Recognizing distinguished alumni from Oceanside High School
Wally Ta’aga Molifua was born in 1951 in Pago, Pago, American Samoa. It was there and in the tiny community of Laie, Hawaii on the beautiful island of Oahu that he spent his childhood years. His parents and 11 siblings eventually settled in Oceanside where he graduated as part of the Class of 1969. From OHS, Wally made his way to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, earning a full-ride scholarship where he played for the Cougars under legendary Coach Lavelle Edwards. Soon after completing both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Wally returned to the North County in 1976, taking on a faculty position at his alma mater, while becoming the first person of Samoan heritage to teach in the OUSD. For nearly three decades, he taught science and physical education and coached a variety of teams and athletes. In addition, Wally spent countless hours working with the Boy Scouts and the city’s annual beautification project. A man clearly devoted to his family and faith, Wally became simply known as “Uncle Wally” to many of the students whose lives he touched. Filled with integrity and a firm belief in all the students he encountered, Wally coined the simple phrase “Fire Up” and eventually started the luau tradition at OHS. A fifth-degree black belt in Lima Lima, Wally used these skills as the foundation for his well-known security business. Following his untimely passing at the age of 53 on April 4, 2005, the OHS gymnasium was officially named for him in 2006. The City of Oceanside soon followed with a resolution signed by the Oceanside City Council proclaiming April 29 as “Wally Molifua Day” in remembrance of the solid work and life lessons he taught in the community. For those who knew him, Wally remains an example of an ordinary man whose heart and hard work resulted in extraordinary things. He is survived by his wife Davyne and their six children.