Sue and JD DeLoria


Leave a Comment


Words can’t express my feelings about this topic, but no effort to share my feelings would be an injustice to the memory of Sophia. Despite popular belief, living in Hawaii doesn’t grant immunity to the hardships of life.

Sophia DeLoria passed away on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 in Maui, Hawaii. She was 8-years-old. She was our neighbor. Over the past year, since moving to Launiupoko, Sophie was constantly at our place — the house she grew up in. Jana and I adored Sophie. She called us her adopted parents. I gave her piggy-back rides in the back yard, we played tag together and she beat me racing constantly (and I’m a fast runner). She would sneak into our house when we were not home and leave flowers for us on the counter. We were subjected to countless kid movies when Sophie was visiting. She ate all my Cheez-Its, jelly beans and Halloween candy. She was beautiful, talented and super intelligent — she understood the movie Inception! Sophie was a light — everything a kid should be. An energetic, outgoing little girl always recovering from some minor injury, riding her bike around the neighborhood, selling lemonade in our driveway, bringing her friends over to meet our dogs. Sophie was the kind of kid that makes you love life and realize what it’s all about. As my Dad said when he met her over the holiday’s, “She’s a pistol.” Sophia made an impression on anybody that was lucky enough to meet her. I imagined she was invincible. I thought we would share many more memories together. I thought I would have the chance to take her surfing, watch her grow up and hear about her successes in life.

Sophie and her family were visiting Hana for Memorial Day weekend. Sophie and I shared pancakes together the morning before they left. Jana and I looked after their dog Charlie “Butch” (best friend to our dogs) while they were away. In Hana, an unthinkable, freak accident occurred. Sophie was standing under a waterfall at Oheo Gulch when a rock slide occurred.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to JD and Susan for raising such a beautiful, wonderful child. They are parents of the absolute highest caliber — on the same pedestal I place my parents. How something so horrible can happen to such great people is beyond me. I am so sorry.

Sophia made Jana and I so excited about having kids, and being parents. She was an inspiration, and we will never forget her.

The world is chaos. Life is unfair. An event of this magnitude is enough to shake the fundamental beliefs of anyone. I believe there is a God, but not in the traditional sense. I don’t necessarily believe in a benevolent being watching over us from the clouds. I believe the Bible is full of truth, but not in a complete literal, historical sense. I feel the same way towards all other ancient religious texts. I believe in a presence, supernatural energies, alternate dimensions and unexplained phenomena. I’m not willing to discredit anybody’s belief, because it’s all equally crazy and possible in my mind. I can accept that it’s perfectly plausible there is no God, but at the end of the day I want to believe in something. I want to believe in an afterlife. I want to believe it’s great, and I want Sophie to hug me when I get there.

Feel free to sign the guestbook and let Sue and JD know you care.

– David

196 Comments on “Guestbook

  1. We miss Sophie so much. She was everything we want our kids to be. Words can’t express how sorry we are. She was such a beautiful, talented, smart, wonderful little girl.

  2. We are friends of Carol & Bob Coe and enjoyed Sophie on our last visit while listening to your music at Lalahnies…We are so sorry for your loss!!! Wish we could be there with you at this time!

  3. Dear JD and Susan
    Please accept my very deepest condolences for the loss of your beautiful daughter- she is with the angles in heaven, I am sure.
    With best regards,
    Anita Marci

  4. I did not meet Sophie in person, but I feel like I know her through my aunt Carol. I remember hearing about this beautiful baby born in Maui, and from there she would always share Sophie stories of dancing, laughter, and hugs. Her life has touched mine, her in Santa Cruz, and I will never forget this beautiful little girl. My family will keep yours in our prayers, and may Sophie live on forever in everyones heart.

  5. Sue and J.D.,
    There are no words. You and your family are in my prayers.
    Much love,
    Caroline Melanson

  6. Dear Sue & JD;

    We will always remember Sophie’s smile, her enthusiasm for life, and the joy she spread just by being around you. In 8 short years she enriched so many lives. We will miss her dearly.

    Our thoughts, and prayers, are with you both.

    Much love; Shawneen & Matt

    • Thank you guys so much for your generous hospitality towards our dear friend Jeff Olin whilst he was here, it is greatly appreciated. Love to the family aloha Sue and JD

  7. Dear Sue and JD,

    We will take to heart Sophie’s lesson for her love of life, and her love finding the happiness and joy in everything we see, touch and do. She touched so many hearts and people with her smile, her sincere and warm friendliness , positive energy and enthusiasm.

    Debbie, Gary , Ryan and Casey

    • Thank you so much for your message. I will always remember how Sophie would not let Ryan alone and insisted he gave her piggy back rides around the house while we visited with you, as a teenager all he wanted was some peace and quiet and away from us silly grown-ups but no way! Thank you for the picture. Aloha Sue

  8. Dear Sue & JD,

    We cannot imagine how difficult this time must be for you both. You are both in our thoughts and prayers.

    We will always remember and will miss Sophie’s beautiful smiling face and the joy that she spread to everyone in her presence. She was very special, and we can all learn from her love of life and ability to share her joy and energy with everyone. Her ability to engage others in impromptu fun, skits, dancing and other pursuits will warm our hearts always.


    Barb & Lee Potts

    • Thank you, enjoyed the rather long drawn out Christmas skit or was it an impromtu play? we had at the pavillion, great fun and a great memory. Aloha Sue

  9. Dear Sue & JD,

    Our hearts go out to you. We are keeping you in our thoughts and in our prayers.

    With all our love,
    Maggie & Dennis Glowacki

    • Maggie and Dennis, thank you, although we have never met and only spoken briefly on the phone before this happened I know somehow we will stay in touch for a long long time. Mahalo for the beautiful flowers and card and your kind thoughts and wishes I sincerely hope we meet in person soon. Aloha Sue and JD

  10. Even though I have never met Sophie or her parents, my heart is heavy for such a loss. I pray Sophie dances with angels until the end of time.

