By Keo Eaton
Po‘ohalakawilip‘h‘naum‘lamalamaakap‘mahina Bryson Atay, 27 was born in Kahului, Maui. But if you asked him, he’d say, “I from Hana!” Po‘ohala had a way about him, a way his Hawaiian ancestors referred to as “pa‘akiki” or unyielding. Unyielding like that of a confident warrior, he was steadfast in his own convictions and fiercely passionate about that which he loved. It was his upbringing with his extended ‘ohana of aunties, uncles and large group of loving cousins that he learned what it was to be unconditionally loved, genuinely adored and fiercely cared for. A kind of “Aloha” that he would extend to the many people he would encounter.
Remembered as the “life of the party” and everyone’s best friend, Po‘o embodied a spirit and energy that was larger than life. A dynamic individual and world traveler, he had an infectious charisma that drew people of various places, cultures and social positions to him. From jet-setting with celebrities to L.A., Vegas and Miami to working the organic farm with his father, he was a master of social relationships and always brought people together in love and unparalleled bliss.
Everyone wanted Po‘o to be around because he had the rare ability to take the most mundane of things and turn it into the most epic experience of your life. He was a respected protector and confidant, full of wisdom and genuine goodness. This world was blessed to have him and his legacy of “Aloha” will carry on throughout time. We will all miss our warrior of life Po’ohala. Noho me na Ali‘i e ku‘u pa‘ipunahele (Dwell with Kings my love, my favorite).
He is survived by his father Alika Atay, mother Janet Brown, stepmother Maile Atay, siblings Moani Tiare Marie Atay and Matahi Kekoa Damien Atay, his Tutu Man Donny and Tutu Lady Fely “Naki” Atay, Grandma Nancy and Papa Nicky, Aunty Karen and his cousins: Kamoi, Alexander “Shura Boy,” Travis, Jason, Ho‘ala, Keola, Kehau, Mahie, Kainoa, Shauntay, Kapuaimilia, Chad, Uakea, Kalei, Matthew and Mackenzie; his nephews and nieces: Connor, Alyssa, Casey, Phoenix, Kahoku Alaka‘I, Raymond, Chloe, Hayden, and Daisy, and the love of his life Malia Hudgins and his “hanai” daughter Kalia Hudgins.
Services will be held at Hope Chapel in Kihei at 12pm on Saturday, August 18.
(April 5, 1985- August 5, 2012)
About Anthony Pignataro
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He started work as MauiTime's Editor in 2003, took a couple years off starting in 2008, then returned to the staff in 2011. He's the author of "Stealing Cars With The Pros," a 2013 collection of his journalism and the Maui novels "Small Island" (2011) and "The Dead Season" (2012)–all of which were published by Event Horizon Press. In 2014, his one-act play "War Stories" won second place in the Maui Fringe Festival.