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Former Governor of American Samoa, Peter Tali Coleman, who held the chiefly title, Uifa'atali, from his home village of Pago Pago, was bid a final farewell Saturday morning, during burial services at Hawaii's Diamond Head Memorial Park.

The first popularly-elected governor of America's only South Pacific territory, Coleman died at his Honolulu home April 28, following a two-year battle against liver cancer. He was 77.

Among the hundreds of friends who came to honor Coleman at a requiem mass Friday night, at St. Augustine Church in Waikiki, were American Samoa's present Governor, Tauese Pita Sunia, and the Governor of Hawaii, Ben Cayatano.

In addition to serving three terms as Governor of American Samoa, Coleman was a former administrator in the now dissolved Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, where he held high level posts in the Marshall Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. During World War II, he served as a U.S. Army officer in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Several years ago, former Governor Coleman was accorded the extraordinary honor of Marshall Islands citizenship by a special act of the Marshall Islands Nitijela, in recognition of his many contributions to the development of the Pacific Islands region.

He is survived by his wife, Nora, and twelve of their thirteen children.


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