Nifo Lilli,82

Nifo Lilii, 82, of Elgin, passed away Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at his home in Elgin.
Graveside services were held Saturday, September 19, 2020 at St. Boniface Cemetery, Elgin, NE with Bishop Scott Russell and Fr. Kevin Vogel officiating. Visitation was held Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Levander Funeral Home of Elgin. Social distancing and current Covid-19 DHM’s were followed.
Levander Funeral Home of Elgin, was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at
Tafaomanifo “Nifo” Lilii, son of Liae Lilli and Liva (Pilimai) Siufanua, was born in American Samoa and moved with his family to Hawaii when he was eight years old. He attended grade school through the 10th grade at Kahuku, before moving to Covina, CA where he graduated from high school. Nifo excelled at football, earning All-American honors two years in a row. He attended college at Cerritos, CA, where he continued his football career, playing with Joe Gibbs. After college, he served a brief stint in the US Marine Corps.
Nifo married Norma E. Grider in 1960 at Las Vegas, NV, and to this union three children were born: Luwana, James and Sina. Nifo came from a long family line of musicians and entertainers and followed their footsteps his entire life.
He worked various jobs as he pursued a career in music entertainment, recording his first “45” record with Capitol Records. Nifo and Norma later divorced.
In 1973, Nifo married Sharon Marie Mackel at Anaheim, CA, gaining a stepdaughter Jaymie. They moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL in 1974 where Nifo and his five-piece band were hired to open the new Marina Bay Resort. Miami Criteria Records recorded them live at the New River Storehouse to create the album titled “Rock the Boat”. They were hired to perform continuously for the next 10 years at the Marina Bay, where he met many famous politicians, athletes and entertainers including: Ronald Regan, Evil Knievel, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Klugman, Julie Newmar, The 5th Dimension, Jay Leno, Paul Williams, Tom Watson, Paul Horning, Coach Schnellenberger, Reggie Jackson, Bucky Dent, Greg Louganis and Alfred Bloomingdale
Nifo was blessed with many interesting opportunities throughout his life including: riding the Kodak Camera float in the Rose Bowl Parade with Steve Allen and Jane Meadows, he and his band having a background part in the movie “Caddy Shack”, being in a beverage commercial, playing a private birthday party for Bob Hope, being part of the opening day ceremonies at Disneyland and having lunch with his nephew the “Shrimp Truck Guy” on the set of Hawaii 5-0.
He is survived by his wife Sharon of Elgin, NE; his children: Luwana (John) Gurr of LaPalma, CA; James Lilii of Fountain Valley, CA; Sina (Arthur) Zaslawski of LaPalma, CA; step-daughter Jaymie (Rob) Schweitzer of Davie, FL; grandchildren: Torea (Lauren) Lilii of Norfolk, VA; Sione (Alexandra) Gurr of LaPalma, CA; Jordan Lilii of Orlando, FL; Hina (James) Kingston of Fountain Valley, CA; Vanessa (Tyler) Krueger of Charlotte, NC; Anania Tekurio of Escanaba, MI; Adam Tekurio of Long Beach, CA; Christian (Suva) Tekurio of Provo, UT; Eli (Carlee) Tekurio of Fate, TX; three step-grandchildren: Brooke (Jaron) Leggett of Cooper City, FL; Sloan and Emily Schweitzer of Davie, FL; 12 great-grandchildren; two sisters: Arvey Siufanua of Salt Lake City, UT; Lana Burgess of Hawaii; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Nifo was preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings: Mataata Siufanua, Lee Siufanua, Mate Jackson; Duane Siufanua, Melita Lueder, Wendal Siufanua; Talive Siufanua and Estella Reid.