  11. JD & Susan, I know I’ve had my disagreements with JD in the past. I am so sorry for your loss. I remember playing her 2 birthday party with JD & the other fellows at that time. I feel your pain and pray that you will get through this. Pat & I have 4 children and 9 grand-kids. We wouldn’t know how to begin if anything happened to anyone of them. JD,maybe someday you & I will play another gig together sometime in the near future. Again I’m so sorry,Jose & Patricia Ortiz

    • Yes, I think know the differences, seem very insignificant now. Thank you for your message and wishing you and Pat all the best and to the kids and grandkids you have a wonderful smile and I remember the great music you played and hope you and JD can jam again soon, aloha Sue

  12. JD – Hi, I hope you are doing well with your great loss and I hope to get back over there and see you soon, Aloha – Huk.

  13. JD and Sue.
    We are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time. We don’t always know why God chooses to take those so young and full of life. So sorry for your loss.

  14. JD & Sue,

    I’m so very sorry for the tragic loss of your little angel.

    -Di from Seattle

  15. Gary and I think of you all as family !!! As I told you before … “Words” can not or will not … Ever Express how we feel with the loss of your Angel. We left the service with a peaceful feeling …. As the Pastor said ” do not question Why” … Just know she is with God. We love you both … And are here for you when you are ready to see us.
    We love you both
    Leslie and Gary

  16. Dear Sophie,

    Your bright happy spirit will be an inspiration to me forever! Any time with you was always
    a pleasure – and an honor. I really liked climbing the tree with you too!

    All love,

    • Aloha Loreli, thank you, I know how Sophie loved to climb trees! BTW We have one of Angels early oil paintings in Sophies room given to us by Tess Cartwright, its a great painting. Aloha Sue and JD

  17. Sue and JD
    As parents we know there are no words for such a loss. Our hope and prayers are that you heal from this loss. Sophie was precious and blessed to have you both as mom and dad for her 8 years. Know that there are so many of us holding you in light and love.
    Our hearts are with you and your family,
    Lorol and Ted Allegra

  18. Dear Sue and JD,

    We have been traveling, and heard the sad news….Please accept our condolences, prayers and blessings of comfort and healing during this difficult time. Sophie was an angel that was sent here for a special reason, she touched the lives of many, and is now dancing and singing in heaven…..Please know that the “village” of Lahaina and Maui are all there for the both of you.

    Much Aloha,
    Lisa and Wendell Payne

    • Aloha Lisa and Wendall, thank you for your prayers. I have a great memory of Sophie and Molly and “Boy” on her second birthday, she and the kids loved the rides, thank you. All the best to you, Wendall, Dusty and Molly, hope to see you soon, aloha Sue

  19. Sue and JD,
    We can’t even imagine what you are going thru. We will keep you and your families in our prayers. I pray the God will help you thru this and comfort you in your time of need.

    With all of our Prayers and Love
    Brian and Helen

  20. Our thought’s and prayers are with you every day.

    Joe & Narda

  21. Sue & JD

    We are shocked and devastated to hear of your loss. Sophie has been such a bright spot in your life. Her memory will continue to inspire others to emulate her behavior. She was such a beautiful reflection of the two of you. Continue to know that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult period of transition. May Sophie continue to sleep with the angels.
    Love to you both,
    Ron & Rosalie

  22. We met Sophia over Christmas at David and Jana’s house and fell in love with her. When we heard of her passing our hearts were broken. She was a gift to all who were privileged to cross her path. Our prayers continue to be with you.

    • Denny and Barbara, thank you for your kind words and prayers it means so much to us. How Sophie really loved the people she met and how they love her. Aloha Sue and JD

  23. Dear Sue and JD,

    I don’t think Steve and I ever actually met Sophie, unless it was just for a moment. Yet we have this memory – and we weren’t even there; Tori told us this story – of you two and Sophie and Tori and Chris eating out somewhere when Sophie was just a toddler. She might have been about 3 years old then. The band Hana was playing, so Sophie started dancing. When she heard Chris singing in his usual ummm, musically creative voice, she exclaimed impatiently, “Stop singing!” I can hear her little voice as she ordered Chris to desist.

    And then there’s the Halloween – I think it was Halloween – when, I understand, she wanted to be Tinker (Bell)-Pirate. Was she wearing a Tinker Bell outfit AND an eyepatch and brandishing a sword? These two memories epitomize for us Sophie’s exuberance; they reveal a bit of what makes her stand out. We can’t even imagine how difficult things are for you. May the tender and happy memories sweeten your hearts and your spirits as the days go by. May it help, even a little, that our hearts and prayers are with you both.

  24. Dear Sue and JD,
    We were fortunate to meet Spohie when you stayed with us in London, such a sweet girl. You are constantly in our thoughts, our hearts go out to you both.

  25. Dear Sue and JD,

    We’re Ruth and Adam Findlay, Billy and Anna’s son and daughter in law. We have just heard about Sophie – and we are so very sorry, and just wanted to reach out and say that we are thinking of you. With much love at this hardest of times.

    • Aloha Ruth and Adam, thank you, we all had the most wonderful day out at Mabie Farm when we stayed with Billy and Anna a few years ago. All the best to you and family. Aloha Sue

  26. My dearest” little” Sophie with the “biggest” personality I have ever have known.
    Sage and I are missing you.
    School has started and every day I think about sitting under the tree in the playground after school waiting for your Dad. We would chat about all the exciting things you were doing. The plays, the dancing and school. You would show us some of your new moves and fancy swinging on the bars. You were always impressed with Sage’s tricks too.
    Your bright smile and love that you gave us so freely will always be a part of us. I know that you are dancing with the “Angels’ now and that you are giving great big hugs to each new arrival. As well as showering your Mum and Dad and family with love and grace.
    We will love you always.

