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Mother of Tony, Gipper Finau Dies in Auto Accident; Services Announced

There is sad news in Utah golf. Ravena Finau, mother of prominent Utah golfers Tony and Gipper Finau, was killed in an automobile accident near Elko, Nevada earlier this week. Ravena and her husband Kelepi were often seen at Utah golf tournaments in support of their two sons. They also spread their love and support to their other children and extended family members. It is a close knit family and the death of Ravena is very sad news that extends throughout Utah’s golf family.
Judy Allem, President of the UGA, said, “The Finau family has been a big part of the Utah golf family for more than a dozen years. The Finau family could be called a gallery, because it extended far beyond the basic family unit. To them, friends were family. We extend our greatest sympathy to the family. Their loss is also our loss.”
A viewing will be held in her honor on Saturday, December 3rd from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East 10600 South, Sandy. Family services will also be held there on Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The complete obituary is as follows:

Ravena M. Finau1964 ~ 2011
Ravena Mele Mapuolesega Finau was born on July 25, 1964 to Pianola and Lei’a Mapuolesega in Carson, CA. Traveled all of her life in her parents’ Polynesian Production called “The Sounds of Polynesia” so met and touched the lives of many across the country. Vena graduated from Carson High School and met the love of her life; Kelepi Finau whom she married on September 13, 1985 and later was sealed with her children in the Los Angeles LDS Temple on October 23, 1992. Vena is survived by her husband Kelepi and children Heilala “Kinga”, Kaylene “Pudgie” (La’auli), Milton “Tony”, Kelepi “Gipper”, Pianola “Narnar”, Tevita “David” and Kelven “KV” whom she loves and adore. She is also survived by her mother Pianola Fonua Mapu and three sisters Lusiana Lara, Roseley (Toe) and Ginger (Siaosi). She was preceded in death by her father Lei’a and brother Tony.

Her pride and joy is her family but the apples of her eye are her children, especially her grandsons Taualai “Raider”, Amani and Shana. “Mom da bomb”, as she would refer to herself, was every niece and nephew’s surrogate mom. When asked, she would tell people she had ten children, so proud to be a part of raising Rosie “Otis” Afo, Helen “Ginger” Tuilevuka and Ben Tu’aone.

Ravena was a faithful, active member of the LDS faith and held many callings in the church throughout her life; but of them all, most dear to her heart was serving in the Stake Young Women presidency in the Utah County Tongan Stake. She has always held a special place in her heart for the youth in her life and made it a point to express her love and appreciation for them. Our beloved mother, wife, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend will be sorely missed by all who knew and associated with her as she made everyone she met feel important and loved.
A viewing will be held in her honor on Saturday, December 3, 2011 from 4pm-9pm at the Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary 1950 E. 10600 S. Sandy, UT 84092. The family services will be held on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at the same location from 6pm-9pm. A private family viewing will be held on Monday, December 5, 2011 from 9:30am – 10:45am followed by the final services from 11am-12pm at the LDS Stake Center located at 300 N. Center St. in Lehi, UT. Interment will take place at the Lehi City Cemetery. Please join us in honoring the life and memory of a truly remarkable woman who has enriched the lives of all who have come in contact with her. Thank you to everyone who has shown their love and support to the Finau family during this difficult loss. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Published in Salt Lake Tribune on December 2, 2011