LANCASTER — Kaiolani Bosque, a Westside Union School District employee, died suddenly on March 24.
Bosque, 56, was sitting in front of a slot machine at Whiskey Pete’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., when he died from unknown causes.
“I have two blessings: A, I was not with him due to the fact that it would have made life a lot harder and B, he was doing something he loved to do,” Steve Miller-Bosque, Bosque’s partner of nearly 25 years, said.
The couple had a commitment ceremony in 1997.
“In 2018, he asked me to marry him again,” Miller-Bosque said.
Bosque served as a para-educator with the Westside Union School District. He coached volleyball at Eastside High School. He also instructed people in the art of Hawaiian dancing.
He was in Las Vegas to work with one of his students to prepare for a hula competition.
“They’ve been working on Zoom for three to four months,” Miller-Bosque said. “Since he was on spring break he said, ‘I’m going to run out there and work with her one-on-one.’”
Bosque worked with his student, then had dinner with classmates from Maui. He planned to spend the night at State Line and ended up at Whiskey Pete’s.
“Him and slot machines are like best friends, so he said he was going to gamble then go to bed,” Miller-Bosque said.
Bosque texted Miller-Bosque to tell him he was up about $102 and was it OK to keep playing.
“I said, ‘Sure,’” he said.
That was the last text Miller-Bosque received.
He is thankful that Bosque got to do the three things he enjoyed most prior to his death: Eat Hawaiian food, dance with his dancers and play slots.
“I think he’s teaching us that you know what, you gotta enjoy life to your fullest and go with it because you never know,” Miller-Bosque said.
The couple moved to the Antelope Valley in 2003.
Bosque was born on “the big island” and mostly raised on Maui, he said in a 2008 interview with the Antelope Valley Press.
“I was a late bloomer as far as hula dancing,” he said at the time.
Bosque was taught hula at a young age by his mother and danced at family gatherings, but didn’t pick up the hula again until high school.
His dancing waned by 1986, when he moved to California, but he picked it up again in 1998.
“I get enjoyment when I dance,” Bosque said. “I want my audiences to feel what I feel and I enjoy passing on the tradition of Hawaiian dances and watching the dancers grow in their abilities. I see their passion, not just in their performance, but in their faces, in their eyes.”
Miller-Bosque said his partner was loved by all.
“A lot of people liked his smile, his happiness, his love for whatever he did,” Miller-Bosque said. “The love and the joy he shared was with people.”