    • Dearest Angie, thinking of you and Sage and wishing you all the best, miss you at the playground. Hope to see you guys soon. Aloha Sue and JD

  27. Dear Sue and JD,

    We are shocked and devastated to hear about you losing Sophie. We just couldn’t believe it when someone told us a few days ago, upon returning to the island.
    What we will always remember about Sophie is that she was a bright light whenever she was around us, always smiling and happy about something she would be telling us. I remember one time we were in the kitchen washing the dishes and she jumped up on the counter and looked at me and smiled and said “how are you doing?”
    Words cannot express how sorry we are. Please accept our sincere condolences. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Much Aloha,
    Cheryl and Allen

    • Dear Cheryl and Allen, I have been thinking of you both and wanted to call you, I knew you were off island and had not heard the news about Sophie, but I was unsure of how to call you and tell you. We are both absolutley devasted and not sure how to proceed, we have such wonderful memories of dinner with you here at our house and at your place and the times we have shared. Thank you for your message, aloha Sue and JD

  28. Moving around, moment to moment , day by day, wishing for what has been and unsure of what is to come. Mahalo to all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. Sue and JD

  29. Words cannot be strong enough to express sorrow to two wonderful parents who just lost their dear child. I would like to give you words of comfort but they would be out of place. If we want to see the bigger picture it is beyond our understanding to explain why it happened to you or why it happens period !! We think that it is not fair or we try to give it an explanation but as long as the pain is there, we cannot….
    So, I hope that time can be on your side to help you cope with the pain. I know that you will. You will live again. It takes time. You have each other to stay strong and focused on the future.
    Sending you my very heartfelt condolences and keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Aloha Lydia, thank you for your kind words of comfort. You are right we are searching for an explanation but can find none and I think we never will. Thank you again for your message and prayers. Aloha Sue and JD

  30. I remember a trip while on vacation here before I moved here almost 8 years ago.. while on a snorkeling trip to Honolua Bay I watched JD holding Sophie and wading in the water… she was just an infant..It was such a peacful picture. Years later I had the priviledge to be her neighbor in Launiopoko. Sophie would come down to play almost daily with the neighbor kids…and Charlie of course.. “slow down Sophie” I would tell her… man if I could bottle her energy 🙂 She used to write me the most sweetest notes and tape them to my door. I kept them on my fridge untill I moved.. I wish I still had them.
    Sophie is in my thoughts often as are both of you. When JD plays my favorite song “Harvest Moon” my heart soars and I reflect on the happier, joyouse times and thank God for the preciouse memories.

    Warmest Aloha’s

    • Aloha Lisa, thank you so much for your kind words it means so much to us to hear these stories, thank you from our hearts, aloha Sue and JD

  31. Dear Sue and JD,
    We were the ones that left the big ginger flowers on the fence the day before we left for the mainland. We were not able to make it to the memorial. I’ve been hoping to see you around, but we haven’t. I’ve been praying that you find strength and guidance. I feel like I’ve lost a daugther-in-law and I loved her like one. Tobyn once said he wished we didn’t live so far away from her. She is missed. I’m glad you still have this site up. Take care of yourselves. We are here for you if you ever need anything.

    With Love,

    • Aloha Junelee, thank you for the kind words, good memories of Sophie and Tobyn holding hands in the back of the car! hope to see you guys around soon, all the best to you and Dan, Natalie and Tobyn.

  32. Sophie, you rocked everybody’s world while you were here.
    And now you’re inspiring all of us with the wonderful memories that you’ve left.
    When I grow up I want to be just like you.
    Uncle Nino

  33. I find myself thinking about Sophie a lot since hearing about her tragic accident. I didnt know her well, but she used to come with her mom to see her daddy play at the Front Street Grill where I worked. She was always quick to smile, to give hugs, and to dance. She was a bright spot in my day whenever I got to see her. There are no words that can express how sad it is that she is not with us here in this earthly place. I think of her family every day and send love and hugs their way.

  34. There are no words. I think about Sophie every single day. As do my children. We miss her in our daily lives and are shaken by her passing. My heart is broken for you guys. Sue’s words at her memorial have helped me cope with my mom’s recent passing from cancer. There is nothing I can do or say, but please know you are in our hearts and we sincerely wish there was something we could do. Sophie will never be forgotten and we will try to live like her each and every day. Love, Wendy, John, Nalu, Hannah, Noelle, and Noa.

    • Wendy I am so sorry to hear about your Mum passing, there is no pain in her body now only the joy of her spirit. Thank you for your kind words and just knowing you are thinking of Sophie and hopefully remembering the fun times we had are so much comfort to us. Thank you again for your post and pictures. Hope to see you soon. Sue and JD

  35. The unexpected death of a child is the greatest loss a parent can experience. We all expect to pre decease our progeny. That is one of the reasons we have them; to have a piece of immortality. How do we cope with such an inexplicable event? Do we replay the what ifs and if onlys? Do we find the depth of our grief and plumb it for all it is worth so we can go on? Do we reach out to those who are still here and appreciate all that is? Do we recognize the capricious and fleeting nature of our individual being here? I say, although I do not know you personally, I understand loss and I want you to know that although grief is an individual experience, life is collective. Know that you have support everywhere 0n this island paradise and find some solace in that knowledge. Celebrating Sophie and providing for others through her loss and her example is the perfect way to honor her memory so she may live on in the good works that come from this profound and inexplicable loss.

    God bless you and watch over her sainted, pure soul.

  36. They say that life can change in a moment
    And I wish that I could change that moment
    We will all miss you and forever hold you in our hearts

    Many of you have said that this is not right
    Many have said this was unfair
    Many are searching for a reason why

    This is not right, it’s all wrong
    Sometimes life is not fair
    And there is no explanation

    Sophie did not suffer; it was over in a moment
    We were outdoors in one of the most beautiful places on earth, surrounded by Gods creation

    Sophie will always be remembered for her zest for life and boundless energy
    Her natural ability to make everyone she met smile and feel welcome

    We are fortunate to have been able to spend this time with her
    We have so many fond memories and I know many of you here today have also

    We want to thank you sincerely for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers and help during this time and know we appreciate it all.

  37. Dear Jeff and Susan,
    There are no words of comfort I can offer except maybe God chooses his favorites to come Home early. My heart is heavy every time I see the face of your daughter. Such life in those eyes! Please know you are in our hearts and thoughts. Karen Flanagan Lee

  38. What a wonderful beautiful way to preserve your precious daughter’s memory. May God grant you peace and understanding.

  39. To Sophie’s parents,
    I heard about your loss through a friend who knew her.
    I never had the pleasure, but these entries have brought her alive for me…
    Though her flame was brief, it was so bright.
    A reminder of how precious life is and how “you just never know.”

    My soulmate/husband/best friend died unexpectedly in my arms at 42. He, too, was an angel.
    Our connection is never broken, just altered.
    I thank G-d every day for having allowed me the joy of sharing the 10 years we had together.

