Daniel Kapioanuenue Kaeka 3rd of Hilo, Hawaii, died on Oct. 29 after a long-term illness. He was 79.

Danny (Hawaii 5-0) Kaeka was born on Dec. 12, 1935, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was a longtime resident of Vineyard Haven, fondly remembered as the night watchman at the Tisbury Steamship Authority terminal, where he worked for 27 years.

Born and raised on the island of Oahu, he was the son of Daniel Kapioanuenue Kaeka Jr. and Maria Louise Clark of Wahiawa, Hawaii.

At the young age of six years old, his Tutu Man and Tutu Lady (grandparents) woke him early one December morning, telling him to gather some belongings. They quickly hopped aboard a canoe and traversed the small lagoon over to the main island, where they were able to escape and hide within the tropical underbrush. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had begun. With aircraft and bombs falling around them, they used old forgotten footpaths to work their way up to Nu’uanu Valley, hiding with family while the attacks were underway.

Danny served with the 12th U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War as an amphibian trackman, where he earned his Korean Service Medal. After his tour of duty in Korea he was transferred to the U.S. naval station in Long Beach, Calif., where he met a young Navy WAVE, Shirley Webb Vincent, who became the love of his life. Due to an illness in Shirley’s family the couple eventually relocated to Martha’s Vineyard.

In his younger years, Danny loved to play fast pitch softball for the “Up Landers” team. To this day there are Islanders who would brag that “no one could hit off of him.” Later in life, handing down those pitching skills, Danny enjoyed teaching friends and family the fine art of horseshoe pitching.

After retiring from the Steamship, Danny and his wife moved back to his homeland of Hawaii. He continued playing competitive horseshoes, and he won the championship for his age group on the big island. Danny enjoyed his many visits from Vineyard family and friends, taking them for tours all around the big island of Hawaii.

Danny is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Vincent Kaeka, now residing in Hilo, Hawaii; two sisters, Velma Lou Keanuenue of Napa Valley, Calif., and Kathryn Louise Nakoa of Nanakuli, Hawaii; a brother, Rodney Kaluikaulana Kaeka of Pahoa, Hawaii, and three half brothers, Dennis Kaeka, Edward Kaeka of Oahu, and Henano Kaeka of Colorado. He is predeceased by his brothers Ho’olu Kaeka, Dewey Kaeka, and Charles Kainoa Kaeka, and sister Lily Ann Laniaaloha Kaeka, all of Oahu, Hawaii.

He is also survived by his children: Daniel Kapioanuenue Kaeka 4th and his wife Sue, Hannah Kaloke Scott and husband Jonathan Scott, Daryl Kalani Kaeka, Dennis Kealoha Kaeka, and Dwight Kimo Kaeka and his wife Beth, who all reside in West Tisbury.

He is survived by his grandchildren Daniel (Fin) Kaeka 5th, Ali and Jordan Peterson, Leolani Rose Kaeka, Noelani Scott Chase, Ilikea Daniel Scott, Maili P. Scott, Calvin (Alika) Kaeka, Daryl (DK) Kaeka, Marissa and Dwight (DJ) Kaeka; and three great-grandchildren, Aidan Keoni Chase, Makaela Noelani Chase, and Riley Kaeka.

An observance of Danny’s life will take place on Martha’s Vineyard at a future date to be announced. A private memorial service will be held in Hilo, Hawaii.