Eni Faleomavaega, American Samoa’s longest-serving delegate, dies
© Greg Nash

Eni FaleomavaegaEni Faaua'a Hunkin FaleomavaegaEni Faleomavaega, American Samoa’s longest-serving delegate, dies American Samoa delegate loses seat American Samoa delegate urges Redskins name change MORE, who spent 26 years as American Samoa’s nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, died Wednesday. He was 73.

Sister-in-law Therese Hunkin confirmed the news and told The Associated Press he died at his home in Provo, Utah.

"He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and a few close friends," Hunkin told the AP.

Faleomavaega was the far-flung U.S. territory’s longest-serving congressional delegate, winning 13 consecutive terms before being defeated in 2014 by Aumua Radewagen.

American Samoa’s delegate can vote in committee, but does not have floor voting privileges because the island is not a state.

ADVERTISEMENT

Born in 1943, Faleomavaega graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1966. He spent three years in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Vietnam. In his later life, the former delegate said he suffered ongoing health problems from exposure to Agent Orange during the war.

Faleomavaega spent most of his career in public service. He worked as an administrative assistant and later as a congressional staffer between 1973 and 1981, and then went on to serve as American Samoa’s deputy lieutenant governor.

In 1985, he became the territory’s lieutenant governor, and served in that post until becoming its House delegate in 1989.

Faleomavaega is survived by his wife, Hinanui Hunkin, five children and 10 grandchildren.

"It is with pleasure that I say that life with Eni was far from dull," his wife told the AP. "I am so grateful for the trust that the people of American Samoa, for so many years, placed in him as their servant.”