    Sophie touched so many, and always will.
    Thank you for bringing such a beautiful soul into our world,
    I hope to meet her on the other side, one day.

    • Dear Suzan, thank you for the message. It means so much to us that people talk about Sophie and are remembering her, it is amazing how many she has touched and continues to. Thank you again, Sue and JD

  40. Sophie, I had so much fun dancing in the nutcracker and at ballet with you Our slumberparty
    At your house was so much fun. We are best friends forever and I will miss you. Love sosefina

    • Dear Sosefina, thank you for your message, I know Sophie loved the Nutcracker, what fun we had with the dress rehearsals and all the getting ready! and all the ballet practices together with you. We had fun at the sleepover and I know she is missing you too. But she is close by if you need her and she will always be watching out for you. Aloha and love to you too, Auntie Sue

  41. Sue and JD,
    I am speachless, so deeply sorry for your loss, I cannot fathom you losing her. The stories of Sophie bring her to life. What a incredible spirit she had. I wish I had gotten to meet her. If she was anything like you JD,she must have been a character. All my prayers are with both of you!
    Love Peg

    • Aloha Peg, yes she was a character alright!, she charged though life at 6o miles an hour, she didn’t walk, she ran and leapt and sometimes skipped, but most of the time she left us bewildered trailing after her, she was an amazing truly amazing child. Who will never be forgotten. Thank you Sue and JD

  42. Dear Suzie and Jeff
    Just heard your very tragic news and I’ve spoken with your Mum and Dad. Words cannot express our extreme sadness at your terrible loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you both.

    Love from Ann and Kish

  43. What a sweet little elf. I haven’t seen here for a few years, but I will always remember her as fearless and funny and happy and cute as a button. When we went to hear JD sing it was hysterical watching Sue trying to keep up with her. She must have been about five and if you turned your head, she was gone off on an adventure, meeting people at other tables and climbing rocks and generally entertaining all the music lovers. We were really looking forward to seeing her in October. We are very sad.

    Love Pete and Cat.

    • Dear Pete and Cat, I have been searching for that picture of Sophie sitting on your Harley Davisdon at the house a few years ago in just her knickers and the helmet, I can see it in my head, what a cheeky grin she had. Love to you both perhaps see you soon, aloha Sue and JD

  44. The internet is such a phenomenal tool for research but there are times, such as this, when the wonders of technology can bring about great sadness.

    My husband and I visited Maui in November 2010 and we had such a great time that we scheduled another trip to Hawaii in early September, this time to Kauai.

    One of our many wonderful Maui memories is the time spent listening to the poolside band at the Hyatt. Thank you, JD and the band, for providing such a memorable soundtrack for that trip.

    Since returning from Kauai I’ve been watching the “Live from Daryl’s House” episode filmed at Todd Rundgren’s house in Kauai (it’s so hard to leave the islands behind and music is one of the bridges upon return). The keyboardist in the video reminded me so much of the singer from the Umalu Cafe – right down to the sunglasses – that I did a search to find out if they might be one and the same and in the process of figuring out the name of the band I followed a link to an article about Sophie. My heart fell when I read the words “popular singer in Lahaina.”

    We are so very sorry for your loss, Sue and JD.

    After reading David’s tribute I wanted to say something but I’m still not sure if I should, or if it’s the right thing to do; however, as I was reading David’s words and the comments that follow, a song kept going through my head: Love is the Answer/Todd Rundgren . . . perhaps because Sophie has been referred to as a light not once but twice on this page.

    “Light of the world, shine on me, love is the answer.”

    Thank you for sharing Sophie’s light with the world. It shines brightly – even to complete strangers.

    • Lee Ann, we both cried when we read your message, thank you for writing. Hope to connect with you next time you are on Maui. Aloha and love to you and family, Sue and JD

  45. Holding my good old friends and their family in my thoughts

  46. Years and distance have separated us all, but the love and memories we all have of you & your family is still in our hearts, Susie. We are so sad to hear the news of beautiful little Sophia, and we send our heartfelt sympathy to you & Jeff, and also to your families, who will be missing her so much,too. The lovely photographs of Sophia immediately reminded us of yourself, as a little girl, a cute pixie smile, gorgeous kind eyes, exuberance and energy bursting through. We hope that wonderful image of Sophia gives you both comfort and peace knowing it was a great privilege to have shared her love. Our love to you both, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    • Aloha Barbie Eric, Roy and Jill and families, we are truly grateful for all the thoughts and prayers from friends near and far. Best wishes to you and thank you again for your message. Aloha Sue

  47. Aloha! My daughter Tayah had a soccer game today and out of the blue she said “I miss our favorite cheerleader, Sophie!” Last year when I was coaching my daughter and Tepua’s soccer team we were blessed with Sophie’s presents at a couple of our soccer games. She was so full of energy and light. I can still hear her screaming “Go Green Geckos!” When I would see her at school she would shout “Go Green Geckos” It always brought a smile to my face. We have since moved to California, yet every time we play soccer we think of our favorite cheerleader. You all are always in our thoughts and prayers.

    Celena and Tayah and the rest of the Carle Family

    • Aloha Celena, thank you for your post, although I read it earlier its taken me a while to respond. I have cried and then smiled and I have cried again and then smiled again after reading it over and over, I think I can still hear her too! Thank you so much for the message and all the best to Tayah at soccer and hope you are settling into California. We hope to see you again in Lahaina some time, love and aloha to all the family, Sue and JD

  48. JD and Sue

    You both are in our thoughts and prayers. Words can not express how sorry we are for your loss.
    May all the happy memories of the times you spent with your beautiful daughter guide you both through this very hard time.
    Our hearts are so heavy.
    Love, Ron and Yvonne Sade

  49. We’ve not met personally (other than through Real Estate) and I did not know Sophia. My 8 yr. old twins dance at MAPA and did know her. We continue to talk about her often . The pain that you have had to endure is unimaginable and my heart breaks everytime I think about it. Just know that Sophia has touched lives that she didn’t even know. Your family will always be in our hearts and prayers.
    Love and Aloha, Leslie, Scott, Emma, Erin and Elly

