Kenneth Kelii Tai
August 7, 1951 – July 4, 2021
Kenneth “Ken” Kelii Tai, 69 years old, of Castle Rock, CO, passed away peacefully Sunday, July 4th, 2021 at Skyridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, CO. Ken was born on August 7th, 1951 at Tripler Medical Center in Honolulu, HI to the late William K. Tai and Elaine A. Markham. Born to a military family he spent his early childhood years based throughout the world before settling back home in Honolulu to attend Damien Memorial High School. After high school he moved to Spokane WA to attend Gonzaga University where he received a degree in History. After college he stayed in Spokane to begin his career in the financial services industry with Merrill Lynch, where he met his beautiful future wife Lola A. Wolf. His passion for people led him to join a start up company in 1984 named Charles Schwab where he was fortunate to retire from in 2001. His career with Schwab took him from Spokane, to Honolulu, to Seattle, and finally to Denver, CO as a Director and Vice President. His charismatic nature and willingness to be a part of such an innovative company made his career all more enjoyable to him and to all those “Schwabies” he influenced.
Ken is survived by his most loving and caring wife Lola A. Tai (Wolf), son Bill Tai (43) and daughter in law Shandie Tai, grandchildren Ellie Tai (14), Brennan Tai (11), Brodie Tai (9), son Charlie Tai (39), daughter Maria Lee (36) and son in law Brandon Lee, grandchildren, Myla Lee (4), and Tate Lee (1). He is also survived by his siblings Kathy Tai, Keoni Tai, Kurtis and wife Marie Tai.
Ken’s passion for life was his family (especially his Lola), grandchildren, golfing, and of course Gonzaga basketball. God called for him sooner than we all could have imagined, but he now joins his predeceased daughter Malia Anna Tai (40), his parents, in-laws and all his Ohana in heaven. We are honored to carry on his love, legacy and aloha that he shared with us all.
Ken’s funeral service will be celebrated at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church July 22, 11:00 am
St. Francis of Assisi 2746 Fifth St Castle Rock, CO 80104
In lieu of flowers please consider a personal note to his wife Lola on how Ken may have touched or influenced you over his years with us.
As he and his father would say, may we all continue to live thru life with a “Hiki No” attitude.
- Lola Tai, Spouse
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Kenneth Kelii Tai
July 22, 2021
Kenneth Tai, where do I begin?
I've known you for 53 years from our sophomore year at Damien.
Since we were sat alphabetically, you were across the aisle from me and behind Rick Souza. We became instant friends. A friendship that has lasted all these years.
I remember our senior year when Rick convinced/begged us to attend a presentation for college recruitment by Father Gubbins for Gonzaga University.
Gonzaga what(?) we thought! But we went to support our friend Rick.
Never did we imagine that from our graduating class of 135, 15 of us would eventually choose Gonzaga! There were 40+ of us from Hawaii in our freshman class of just over 200 so there was no time to be homesick. Everyone wanted to know the "Hawaiians". We had many "adventures" and the memories are many. The "flying steak" incident on our freshman cruise on Lake Coeur d'alene. Our retreat to "Waikiki". Our "remodeled" room at Robinson House where your morning wake up music was Led Zeppplin. So many memories! I'm crying and laughing at the same time.
I will miss you very much my roommate, confidant, golf buddy, fellow Broncos and Zag fan and mostly my friend.
You left us too soon.
Mahalo for the last 53 years.
Rest in peace-
e ho'omaha me ka maluhia
Until we meet again
a hui ho.
Your friend, Dwight.
July 21, 2021
I know Ken from when he transferred into Damien Memorial High School back in 1967, around the time I did so, too, because our dads were career soldiers. Although we didn't "hang out", mainly because he was a football player, I remember some things I observed about him through some of the classes we took together. During our high school years using the term
"states" to refer to the mainland was considered a serious faux pas (one he wasn't familiar with at the time) as far as the "kamaainas" were concerned because Hawaii had been a state. Although I knew his dad was a career officer, I did not know that he was born in Tripler General Hospital (its name at the time), overlooking Moanalua Gardens, 15 months before me . When I heard he had passed, I could see in my mind his bright eyes accenting that smile of his. Having gone our separate ways after high school, we reconnected through Facebook or our mutual friend, Bobby Valdez. I was working for the State of Colorado and he for Charles Schwab. Back in June 2012 he and Lola were at the Breckenridge Resort restaurant where I was having breakfast by myself while a professional conference I was attending was winding down. I think I was getting ready to eat my cereal when I sensed someone was looking at me from the end of my booth or table. I looked up and there was Ken who asked me if I was Reuben Luzano. Either a little voice in my head told me who was asking or he said, I'm Ken Tai. Indeed, he recognized me after more than 40 years with little real contact during the interim. He took me over to where Lola was seated and introduced her to me. He handed me a personal business card with contact information for both of them. That wonderful and memorable smile are truly unforgettable and indelibly impressed on my mind. It was way too soon for him to pass, but I trust that what Bill Tai posted about Ken saying he was at peace with God holds true. Ken, job well done: beautiful wife, impressive family, great life! Aloha, Brah!
