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Waihuka “Paddy” Te Tai - Departed on Jun 04, 2018 - Green Bay, Wisconsin
Waihuka “Paddy” Te Tai - Departed on Jun 04, 2018 - Green Bay, Wisconsin

Waihuka “Paddy” Te Tai

Born in Rawhiti, Bay of Islands, New Zealand on Oct 22, 1936

Died on Jun 04, 2018 and resided in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Waihuka “Paddy” Te Tai, 81, of Green Bay, passed away peacefully, with his wife beside him, on Monday, June 4, 2018.  He was born October 22, 1936 in Rawhiti, Bay of Islands, New Zealand to Ihaka and Maati “Sue” Te Tai.  He was a proud member of the Ngapuhi iwi (tribe), Ratana Church, and beloved husband, father, and grandfather.

Paddy was educated in Auckland, New Zealand where he acquired the nickname “Paddywack” or “Paddy”.  He served in the New Zealand National Service Army, as well as three years as a surveyor for the NZ government. 

Paddy’s greatest professional achievement was as guitarist of the “Maori Hi-Five” showband from the early 60’s into the 70’s.  The hugely influential group toured the world for fifteen years, highlighted by a lengthy residency in Las Vegas.  In 2009, they were honored with a star on the “Walk of Stars” on Las Vegas Blvd, as well as a nationally celebrated lifetime achievement award in 2010 in Auckland, New Zealand.  The group dissolved after a residency in the Bahamas, where Paddy met and married young Sylvia Bullock.  With a new group called “The New Zealand Connection”, Paddy toured the Midwest and Canada before settling in Green Bay, after befriending a fellow Polynesian named Dennis Apisa.  He continued his musical career with “Tiffany” and “South Pacific Sounds”.  When he wasn’t playing music, he worked as a Civil Engineer at CQM, and enjoyed watching the NZ All-Blacks, the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with Sylvia, his family and friends.

While Paddy was a talented musician, his greatest attribute was his sociability and charm.  From Sydney to Oconomowoc, Las Vegas, London, and beyond, wherever Paddy went, he always made friends, and was truly beloved by so many.  If wealth is measured by those you touched with your friendship, then Paddy Te Tai was truly one of the wealthiest men who ever lived.

Paddy was a proud and vocal Maori and New Zealander and did his best to balance his life in America with the majority of his family being back home.  After saying goodbye to his loved ones in America, he will be cremated and returning home to New Zealand for his final resting place.

Paddy is survived by his wife, Sylvia; his sister, Marara; his daughters,  Aroha,  Deborah (Michael); his sons Mark (Nancy), Stephen (Christina); his grandchildren, Jade, Lynette, Ricki-Lee, Te Puea, Wavell, Sam, Leo, Mae, Kyarna, Waihuka, and Lagi; his great-grandchildren, Te Hokinga Mai, Jovan, Marino, Kiriuka, Passion, Klyjah, Tokyo, and Conroy; his nieces and nephews, Russell & Anya, Glennie Boy, Phil, Sue, and Kahurangi.    

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Ihaka (Ikey); his sisters, Ripeka and Iti; a brother, Mita.

Friends may call at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason Street, on Friday from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.  A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.  On-line condolences may be sent to the Te Tai family at www.prokowall.com. 

Celebration of Life: Friday Jun 8, 2018, 2:00 p.m. at Proko-Wall Funeral Home

Visitation: Friday Jun 8, 2018, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Proko-Wall Funeral Home

Served by Proko-Wall Funeral Director: Carl Pauc

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