    • Dear Leslie, thank you so much for your message. I am glad the girls talk about Sophia, we so enjoyed the ballet practice and rehearsals and of course the shows!. I miss it all greatly. Ms Barry Brinker Jones spoke at the Church about Sophia and her non stop leaping energy in her class! Thank you for your prayers and message, love and aloha to all your family Sue and JD

  50. Dear JD and Susan: I think my heart broke a little when I read about your little Sophie so I can’t comprehend the heartache you must feel and yet I see JD sing at Leilani’s and see how much love and pleasure he brings to others so you both must be truly special people to continue to show love to others even in your sorrow. I have no words but I did just read something the other day that I wrote done: ” No matter how long we get to love, every second of that is a blessing”. I am sure that applies to your precious daughter. May the Lord somehow comfort you. Diane Bakker

  51. Dear Sue and JD,

    We miss Sophie so much. I want you to know her absence is felt everyday. For me, my heart has a hole that cannot be filled. I miss her fantastic laugh! I too miss the shows the kids put on.. always led by their friendly director… Sophia… Believe it or not I miss the piles of dress up all over the house, the crazy games of chase with loud yelling.. I miss her in the car, at the dinner table at the breakfast table, I miss the pictures she would draw for me. I miss the happiness we all felt. It was a beautiful life she lived! Our house feels her absence. Its just so different.

    When Tepua climbs the tree, she doesn’t go out to Sophie’s branch and I have witnessed her telling Nalu and his friends not to climb on Sophie’s limb. She has been reserving it for her. Tepua misses her buddy so much. Her pictures she says good night to each night. Some nights are hard. Some days are hard too, especially when Nalu and Hana aren’t playing with her well.. She’ll run out to the tree to play on her own and then be reminded of dear, wonderful, beautiful, funny friend and how much she loved her and Tepua quickly runs back to her room. The sadness she feels breaks my heart over and over.

    My little buddy Noa Shevland at Keiki Barn looked at Sophie’s pictures the other day and said to me, ” That is Sophie.” We had a little talk about our swimming champion. Noa is only 3. Sophie was so special that she has little 3year olds reminiscing about her. My Sister, My parents, Grams-Theo (Sophie called her Grams too..) We all miss her and send our thoughts and prayers to you always. Picking pink plumerias for her everyday…

    We think of your beautiful Sophie and yourselves everyday. I hope these words comfort you somehow. We all love you. Kaeli, Kea, Hana, Nalu and Tepua

    • Kaeli, I dont know what to say or where to start just that we miss you all so very very much and think of you all the time.

  52. Ever since we heard about Sophie, you have both been in our thoughts and prayers. We can’t imagine what you’re going through and there are obviously no words that we can offer that will give you comfort but we just wanted to let you know that we think of you guys every day and wish you the strength to carry on.

    Love Chris and Kerri Smith

  53. Hi JD,
    You and Sue are in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t know and don’t want to imagine life after the loss of my child. Bless you and Sue in this very difficult time. May beauty come from the ashes.

  54. Hi there Sue,

    Just received your card yesterday..while reading it the mist began to sprinkle down in Hana. Our prayers and support to you and your ‘Ohana. Let me know if you come out this way.
    She is swimming and dancing with the Angels for sure!

    ~Aloha No~


  55. Sue and JD

    I can not believe what I am reading . I did not know Sophie personally but as others feel like I was close to her through you , Sue.
    I will think of you all everyday for many days to come. I’m sure your strength together as a couple along with your family and close friends will help you
    get through the coming years. Sophie was a true angel on earth , I can see it in her eyes in the pictures. I know she is watching over both of you. May the faith you have help you until you are all together again .

    Your friend , Gina

    • Aloha Gina, yes unbelievable, truly unbelievable, thank you for your message and thoughts and sorry to just email you the news out of the blue. All the best to you Richard and the family, catch up with you next time on Maui. Aloha Sue and JD

  56. It’s truely a testament to you both how many lives beautiful Sophia touched.
    It made me feel great to see JD singing last month!
    Keep smiling you two, Lahaina loves you!!


    • Aloha Chris, mahalo for your message we are so grateful for all the support from friends on island and friends that visit Maui on a part time basis. Thank you Sue and JD

  57. Aloha JD
    Goodness comes from the heart, and we were truly warmed by your generosity.
    Your very kind donation of four ukulele to our keiki in memory of your daughter Sophia DeLoria has brought music into our lives. In your tragic loss you have shared with us the special love you have for your daughter, and we will cherish this always.
    In return Ka Hui Keiki Holokahi Ukulele O Kahalawai with pride will dedicate our practice hours to Sophia in honor of her passion for life,
    Ka Hui Keiki Holokahi Ukulele O Kahalawai.
    George Kahumoku Jr

  58. Has the Foundation raised enough money to do or plan anything to honor Sophia, and if so what?

    • Aloha William, we have raised funds for some new playground equipment for Kam III school in honor of Sophia, she loved the monkey bars and the ones they have are pretty old. The new system is an updated version of an overhead, called a triple ring fling and requires co-ordination as well as strength. It is approved for the playground and the supplier is certified by the DOE and it is on hold in Oahu. The equipment itself is not expensive but the install and ground surface have to be approved by the DOE and we are working on that. We want to get a few more bids for the install work and then work on a schedule with the school to get it implemented. Aloha Sue and JD

    • Aloha William, we have set up with the School a perpetual award to be given out twice a year in honour of Sophia, the recipient is presented at the Christmas and end of School year assembley. The second grade school year teachers nominate students who best demonstrate the qualities listed below and the Principal makes the final decision. The awardee is presented with a framed printed certificate and a Barnes & Noble gift card for their use as they wish. The list of qualities are as follows:- loving, giving, kind, honest, shows strength in character, spirited, determined, a leader, a unique genuine self, gregarious, curious, having a desire to make others laugh or smile, concerned for others well being, a desire to include everyone, helpful, overall a really great kid that leaves an impression on everyone they meet.
      The first award was to Courtney Costantino in December.

      • Tepua was so excited to hear that Courtney was honored with the Sophia award. I didn’t realize they were doing that in the morning. I thought it was to be at the evening meeting. I wish I could have been there for you both.

        I think all that the Sophia Mae Deloria Fund is doing is wonderful! the ukuleles! I pictures Soph playing one, with a giant smile and her great giggle! just love her so much! I have never been very religious but I think and pray for you both all the time. STRENGTH.

