April 10, 1933 - July 19, 2013
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Ponciano Tabac Ponce "Poncie Ponce", at the age of 80, passed away peacefully at home in Los Angeles, California on July 19, 2013.
Ponciano was born in Maui, Hawaii and raised on the Big Island in Paauhau and Honokaa by his parents Maria and Alberto Hernandez with his 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Ponciano served as a corporal in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany during the Korean War. In 1958, he signed on with Warner Bros. to star as Kim the cab driver in "Hawaiian Eye", the first television show about Hawaii. It was then that Jack Warner renamed him "Poncie". The show led to numerous television appearances and movie parts, most notably "Speedway" with Elvis Presley. After "Hawaiian Eye's" 5 season run, Poncie traveled the world singing and performing in nightclubs from Australia to Canada to Argentina to Japan. In his retirement, he spent time with his family and friends and continued to delight with his energetic performances.
He is survived by his wife, Sherry Luke Ponce; his daughters Debra Doty (husband James), Paula Chaltas (husband George) and Margaret Zrehigian (husband Brian); his grandsons Dane, Devin, Jack and Charles; his sisters Feliza Jones and Juanita Balmores; and his brothers Alfred Hernandez (wife Iris), Joseph "Pepe" Hernandez and Delphine Hernandez (wife Brooke).
Poncie was a talented musician and funny guy with a great voice and a charming stage presence. Entertainment was his true passion and he was singing up to the last day of his life.
Services will be held at 2:00PM on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at St. Monica's Catholic Church in Santa Monica, California.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on July 26, 2013