- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2005

HONOLULU (AP) — Henry Kuualoha Giugni, former sergeant-at-arms to the U.S. Senate and longtime aide to Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 2 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. He was 80.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my dear friend,” Mr. Inouye said. “I was privileged to have him serve on my staff as my executive assistant and chief of staff. He worked tirelessly and was dedicated to his job.

“Henry was an acquaintance of presidents and kings, but his heart was always with the native people of Hawaii, who are struggling for their moment in the sun.”

From 1987 until his retirement in December 1990, Mr. Giugni served as sergeant-at-arms of the Senate with a staff of more than 2,000. He acted as the Senate’s chief purchasing officer, responsible for a $115 million budget each year. He also sat on the Capitol Police Board, which supervises the U.S. Capitol Police.

Mr. Giugni was born in Hawaii and grew up on the Pearl City Peninsula. He attended Hanahauoli School, Iolani School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The World War II veteran met Mr. Inouye in the mid-1950s and served for 24 years as a top aide to the Hawaii Democrat.

Mr. Giugni, who was part-Hawaiian, was the first person of color and the first Polynesian to serve in the Senate post.

He never shied away from the limelight, such as the time he shoved in a door to the office of Sen. Robert Packwood and ordered Capitol Police to haul the Oregon Republican feet-first onto the Senate floor for a vote in the early hours of a round-the-clock filibuster.

On a motion by then-Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, Mr. Giugni was handed warrants for the arrest of absent Republican senators, thus forcing them to answer a quorum call.

The tough-talking, Camel-smoking, former Honolulu motorcycle cop was difficult to miss in the Senate, where he would wear his flip-top sunshades and white buck shoes.

“He would make it a daily practice to walk around the Capitol to say thanks to the line workers,” said Linda Chu Takayama, a Honolulu lawyer who worked for Mr. Giugni for four years when he was sergeant-at-arms. “Henry never forgot them, and they never forgot him.”

Mr. Giugni was so well-known in Hawaii that there were rumors in 1990 that he would be appointed to the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Spark Matsunaga. Instead, then-Rep. Daniel K. Akaka got the nod.

Mr. Giugni was so close to Hawaii’s junior senator that he took an unpaid leave from the sergeant-at-arms post to work on Mr. Akaka’s re-election campaign later that year. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee paid him $6,500 for his efforts.

On Thursday, Mr. Akaka spoke of his friend on the Senate floor.

“I will remember Henry as one of the first friends who welcomed me and my family to Washington when I was elected to Congress nearly 30 years ago,” Mr. Akaka said. “His kindness continued over many years, and we knew him to be a loving husband and father.”

Mr. Giugni retired from the Senate in December 1990 and went to work for Cassidy & Associates, a lobbying and public affairs firm in the District.

He is survived by his wife, Muriel Roselani of Potomac; four daughters, H. Kealoha Giugni, Deborah Roselani McMillan, Heather Haunani Giugni and Gina Pilialoha Giugni-Halbach; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

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