    • Aloha William, the Lahaina Swim Club have started a “Sophie Trophy” that will be given out once a year at the end of their short competition season and the recipient is chosen by the head Coach and his assistant Coaches. The qualities they spoke about were a love of swimming and of the excitement of competition and with the energy and encouragement shown to their fellow teammates. Sophie just loved it! She loved practice and she loved to race and she was good at it! and she cheered for everyone, sometimes at the top of her lungs 🙂 She got so excited when her team mates won a race and she was mightily impressed with the older kids and their swimming achievements. We were very honored to be there last month at the Lahaina pool and see the new trophy presented to the first recipient Lexi Andersen and two runners up! little Sophia and KJ. The child who is awarded the trophy will take it home each year and the following year return it for the next recipient who will then have their name engraved upon it. These are the few things we have been able to accomplish so far and of course we hope to continue along and do as much as we can to help encourage other kids in honor of Sophie’s memory. As she has brought us so much we want to be able to give back as much as we can. Aloha Sue

  59. We were both saddened to hear of Sophie’s accident. Being part time guests to Maui, we have been fortunate to hear JD sing at Leilani’s for the past 5 years and had met Sophie and could see how much she meant to your whole family and others. She was a beautiful child in all senses of the word. Please know that our thoughts are with you.

  60. Dear Sue and JD,
    As a stranger to loss there is no words that I can write to releave your pain, except to say your daughter’s 8 years sounded like fun.
    Some stars travel short distances but shine very bright.

  61. Dear Mr. & Mrs De Loria,

    We continue to keep you both in our thoughts and prayers. Although Kimberly and I were just getting to know Sophie though MAPA, we could tell she was a very special child. We could feel her zest for life, her love of song and dance, her caring heart, and her love of family and friends.

    As Kimberly continues ballet at MAPA, she dances with Sophie in her heart.

    May you continue to be comforted by God, family and friends.

    • Aloha and thank you for your message, we surely miss the MAPA routine and all the fun we had. All the best to you and your family and hope Kimberly continues to leap for joy and reaches for the stars in her ballet practice. Mahalo for your message it truly means so much to us, aloha Sue and JD

  62. JD & Sue,

    When I talked to you over the holidays you said all was not good. I could have never imagined this. Words cannot express how I feel right now. I only knew Sophie through your words, JD…. and you always made me smile ! Your love & pride for Sophie resonated every time we talked. I’m not all that religous, but I’m sure God had a plan for Sophie.
    You & Sue have always held a special place in my little world & always will. I don’t really have the words right now, but I think you know what I’d say.

    Love to you both,


    • Aloha Brian, Had she been a little bit older when you were here I know you two would have been a great double act! Sophie would have been right next to you with broom in hand and loving every minute of it, laughing and giggling hysterically and totally in on the joke. Keep in touch, and thank you for the message.. aloha Sue and JD

  63. Sue & JD,

    We just know this today and this is really a shock for us. Jane and I are so sorry for your family’s loss. Hope with the time passes, your pain could be relieved and the the memory for your daughter will keep forever.

    Sean & Jane

  64. Dear Sophie:

    Though there are no candles we have a special message for you today. You have touched so many spirits and hearts and we will remember you always. Happy Birthday…..

    Frank and Jill

  65. You’ll always be in our hearts. Happy Birthday Sophie.

    David and Jana

  66. We have been coming every winter to Maui for the last eight years. We always try to see JD on a reqular basis at Lelanies. This year when we first saw JD, we sensed that his heart was heavy. We asked our server if he was alright, thats when we heard the tragic news. My heart broke. This was Feb. 10th.

    I have read many wonderful stories about your beautiful baby girl since hearing this terrible news. What a love she must have been. I don’t know how anyone gets through something like this but know that even people who are practically strangers to your family, send you love, peace and prayers.

    Elaine and Pat

  67. So very sorry for your terrible loss and also the loss of your father now. I just learned of Sophie through your father’s obituary. I went to high school with “JD”. He was a such nice guy it’s heart breaking he suffered this loss.

    Melissa (Missy)


  69. Launiupoko is a special neighborhood for those who are here full time as is Maui and as is the Real Estate community… I would come home and Sophie would be at my house, with my daughter having picked her up in the golf cart, feeding her Nutella sandwiches….the little sister she was (my daughter) yet, didn’t have….Sophie was as you and we all are, such important, vital pieces of our small community….our loss is nothing like your loss. yet our hearts ache and we hug and kiss our loved ones with more conviction everyday. Sue and JD we are quietly standing here. having your back, ready to lend a shoulder…….eternally in our thoughts with the full meaning of the word ALOHA….

    • Aloha Jill, I have read and re-read your post with a smile and tears, I am so glad you stopped the other day and we got to chat, thank you for your support aloha to all the family, Sue and JD

  70. Susan and J D

    Just wanted you to know we are thinking about you and miss seeing you both. We think of Sophie all the time and she will always be in our hearts.

    We are living in Fort Myers Florida and we plan to come to Maui in March 2013.

    Hope to see you in March.

    With much Aloha,

    Marilyn and Steve Hyde

  71. JD & Sue,

    Greg and I wanted you to know that you are both in our thoughts today. We think of Sophie often and she is so dearly missed. It meant the world to see you and hug you during our visit last month. I didn’t want to let go. You are like family to us and will always have a special place in our hearts. We look forward to seeing you when we schedule our next trip to Maui. We love you!


    Jen & Greg

  72. Sue and JD,

    We both want you to know that you are in our thoughts today as you are every day. Sophie has left such a lasting impression on so many. Many that you have never even met. I can’t help but think of her smile, her happiness when she saw us, her charming little ways, and her dancing and skipping all the time. Always the happy girl! She will always hold a very special place in our hearts. I pray that your pain will lessen as time goes on. We look forward to seeing you when you are up to it. In the meantime, take care of yourselves. If there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
    We love you!
    Zoe & Michael

    • Zoe and Michael, Thank you, it was great to re-connect with you and thank you with all the help on the move, keep in touch, aloha Sue and JD

  73. Sending you love, peace and prayers. May your burden be a little lightened on this sad occasion.

    Our thoughts are with you today,

    Elaine and Pat

      • Hi,

        I check this guestbook often. I am happy to see you are once again responding. Gives me a little peace. Please know you are always in our thoughts and know your baby girl was loved by complete strangers. She had to have been one of God’s very special creations! We are so sorry for your loss. Peace be with you.

