Photography

E G Galarosa

February 10, 1917 ~ May 8, 2020 (age 103)

Obituary

E. G. GALAROSA

aka Scotty, Entic, Mr. G

dadee, dad, ninong (godfather) lolo or papay (grandfather), lolo lolo,

February 10, 1917 – May 08, 2020

 

At 103 years old and 3 months, our beloved dad took his last breath on May 08, 2020. He died of natural causes and was the last of his immediate family (10 siblings in the Philippines). Throughout his life he was known for his strength, bravery and no nonsense character but at the same time for his generosity, ambition and hard work ethic as well as a mischievous sense of humor.

 

He was born in the small coastal barrio of Sta. Magdalena Sorsogon in southern Luzon Philippines to Roman Galarosa and Maria Gautane (paternal grandparents Martin Galarosa and Rufina Gatiban; maternal grandparents Serimin Guatane and Altima Fordelon). He attended Sta. Magdalena elementary school but because the family couldn’t afford to pay for high school, ever the ambitious and industrious young man, he made a deal with a wealthy Spanish family to work for them as a houseboy for two years in exchange for his high school tuition. These traits would further serve him throughout the rest of his life. He spoke Bicol his native tongue, Tagalog the national language, English and a rudimentary knowledge of Visaya and Spanish. Being older than the rest of his classmates during his senior year, he enlisted in the Philippine Scouts of the U.S. Army as mandated but was able to apply those service credits to complete his high school diploma. During WWII when Japan invaded the Philippines in 1941 (just 10 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii) he continued to serve in the Army Corp of Engineers of the US Army. A year later when the Japanese defeated the U.S. army at Corregidor and Bataan and Field Marshall of the Pacific theater General Douglas MacArthur was ordered to evacuate to Australia, dad became a prisoner of war along with approximately 12,000 Americans and 63,000 Filipinos. He survived by escaping the infamous Bataan Death March and later joined the Philippine guerrilla forces (Escudero unit) in the mountainous jungles until General MacArthur returned 3 years later to retake the Philippines. After the war ended in September 1945, the Filipinos who served were given U.S. citizenship as promised by U.S. Congress (his certification of naturalization was issued August 22, 1946) and the Philippines gained independence from the United States on July 4, 1946.  But sadly the Rescission Act passed by Congress in 1946 retroactively annulled the offer of citizenship to foreign born veterans and the benefits promised to the Filipino veterans, their widows & children.  After the post-war chaotic recovery, a very small window of time (one day) was given for the Fil vets to apply for naturalization citizenship and many lost that opportunity.  Seventy Five years later in a belated recognition of the bravery and valor of the U.S. Filipino Veterans of WWII, Congress passed Public Law 114-265, The Congressional Gold Medal Act signed by President Obama on December 2016. Very few of the surviving veterans were alive to receive their gold medals, which included a few centenarians, our dad among them who was 101 years old.

 

Dad married Loreta Fordelon (deceased June 2004) on July 29, 1942.  After the war ended, by serendipitous fate, employment opportunity with Northwest Orient Airlines opened up and Scotty immigrated to the United States first to Alaska, then in Chicago. Then on July 1955, he returned to bring his wife and family of 5 children to Seattle. Two more were born 1 and 3 years later respectively. They are survived by their seven children:  Alberto, Valeriano, Julita, Muriel, Annie, Peter and Cindy; 21 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great grandchildren. He is also god-father to numerous god-children, and has numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews throughout the United States, the Philippines, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

 

He worked as an Equipment Service Technician and later the graveyard shift Chief for Equipment Services for Northwest Orient Airlines, which became NWA (now Delta Airlines) and retired after 29 years of service.

 

He loved to bowl with the NWA team of colleagues, and continued later up to age 96 with a couple of teams of young folks and JA Nisei generation at Imperial Lanes. After retirement, he and mom traveled and cruised to different countries but especially back to the land of their birth.  He even celebrated his 99th birthday in his hometown of Sta. Magdalena.

 

Dad and mom were both members of the Bataan Corregidor Survivors Club.  He was an active parent volunteer at his children’s elementary & high school of the Immaculate Conception Parish. The neighborhood youth fondly remember him always challenging them to arm wrestle whenever they visited our house; it was almost like a rite of passage.  After retirement he served as usher and greeter at the Church (now named a historical site) in the now gentrified Central Area of Seattle.

 

In-urnment services will be private.

 

In memoriam donations can be made to the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project at   http://www.filvetrep.org/

 

Full Military burial service at Mt. Tahoma National Cemetery will be announced later pending the lifting of restrictions due to Covid-19.

 

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