Memorial Spaceflights

Kawana Paipai Whatarangi Ropoama Pohe

"We know you were out of this world koro dude"
1937 - 2021

Kawana (Kae) Paipai Whatarangi Ropoama Pohe, 84, of Boulder City, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, December 4th 2021. He was born on September 11th, 1937 in his family’s farmhouse in Turangarere, New Zealand. Even as a small boy, Kae had big dreams. His blindness was caused by an accident on the rugby field as a child. He attended the Blind Institute in Auckland, studying to become a piano tuner. He never let his impairment hinder him in any way. In 1958, he joined his cousin’s band and played several musical instruments including guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, trumpet, valve trombone, clarinet, tenor and alto saxophone. He studied orchestration, composition, and music arrangement in London. His musical talents took him on some of the greatest adventures of his life, traveling to places such as Australia, Sweden, Singapore, Tokyo, and Las Vegas. He toured with his group until it disbanded in 1971. Kae gave up playing music because the pressure on his eye would further his blindness. Kae met his love Liz in the Bahamas. They married and moved to Las Vegas in 1965, eventually settling down in Boulder City in 1975. He ran a successful business at Hoover Dam and operated several other businesses in Boulder City, employing many Boulder City residents over the years. Together, Kae and Liz raised their three children, KJ, Airan, and Kara. Despite his many accomplishments in music and business; his family was his greatest achievement. Although illnesses slowed him down in recent years, he never stopped reaching for the stars. Kae is survived by his son Kae Jr. Pohe; daughters Kiane Cook of Australia, Kara (Jason Larsen); six granddaughters; three grandsons; many relatives in New Zealand and countless friends in Boulder City, Las Vegas, and all over the world. He was preceded in death by his son, Airan and wife, Elizabeth.

The Mighty River flows from the Mountains to the Sea, I am the River and the River is me. 

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