        Gosh, it seems so empty to say that. I have no idea the pain you feel. I just hope the love people send helps in some mysterious way. Anyway, thanks for responding to our e-mail and prayers for you and JD.

  74. What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, we may not understand why you left us before we were ready to say goodbye, but little by little we begin to remember not just that you died, But That You Lived!. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget……
    Sophies poster and picture tied at the School gates last year, thank you so very much.

    • You are so right! It is good to talk about Sophie and all the beautiful memories you have of her. We think of her everyday and we are so thankful that we lived in Maui and were blessed by meeting Sophie, You and JD. We love hearing about all the wonderful things you are doing for other children with this foundation. God Bless you both with Much Aloha,

      Marilyn and Steve

  75. Yesterday did not pass without me thinking about your family and the beautiful daughter you lost one year ago. Even strangers remember! Hold on to that and know that there are many wishing you peace and comfort during what is and will always be a very difficult time. She has impacted those she knew and those she did not know. Just know that she is an angel in heaven watching over you. Much love and Peace to you both. Leslie MacKenie Smith

    • Thank you Leslie, this means so much to us that Sophie is remembered. Hope the girls are dancing well and looking forward to another sucessful season with MAPA, aloha Sue and JD

  76. hi i hope you dont mind me sending this e mail to you .i met carol and bob coe when they stayed in scotland they were a lovely couple i was so saddened by carols passing .i always wondered what happened to your daughter sophie as i saw her in carols photos she was a lovely little girl i loved the photo of her and carol and i know they will be looking after each other things do get easier [ iknow] but your daughter will be in your heart and your mind for as long as you live. my thoughts will always be with you and your family cathie mcleod scotland

    • Thank you Cathie all the way from Maui to Scotland we send you aloha and memories of Sophie and Carol, two girlie girls that “so got each other” aloha to you Sue and JD

  77. We still see her running on the lawn in front of Lelanis. Think of you often, God Bless.

  78. It’s not fair…Brooke and I never got to meet Sophie in person. I felt like I knew her through our long conversations and discussions about how to best parent our girls. I know for a fact Brooke would have considered Sophie one of her best friends if we had been able to get them together…she would have been good for Brooke. I will never forget Sophie or your life long struggle to deal with the death of your little girl. She inspires me to be a better Dad and I’m sure she has made many better people as a result of meeting her. This is a reflection on her wonderful parents and the love and attention they gave her as well as her own individual spirit. I think of you JD and Sue on a daily basis and wish you any peace you can find in a world full of suffering.

    Love you both very much,


    • Thank you Cardo, you are a great Dad and a great friend to us. Hopefully we get to meet your Brooke one of these days. Aloha Sue and JD

  79. I have been thinking about Sophie all day. Each day I walk the halls at King Kamehameha III, I miss her smiling face and enthusiastic personality.
    We think of you two always. Love, Jeanne and Jim

  80. Dear Sue & JD,

    I do not know you personally, yet share your pain as we recently lost our only son at the age of six to an unfathomable accident. From now on, I”ll be thinking of beautiful Sophie, too. This is a lovely remembrance page.

    Please, accept a heartfelt embrace and my most sincere condolences.


      • Dear Sue,

        Thank you for asking, his name is Adi [ah-‘dee], meaning “my jewel” in Hebrew. I continue to celebrate his short yet intense life through my conservation photography works, of which Adi was, and continues to be, an inseparable part.

        • Dear Carmen, thank you for your son Adi’s name. I have thought of you all day today. I hope it means when we make a connection here on earth that somehow our loved ones connect too and somewhere Adi and Sophie are now laughing and playing together, sharing secrets and giggling. If you would like to share a photo of Adi I would like to see him, could you email it to me directly at Aloha Sue

          • Dear Sue, I think of Sophie every day. I also know that our darlings are playing together. Even, perhaps, from before and through them we connected here on earth. Thank you for asking about Adi’s picture. I shall communicate with you through e-mail.

  81. Aloha DeLoria Family, Not a day goes by that we don’t think of Sophie. Sosefina remembers so many details of their friendship.
    We will always know this is her birthday as it is a family birthday for the Rileys too. Much love to you, Jeanne Riley

    • Jeanne and Jim, thank you so much for your continued support and messages and remembering Sophie. Aloha Sue and JD

  82. JD,

    We learned of your loss just a couple of days ago during our trip to Maui this year. There are no words to express our sorrow for you. Please know Mike and I are sending you love and prayers for this incredibly difficult journey you are making your way through each day. It seems like yesterday that you were singing for all of us at Leilani’s and Sophie was in a stroller. We will always remember the big grin on your face as you entertained us and glanced over to her and your wife during each song.
    While her time here on earth was so very short, Heaven has such a beautiful angel shining down on you and your family each day and night.

    We look forward to seeing you next year. You are in our thoughts…….Lynn and Mike Nelson


    • Aloha Mike and Lynn, thank you so much for your message and memories and look forward to seeing you on your next trip to Maui, sincerely JD

  83. Hoping that time does help to heal the hurt. Knowing that the loss always remains, but so do the abundant memories. And the challenge… to honor her “full of life”, and “fun loving” spirit. Missing Sophie’s smile and “anything is possible” attitude. Reminded to live with purpose.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you today and everyday.
    Pamela, Kiana & Tori

    • Aloha and thank you so much for your continued support and understanding. You are an inspiration as a mother and a friend, we love the three of you dearly. Aloha Sue and JD

  84. Love you Sophie you’ll forever be in my heart & memorie, your beautiful energetic soul will never die <3 Love, Shelby Schweitzer <3

    • Love you too Shelby, good luck at college in CA I am sure you will be fantastic! See you on the trail, aloha Sue

  85. Dear Sue and JD –
    As Renny and I prepare to leave for the University of Arizona today, I just wanted to express our deep-felt appreciation to you and the foundation you created that helped our son achieve a dream come true. His dream of competing at Olympic Trials came to fruition not only because of his dedication to swimming but to your generosity. Honestly, I didn’t know that this gift came from your foundation and wish I had know earlier.

