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Tribute to Uncle Wayne

Wayne Watanabe and his ohana.

Wayne Watanabe- known as a proud Kapa’a High School principle and legendary football coach across the island of Kaua’i. Not only was he a significant part of the department of education, but a loving husband, father, and grandfather above all.

Uncle Wayne (as we called him) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008. He has been a long-time patient of Punzal Vision and his daughters, Pua and Lehua, lit up every time he came in for an appointment. Uncle Wayne was always on Fridays at 8:30am. His presence brought joy throughout the office. Uncle Wayne was a tough cookie when it came to trying to get him to laugh- but when he did, it was not only rewarding but contagious.

Growing up, Pua and Lehua had a bond with their dad like no other. They tagged along for football practices and games, annual vacations/trips, and being an overall well known Kapa’a family. Uncle Wayne has been a Hale Kupuna resident since 2014 and Sunday visits became apart of everyone’s weekly routine. Pua and Lehua would share their photos and videos of their dad enjoying the company of his wife, daughters, and grandchildren. A picture really is worth a thousand words. You could just see that his heart was happy and full of love during those moments. The kids love their Papa Wayne and loved to make him laugh.

On 08/13/2019, we got the heartbreaking news of his passing. During such a difficult time of loss, the island community has come together and continues to show what an impact Wayne Watanabe had upon their lives. From kind words on social media to Kapa’a High School dedicating their homecoming game to him- his legacy lives on. He has helped so many students and athletes become who they are today, it’s only right to have his service at Kapa’a High School- the place he loved and dedicated his life to. It will be held on Saturday 09/14/2019 in the Cafeteria. Visitation starts at 10:00am and service to follow at 11:00am.

We honor you Uncle Wayne, always. Thank you for what you’ve done for this community and your family.

Wayne Watanabe and ohana at Punzal Vision.

Dr. Punzal & Wayne Watanabe.

Tianne and Wayne Watanabe.

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