Duane Kanoelehua Ibarra was born February 27‚ 1961. ‘Kanoe‚’ as he was known to family and many friends‚ was born in Honolulu and raised in Nanakuli on the island of O’ahu‚ Hawai’i. Growing up near the beach‚ he developed a love of the ocean. Swimming‚ bodysurfing‚ surfing‚ fishing‚ football‚ and baseball were favorite pastimes. He was privileged to attend Kamehameha Schools from grades K-12. Lifelong friendships were forged there. The school’s vision is to assist people of Hawaiian ancestry in achieving their highest potential as ‘good and industrious men and women.’ In Kanoe’s case‚ it was mission accomplished‚ for he embodied the definition of a good man. Loving‚ generous‚ dependable‚ hardworking‚ and fun loving were a few of his traits that we cherish. He balanced pride and humility.
In 1988‚ after working a variety of jobs and studying at the University of Hawaii at Hilo‚ Kanoe moved to Maui to join the Maui Police Department. He decided to pursue his dream of being a firefighter. On August 1‚ 1991‚ the dream became a reality.
Over the years his career with the Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety took him to several stations on Maui‚ including Lahaina‚ Paia‚ Hana‚ Makawao‚ and Kaunakakai‚ Molokai. His last assignment was as Firefighter III Driver Operator with C watch in Makawao. He found fulfillment and reward in serving his community as a firefighter.
Kanoe lived by the words ‘Live‚ Laugh and Love.’ A person of diverse interests‚ some favorite activities included golf‚ hiking‚ physical fitness‚ cooking‚ and traveling. He also enjoyed breeding and raising Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Whatever the endeavor‚ he gave 100%.
However‚ his greatest source of joy was his family‚ whom he loved and supported in every way. A proud family man‚ his love and devotion continue to inspire. He is survived by his wife‚ Terri; their daughter‚ Pomaika’i (the apple of his eye); brothers‚ Wayne (Janice) and Ronald (Esther); a large extended family; and numerous friends. He enjoyed a special bond with his nieces and nephews. Kanoe touched many lives‚ and he is greatly missed.