March 31, 1938 - September 3, 2021
On Friday, September 3, 2021, Amelia Hema’u Dorothy (Smith) Fagan, loving wife, mother, grandmother, auntie and friend, passed away at the age of 83. Amelia was born on March 31, 1938, in Suva Fiji Islands, the oldest of 11 children to the late Edward and Asela Smith Tafalgi.
She grew up with the ocean as her playground where children “swam more than they walked.” She was raised in a loving large family that welcomed the entire community into their home. She continued that tradition of welcoming everyone into her own home throughout her life. After she finished school, Amelia worked for the Government of Fiji in Suva. She was living with close girlfriends and she was even a member of an all-girl’s band called The Living Dolls. It was Fiji where she met her beloved Henry while he was on vacation, while active duty with the US Army. They were married at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva on October 16th, 1963. They travelled with the Army, living in Hawaii, Ohio, and Worms Germany. Amelia had fond memories of the years in Germany. She and her family loved to travel all over Europe. When their time in Germany was coming to an end, they decided to settle in Sierra Vista in 1977. Emily and Henry loved Sierra Vista so much that they chose to retire here in Sierra Vista and live in the home that they created.
Emily, as she was called by those who knew her, brought a loving passion to every facet of her life—whether volunteering at Saint Andrews Catholic Church, teaching CCD classes, volunteering with the Ladies of Saint Andrew’s and with the church library. She loved spending her extra time gardening with her many plants at home, lunching with the Hawaiian group, chatting for hours with her sister, and helping the church ladies and Bible study group. She was especially happy with family and she considered everyone she loved to be family. With her warmth and easy sense of welcoming, Emily had a gift for making so many others feel like family. It was impossible for her to walk through Sierra Vista, or in the open markets in Fiji without constantly being stopped to speak with someone she knows. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
In addition to her parents, grandmother, and her husband Henry, Emily was preceded in death by her brother Vincent and her sister’s Margaret, Helen, Pauline and Mary Lou. She is survived by her nieces and nephews who grew up in her home in Sierra Vista, Marshneil Lal (Javier), Berlynda Schaaf (Jon), Shane Lal (Melissa), her children Felicia Tagivakatini and Marc Fagan (Jean), her grandchildren: Peter Tagivakatini, Talei Tagivakatini, Christopher, Allison, Brooke Fagan and Caroline Pyle; her great grandson Kyro; and her siblings, Marina Ho, Violet Rogers (George), Malia Talau, Joseph Tafilagi (Tua), Frances Lal. She is additionally survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins in Sierra Vista, Tucson and all across the US and Canada as well as the many in Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland and Dubai.
In honor of Amelia’s life, the Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated by Father Greg Adolf on Thursday, October 7th, 2021 at 10:30 am at her home parish, St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church 800 Taylor Drive, Sierra Vista, AZ. The ennichment of the cremation will take place at a later day at the Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
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