July 20, 2021
Lola and family - prayers of healing & comfort to all of you during this difficult time. I was so lucky to have been accepted into the “Zags” circle of friends with Alan. Ken was always a ray of sunshine and energy at those Las Vegas Basketball games!! Alan & I will miss him dearly.
July 17, 2021
I remember the first time Nadine and I met Ken. He made us both feel so welcome and comfortable right away. No one can ever replace the amazing person that he was. Our thoughts are with you during this time. Words, no matter how kind, can’t mend your heartache. However, those who care for you wish you comfort and peace of mind. The entire Lee family will always be here for you and your family.
July 11, 2021
Ken was my friend and, nahbior a great person with a great sense of humor! and the greatest yard" that he worked on so hard just about every single day"
We loved to see Ken & wonderful Lola working on that beautiful yard together.
Ken and Lola such a beautiful, happy couple who always looked to be so inlove and, happy my found in memory's will continue of Ken.
July 10, 2021
I, like everyone else here in Perry Park was shocked and so very sorry to hear of Kenny’s passing. I don’t have too many words that can help console your grief except to say that he was one of the nicest people I have ever had the good fortune to meet and befriend. And I will always have three vivid memories of him. First, I met Kenny shortly after joining the golf club here, and a few other people as well as me wondered why he was playing golf with folks of our caliber, given he was more than a few cuts above us. But then when I did get actually to play with him he was really an excellent partner … very patient and helpful while a real pleasure to watch him hit great shots. Next, I would periodically encounter both of you when attending Mass at St Francis of Assisi. I was always quite surprised when he would come over to where I was seated before Mass to greet me and wish me “peace be with you.” I am still not sure how he knew where I was located. Finally, I much enjoyed his cryptic political and humorous postings on Facebook, as well as his affection therein for the Zags and other family items. I will very much miss him.
Love to you and all your family and please know you are in my prayers.
July 9, 2021
My memories of Ken are few without Lola and his family. They were a most gracious and hospitable couple/family. My son and I visited them in Hawaii. We were greeted with leis and treated like royalty. Ken went the extra mile to show us around and make sure we had a good time- and that we most certainly did! His laughter was contagious- you could not help but feel happy when you were around him. He took the time to talk and listen and share his good wisdom.
His smile was as warm as his heart.
The last time I talked wit Ken he told me that every morning he would sit on the edge of his bed before getting up and thank God for his beautiful wifeLola, family and all that he had.
This is how I will remember Kenny~
July 9, 2021
Lola and Family,
Lanny called me on the morning of July 4 and I immediately thought OH NO. I am afraid to hear the purpose of her call. She then sent a text along with a copy of a text from Bill. My email to the Gordon Group is below:
Some very sad news, Ken Tai passed away this morning.
Lanny tried to reach Bob Buente this morning but missed him so she called me and said she had received a text from Bill Tai.
Lanny text to me with the text from Bill are given below:
Below is the message I received from Bill about 10 minutes ago. Please let the Thursday boys know. I love you all!
Dad passed away at 9:26 am this morning. He is at peace and I am here with mom step by step. Please keep us all in your prayers.
A very sad day as we lost one great guy. Please keep all the Tai family, especially Lola, in your thoughts and prayers.
Unfortunately, all of the responses received and shared with our Thursday golf group are too numerous to include here. I will mail you the comments so you can understand how much Kenny was loved, respected, and cherished by all who knew him. He will be missed.
Lola, God Bless You and Your Family!!
July 8, 2021
Ken was always thoughtful and caring. I remember when John and I had a six hour layover in Denver and I called Ken. He came to pick John and I up at the airport and took us to his hale to have lunch. After lunch we talked story for awhile before he took us back to the airport to make our flight. I enjoyed talking to him about football too even though we didn’t cheer for the same team. I will truly miss you cuz. All our love to Lola and the family. Jamie and John Price
July 7, 2021
Ken was a great leader and teacher at Schwab. His office door was always open if you wanted to talk and he welcomed anyone who asked for help. Always smiling and so kind.
July 7, 2021
Kenny and I had a number of special walks around the Perry Park Golf Course and a few others in Colorado Golf Association events over the last ten years. I could always count on a smiling face and kind words from Ken. To say he was a special person just doesn't quite give him the credit he deserves but it's the best way I can put it right now. I'm terribly saddened by the loss of such a good friend. I pray for his family and I will not forget him. Rest in Peace Kenny.
July 7, 2021
Ken, or as I called him, “Kenny” was such a wonderful gentleman, who was kind, caring, humble and a great listener. Goodness knows he was patient with me. His smile and graciousness is what I’ll remember him by.
God Bless Ken, may he rest in Peace with his Savior. My prayers are with you and the Family.
Rog & Linda Engebretson
July 7, 2021
Bill, Although we didn't have the privilege of knowing your Dad well, we feel we know him through you. It seems that you are a man of the same love, passion, kindness, vision and beautiful smile as your Dad. We pray for strength for you and your family now and forever. May God bless you all.