Cover photo for Etuale Liufau Tago Pitolau's Obituary
Etuale Liufau Tago Pitolau Profile Photo

Etuale Liufau Tago Pitolau

February 16, 1931 — June 1, 2020

On Monday, June 1, 2020, Etuale Liufau Tago Pitolau, loving husband and father of 12 children, passed away at the age of 89 at the Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, GA.

Etuale was born on February 16, 1931 in Leulumoega, Samoa to Tago Ioane Pitolau of Samusu Aleipata, Samoa and Makerita Liufau Pitolau of Leulumoega, Samoa.  He was raised by his grandfather Vaiala Liufau and grandmother Malia Logo Liufau.  He attended Felela Malisi (Marist Brothers School) in Mulivai, Apia Samoa.  Etuale married Lanuola Pulepule Pitolau, daughter of Matautumele Fa’ataualofa Toa and Mao Taulapapa Māmā Pulepule.  Etuale and Lanuola Pitolau were together for 41 years and married for 35 years from May 16, 1985.  Together they raised 6 children; Samasoni Pitolau, Anosi Pitolau, Renay Pitolau, Lata Pafuti Etuale Pitolau, Joyce Fetuaofou Salome Pitolau, and Raymond David Pitolau.

Etuale “Ed” Pitolau was passionate about life. He had a strong desire not just to do things, but to excel at everything he did. He started his working life as a fisherman, where he worked his way up to captaining a fishing ship out of American Samoa. He wanted more. He transitioned to carpentry, where he again worked his way up to a Carpenter Foreman, and eventually an Architect. He became well known and respected for his carpentry and architecture, and the houses and buildings he designed and constructed still stand today as testament to his passion and commitment to excellence. Etuale designed and built the house that his family lived in, as well as houses for his relatives and friends. He handcrafted ornately carved furniture for his own house, as well as many items still in use by his relatives today. He designed and constructed the Samoan National Provident Fund building, which is a landmark to anyone who lives near or visits Apia, Samoa. The Executive Office Building he designed and built in Utulei, American Samoa still serves as the sole government building in American Samoa.


Though he often left for work before sunrise and returned after sunset to provide for his family financially, he always made time for his children. He taught Sam how to fish, how to be a man, and how to provide for his family. He often fashioned toys out of leftover carpentry scraps for his young daughters Lata and Joyce. He taught Lata the importance of making her own choices, and emphasized the importance of reading and writing so that she could think with her head and lead people through her heart. As a recognized competitive boxer from a family of boxers, he taught Anosi and Sam how to box, and to never be afraid of any opponent. He taught Renay how to do the Samoan umu, how to gather the best fruit and leaves from the trees, and many fundamentals of carpentry. He taught Raymond how to love people and to strive for excellence. He taught his family how to be respectful, and how to be respected. He taught them to fight for the good things, and to never surrender to any obstacles. He passed those same principles and fighting spirit on to his grandchildren.

Etuale loved people. He was always happy to help any person of any color or any background. He made sure that people knew he loved them, it made him happy to tell people “I Love you.” He enjoyed dancing and celebrating life, and his ability to play the harmonica was unparalleled. He also loved billiards, and was always eager to play a round of pool with anyone willing to compete against him. He was never smug in victory, he was consistently humble, welcoming, and loving to everyone.

Etuale was a rare person who cast his light for everyone to see. He unselfishly made people feel good about themselves, and showed his family how to enjoy life while always keeping hope for the future. His life was characterized by unforgettable moments that gave everyone rich memories. If you knew Etuale, you knew he loved you, and if he loved you, you knew you wouldn’t easily forget him.

He was born and raised in the Roman Catholic Church and later converted and baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1989 - 1991 as a Sunday School President (Pago 2nd Ward, American Samoa); 1992 - 1994 as a Ward Mission Leader (Pago 2nd Ward, American Samoa); 1995 - 1997 as a Ward Mission Leader (Malaeimi Ward, American Samoa); 1998 - 2001 as a Sunday School President (Malaeimi Ward, American Samoa); and 2002- 2004 as a Sunday School President (Pago Central Stake, American Samoa). In 2006, Etuale and his family moved to Utah where he served as Ward Missionary for Granger II Ward from 2007 - 2008. Finally, in 2009, he moved to Georgia where he was a member of the Hinesville Ward and continued to be an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until Heavenly Father called him home.

Now, as Etuale returns home to be with our Heavenly Father in his Kingdom, he leaves behind a lasting legacy that will never be forgotten.

Revelation 21:4

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Moses 1:39 (Pearl of Great Price)

“For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

Etuale is survived by his devoted wife, Lanuola Pulepule Pitolau; 12 children, Samasoni Pitolau, Anosi Pitolau Togia, Renay Pitolau-Ponafala, Lata Pafuti Etuale Pitolau, Joyce Fetuaofou Salome Pitolau, Raymond David Pitolau, Leroy Pitolau, Litia Pitolau Fotofili, Lina Pitolau Stowers Pua, Lusiamora Pitolau Shin Chi Sang, Lusilamarie Pitolau Hunt, and Tofuola Makelika Pitolau Lefaoseu; 58 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.

Funeral services will begin at 1pm, Thursday, June 3, 2020, at Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel with Bishop John Mahoney officiating.

Due to restrictions set in place during the current COVID19 health crisis, attendance at the funeral home is limited.  Please join us via livestream at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Etuale Liufau Tago Pitolau, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service will be Livestreamed at

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Add to Calendar

Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel - LIVESTREAMING at

308 West Oglethorpe Highway
Hinesville, GA 31313

*Standard text messaging rates apply.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors