Joseph Waiwaiole Kahiapo Jr.

From Chris Budinsky: I got a call from Sue Kahiapo this morning.  Joe had a stroke last night and passed away at the hospital.  I’m still trying to process it…just talked to him a couple weeks ago.  

From the AOG: The Association of Graduates has recently learned of the death of Lt Col (Ret) Joseph W. “Joe” Kahiapo, Jr., CS-38 class of 1975. Colonel Kahiapo passed away on 10 Aug 2021 in Mililani, HI. Services are currently pending. His obituary can be found at Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary. Condolences may be left online at the mortuary website, or they may be sent to his family in care of his wife, Susan: Mrs. Susan I. Kahiapo; 94-321 Kaholo St; Mililani, HI 96789-2532




Joe was one of the best hurdlers the Academy has ever produced and freshman year he became one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I was privileged to be chosen as best man for his wedding over 46 years ago and to watch his family grow during many visits over the last 50 years. When visiting, “mi casa es su casa” was his motto and he always had cold Coronas. Joe was warm, caring, genuine, empathetic, patient, a god listener, athletic, had a great sense of humor and, most of all, loved Sue and his family. I was stunned when I got her call and am still trying to process Joe’s passing. It was too soon and a stark reminder of our own mortality. Rest In peace, Bro Joe. I will see you again. But not yet. Not yet.

– Chris Budinsky

Joe - kind, thoughtful, hard working, and genuinely caring. He was a brother. God be with his family.

– Duane Jones

I knew Joe very well- one of the greatest guys you could ever have as a friend! We went through survival training together and became good friends after that. I used to call him and we would get together for breakfast when I had layovers in Hawaii while flying with FedEx- over 30 years after graduation. A true friend for life!

– Rod Kallman

A better man never walked the earth. He will be missed.

– Sanford Terry

I remember seeing Joe in basic training in the summer of 1971. He was focused, steady in his attitude and performance, and a fine team mate. We were in different squadrons during our four years at the Academy, so we didn’t interact regularly. Joe always impressed me as reliable, respectful, and quietly effective. I am genuinely saddened to hear of his passing. My condolences to his wife and family.

– Terry Young

Personal Recollections and Memories


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