Lelea-‘I-Vailahi Tu‘akalau’s family held burial services for his body on Sunday 11 at the Redwood Memorial Estates Cemetery, West Jordan, Salt Lake City.
The 59-year-old father died after weeks of fighting against Covid-19 in Utah.
His wife Lotomo’ua Tu’akalau posted a heartfelt message this morning on her Facebook after the viewing ceremony at Jenkins-Soffe Funeral Home.
““It’s hard when they close the casket,” she wrote.
Lelea was born on February 03, 1961 in Veitongo, Tongatapu, Tonga while his parents Tēvita Kata Tu’akalau and Mele ‘Olive Tuiono Tu’akalau were currently serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his obituary said.
Lelea served a mission for the LDS Church from 1979-1982. He began his missionary work in the Kingdom of Tonga and two years in Fiji.
He married his wife on August 11, 1994 in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand before they moved to the US.
He is survived by his wife and six children.
As Kaniva News reported previously, his wife Lotomo’ua along with three of their children contracted Covid-19 but they recovered after they were put in isolation.