Sen. Amituana’i Eteuati Sr. is survived by his wife Moka Marie, seven children and many grand children.

Samoa News expresses our sincere condolences to the family of the late senator.