Keala K. Espinoza, age 79, died after battling pancreatic cancer on Feb. 2, 2016, in Imperial Beach.
Keala has been reunited with her husband, Frank Espinoza of Meridian, Texas, who passed away in a car accident back in June, 1964.
She is survived by her children and their spouses: Randy Espinoza of Salt Lake City, Russell and Janet Espinoza of Imperial Beach, and Carol Espinoza of Las Vegas; her grand-children and their spouses: Jamilynn Craft and Brian Battease of Las Vegas,. Wade and Terry Craft of Hamilton, Mt,. Amanda Craft and Mark Andrews of Las Vegas, Katrina Espinoza of Provo, Utah, and Jade Espinoza of Imperial Beach; her great grand-children: Mercaediez Craft, Jrake Mann, Shaylee Craft, Dominick Andrews, Kamakani Battease, Wyatt Craft.
Keala Kamealoha Aikau was born in Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii on June 2, 1936 to Thomas Hewahewa Aikau and Keala Kaaihue Aikau. She graduated with the class of ’54 from Baldwin High School in Maui. She soon joined the United States Army and served during the Korean War. She was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga. It was here that she met Frank Espinoza. After the Army she attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. A couple years later she traveled to Meridian, Texas and married Frank in 1958. She and Frank settled there in Meridian until he passed away.
Pregnant with her unborn son, she moved back to Hawaii to be with her family. Now with her little family of four, she settled in Honolulu where they grew up to love the islands. In late 1982 she received a job offer at Brigham Young University and moved to Provo, Utah.
Her 40+ years of working as a secretary in many different job situations and locations brought her a lifetime of success. She lived in Imperial Beach at St James Plaza for the past 13 years and gained many friendships. She truly considered her friends all as family. She also loved to volunteer in her Imperial Beach community like serving as President of the Senior Club and the Sand Castle Days.
Being a very devout Christian and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the gospel brought her peace and joy, especially knowing where she came from, why she was here and where she was going. Her faith in Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven made her smile and made her love life to its fullest. She had a big heart which was filled with kindness and the “aloha” spirit. She will be missed by many but she left us with a huge example on how to “love one another.”
Aloha, Keala until we meet again!
Services will be held on Friday, Feb. 12 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1515 Elder Avenue, San Diego, 92154, at 11 a.m. There will be a viewing from 9 to 10:30 a.m. with family prayer until the service begins in the chapel at 11 a.m. A life celebration reception will follow.
Condolences and cards can be mailed to: C/O Keala Aikau Espinoza, 1000 Delaware St., Imperial Beach CA 91932.