    Sophia was a light that magnified wherever she went. l can not imagine the pain of losing a child but I believe her spirit and love will always be a part of this universe and your souls.

    Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts

    • Aloha Dawna, we so miss the swim meets and the excitement. I hope Renny is doing well we were so impressed with his record breaking races and I know Sophie was in awe! Aloha and wish you both all the best, Sue and JD

  86. I miss sophie so much she was a great cousin always there for me
    I loved her

    Mim xxxxxxxx

    • Aloha Mim, we love you so much and hope that you know that, we miss you too and can only remember the wonderful times we all had together you and Sophie will always remain good friends and she will always be with you in spirit. Aloha Sue

  87. Thoughts are with JD and Sue. Very nice web site. Never met Sophia but she has the aloha spirit.

  88. Aloha e Mahalo,

    My daughter has just recently been the recipient of a scholarship to attend Camp Crazy Tales thanks in full to the beautiful people that have made time to share with the children of Maui the gifts that they received in knowing your child. I can not imagine how it feels to feel the depth of your loss and do hope that there is some of your daughters light with you with each sunrise and sunset. May God bless and keep you until the day your are reunited. Please know that your gift is beyond appreciated. My child lives and breathes a deep sadness that comes from a terrible hurt she experienced at the hand of her father a long time ago. She is safe now and learning to live freely – drama is her escape – and this camp has brought a smile to her face each day. Mahalo nui loa, Mele (Meilani’s Mom).

    • Aloha Mele, thank you for posting your message we hope to continue the scholarship for many years to come, I know Sophie enjoyed so much the plays at the theater and wanted to attend “drama camp with Miss Kristi” so glad Meilani enjoyed the experience and hope we can do it again. Aloha Sincerely Sue

  89. Our thoughts are with you.

    Pat & Elaine

    • Thank you Elaine and Pat for your continued support, aloha Sue and JD

  90. We didn’t know Sophie or her family but I was deeply saddened when hearing the story of what happened. This last weekend we took our 4 and 6 year old children on the Pipiwai trail for the first time. When we reached the falls, I explained to them that this was a very special place for a girl named Sophie who loved to come here. We layed some flowers and the kids decided to call it Sophie’s place.

    Tik, Cary, Charley and Amelia

    • Aloha Young Family and thank you sincerely for your message, it means so much to us that Sophie is remembered and we thank you so much for posting your message here. Aloha Sincerely, Sophie’s Mum.

  91. Dear Sue and JD,
    Today we did the hike. We have not been back since the accident. I stopped at the closed trail sign but Evan wanted to go ahead and pay tribute to Sophie. Him and Raph proceeded on. He said the cross was “beautiful mom you need to see it”. He left a little white and purple flower he picked for her along the way. While I was waiting with our other two boys many people were their gathering wondering why the trail was closed and I shared with them Sophie’s story and what an amazing and special angel she was and is.
    We are now back at Wainapanapa cabins and we just finished watching her video. Sophie spirit lives on. We hope to cross paths with you and JD again someday .
    Aloha and love,
    The Wellerstein’s

    • Aloha Sue, thank you so much for the message and kind thoughts and for Evan’s flower… what a sweetheart, love to all the family, and yes hope to connect with you again, aloha Sue and JD

  92. We miss Sophie every day! We love you guys and think of you often!

  93. JD and Sue,
    Sophie is in our hearts everyday. Our Prayers go out to you my Friends…
    No words can express the profound sadness we have.
    Know that we are here for you guys and that you are Family to us.
    See you soon.
    Mary and Danny (from Maryland)…..

  94. Dearest JD and Sue,
    Couldn’t leave Maui without acknowledging your loss. Take very good care of each other. See you at Lelanies January 2016❤️

  95. Was just invited to the page SophieSwim, and was puzzled at first. I feel as if I have been living on another planet to just now be discovering the loss of your beautiful Sophie! Only a year older than my Kiana. Both Maui born and bred. I look at Kiana and can’t imagine the loss you suffered. My belated condolences. What a great way to memorialize such a neat kid. And in a way she would have enjoyed participating in, I’m sure! Thank you for allowing me the honor to be a part of her legacy!

    • Aloha Kevin, thank you for your kind words and a big hug to your Kiana, aloha Sue

  96. Aloha and infinite Mahalos Sue and JD for the most enjoyable, amazing, pertinent good vibe endurance event in West Maui. Everything was wonderful about swimming for Sophie!!!

  97. Thank you Scooter! We are looking forward to the 2nd Annual Sophie Swim! Hope to see you there, aloha Sue and JD

  98. Aloha from Robin and I, thankful to be able to attend the 3rd swim fundraiser. We send much love and Aloha.

    • Aloha David hope to see you and Robin next year! August 25th! Mahalo Sue

  99. JD and Sue we are thinking of beautiful Sophie so cute and spunky and lovable. We love you all dearly. Hugs and kissses

  100. JD,
    I know this page is about Sophie. My wife Deb and I have a daughter who is now 43 years old. Neither one of us can understand what it would be like to bear the kind of loss you and your wife have experienced. But yet, you get on stage and provide so much joy for so many.

    This evening, at the end of your set at Leilani’s, you asked me if I was upset about something. This shows that not only are you perceptive, but you much you care about how your audience responds to your show. Your show was great as usual. I was very preoccupied with how I was going to get my wife back to the hotel. She has Parkinson’s Disease which affects her ability to walk. The heat makes her symptoms even worse. Thank goodness, the trip back to the hotel was uneventful.
    P.S. The addition of lap steel on Friday and a percussionist on Saturday are great.

    • Aloha Steve,
      I just read your message to us. I am sorry I did not see it sooner.
      Thank you for your kind remarks.
      I hope you and your wife Deb are well
      All the best for a happy and healthy 2022.

  101. Sophie you are always in our hearts. Love you and your mum and dad

      • Love and miss Sophie every day, and think of her whenever I swim in the ocean. Love remembering her beautiful smile and happy energized personality. Just like her mum. Looking forward to another Sophie Swim in 2021. Love always.

Leave a Reply to George Kahumoku Jr Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *