With tenderness, we announce the sudden passing of our beloved Apalima Lasini Sokopeti Brown Yamazaki on November 11, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Soko was born on January 31, 2000 to David L. and Lynda Finau Brown in Salt Lake City. As a little girl, she loved to dress up and be with people. Relationships with family and friends were foundational, particularly with her cousins and friends from the Liberty 3rd Ward. She was often outvoted by her brothers when it came to movie choices and games, but she always maintained the gentle and noble spirit that was her core. She was an affectionate “Daddy’s Girl” and loved when her mother braided her hair. Her father adored her, and called her Princess. She was overjoyed to eventually welcome a sister, embrace in-laws, and inherit treasured nieces and nephews. Soko cherished family gatherings. Through childhood and beyond, she loved to read, paint her nails, sing, and create beautiful art.
In seventh grade at Hillside Middle School she asked her crush, Kenta Yamazaki, to sign her yearbook. Soko and Kenta claimed they were “just good friends” through high school, attending school dances and the temple together, but anyone could see there was something special between them. At Highland High School, she played volleyball, basketball and softball and served as manager of the rugby team. Her senior year, she was elected Student Body Secretary. Soko graduated from Highland in 2018. From 2019-2020, she was honored to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wichita, Kansas and Auckland, New Zealand, Tongan speaking. Learning the Tongan language was one of her greatest blessings and accomplishments; this enabled her to understand and communicate better with her grandparents in their native tongue. Upon her return, Soko and Kenta finally made their romance public, and they were sealed in the Draper, Utah temple with joy and celebration on June 5, 2021.
Soko was scheduled to graduate from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah in April 2023 with a degree in Family Sciences, and was preparing for graduate school in Marriage and Family Therapy. She had a passion for improving relationships, particularly among minority and culturally blended families. She also dreamed of writing and illustrating children’s books.
Soko loved music. She loved to sing with her cousins at firesides and cousin jam sessions, was the designated chorister at extended family gatherings, and played the piano, ukulele, and guitar. The most played artist in her playlist was The Tabernacle Choir. She loved all hymns, but her favorite was likely “Consider the Lillies,” because it was her grandmother’s favorite, too.
Our Soko infused a light into each room, project, and friendship she entered. She was “everyone’s favorite” — inclusive, sensitive to those who suffered, and full of joy. She loved the colors and swirl of beautiful sunsets, often snapping smiley “Golden Hour” selfies. She had a notably sweet voice, angelic in singing and speaking and frequent laughter. Her family recalls her great love of the scriptures, reading and journaling front to back on repeat. She was a spiritual hero for many. Soko was extremely proud of her Tongan heritage, sharing her love with others through song and dance and traditions.
Soko leaves a beautiful example for her survivors to follow: husband Kenta; parents David and Lynda; parents-in-law Katsu and Tokiko Yamazaki; siblings Max, Suliasi (Seletute), Siosefa, and Fetu’u Brown and Sho Yamazaki (Eimi); nieces and nephews Lynda Isabelle, David, and Eusenia Brown and Hikari and Kazuki Yamazaki; grandparents Taiana Brown and Suliasi Finau; and a wide collection of friends and family. She is preceded in death by grandparents Semisi K. Brown and Isapeli Oto’ota Finau.
There will be a viewing on Wednesday, November 16th from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at the Parleys Stake Center, 1870 Parleys Canyon Blvd. Salt Lake City, UT 84106.
Services on Thursday, November 17th will be held at the Parleys Stake Center, 1870 Parleys Canyon Blvd. Salt Lake City, UT 84106: Reception from 9:30-10:30am, and funeral service at 11am.
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
7:00 - 10:00pm (Mountain time)
Thursday, November 17, 2022
9:30 - 10:30am (Mountain time)
Thursday, November 17, 2022
11:00am - 12:30pm (Mountain time)