Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012
Park employee William “Willy” P. Konanui Jr., 37, suffered a fatal heart attack at work on Monday.
Willy began his career with the National Park Service in May 2005 as a WG-3 seasonal laborer and then became a WG-5 pest control worker helper in the Division of Natural Resources Management at Hawaii Volcanoes.
Willy grew up in Puna and had deep ties to the park. He loved working outdoors and camping in the remote backcountry, and was a stalwart defender of the park’s natural resources. Willie did everything from building ungulate-proof fences to searching for and controlling invasive plants and animals, all in an effort to protect the native forest he grew up with and held dear to his heart.
Unanimously regarded by his workmates as the ultimate “nice guy” and the ideal team player, Willy’s cheerful attitude, strong work ethic and enthusiasm was an inspiration to all of his colleagues. He will be sorely missed.
Willy Konanui, Jr. leaves behind his fiancée, Prudence Cabreira, and their two young children.