Epifania ( Fannie) Apolinar Sumaoang
SUNRISE….July 12th,1927 SUNSET….July 6th,2021
A beautiful soul, Mom lived a long, fulfilled earthly life. She is now in the presence of our Father Almighty and with her family of Heavenly Angels.
“Panying”, as she was called by her family, was born in the town of Palompon, Leyte, in the Visayan Islands of the Philippines, to Vicente and Engracia Apolinar. She was the eldest of 12 siblings and helped to care for them through her teen years. Mom has 4 remaining siblings, Rafael, Lud, Celso and Endring, living in the Philippines.
During World War II, our handsome Dad, Sergeant Federico Nool Sumaoang was deployed to her home town with the US 8th Army, Company B, First Filipino Infantry. It didn’t take long for him to notice her and so the courting began. He asked her to wash and iron his uniforms for pay, and to come to his camp for a breakfast of pancakes. Fate and love took its course and they married on October 14th 1945. After the war ended, Dad returned to the US without his bride. On December 28th, 1945, Public law #271 was granted, allowing the servicemen to bring their foreign wives to the United States. It took 2 years of paperwork but Mom finally landed on US soil in March of 1947. 1st generation Filipino-American families, the Laigo/ Castillanos, Pimentel and Floresca’s helped and supported them in establishing their new life. Soon after, Elizabeth (Betty), their first and only daughter was born, November 1947. Robert (Bobby) came in September, 1952. To their welcome surprise, Tracy was born July 1967. After 35 years of an incredible marriage, Dad passed away after a long illness. Years later, a dear man, Urbano Quijance, also a widower, lovingly came into Mom’s life 1997. They knew each other for decades but this time it was different. Both our families were asked to join them in the chapel at St Edward and there they had their love and commitment blessed in a beautiful ceremony by Father Felino Paulino. They remained together until his passing in January 2011.
Mom was energetic, motivated, determined and focused. As we were growing up, she studied and received her GED, her US citizenship and her drivers license. Now that she was a citizen of the US, her nickname became “Fannie”. She wanted to work and help with expenses and save money. Without consulting with Dad, Mom got her first job as a custodian, at Sportscaster where they made sporting wear. One of her Filipina co-workers asked if she would like to learn how to sew and operate a power machine. She learned quickly and got a promotion. She later worked for Eddie Bauer for several years, sewing jackets and outerwear. Her last job of nearly 25 years, before retiring, was with the Boeing Company. She worked at most of their locations, sewing upholstery for special order airplanes and insulation for the space shuttles and rockets. After retirement she remained a member of the Boeing Bluebills. She received many perks and accolades and loved her work.
Mom enjoyed her social life, interacting with people and giving back to her community. Since 1949 she was the 4th and last surviving lifetime, original charter member of the Philippine War Bride Association. Her PWB sisters, Ying Angeles, Charing Mendoza and Coring Zapata preceded her in death. She kept close ties to Military organizations as well. She was voted to serve as the Commander of the Bataan Corregidor Survivors Club and their Families, for a term. Mom also was a member of the VFW Women’s Auxiliary and the USO.
In 1963 Mom worked hard and volunteered her time helping to create and build the Filipino Community Center. She was a council member, represented the community as Mrs. Filipino Community, was Parent of the Year and participated in fundraising.
FYA (Filipino Youth Activities) kept her active as well. She made sure all of her children and grandchildren became members of the Drill Team, Folk Dancing. She fundraised, sewed uniforms and costumes and made sure we retained our culture and heritage. FANHS (Filipino American National Historical Society) honored Mom by preserving her oral history and documentaries of her experiences, thanks to Dorothy and Fred Cordova.
Mom found joy in her kitchen and garden. Her recognized forte was making lumpia wrappers from scratch by hand. To watch her synchronized timing and movements was amazing. She would make hundreds at a time for those who ordered from her. Filling and wrapping them was a labor of love but eating them was the best.
During spring and summer you could find Mom working in her vegetable and flower garden. She definitely had a “green thumb”. Everything grew in abundance. Neighbors and passersby would compliment her colorful, beautiful flowers. She had one fruit tree, an Italian plum tree! It produced tons of luscious plums and she always shared them if you’d come over to pick them.
Where there was music, Mom would always be on the dance floor. She knew and learned most every dance move there was and she loved dancing with everyone who was willing. At times it was a marathon and she didn’t leave the floor!
Mom was fortunate to be able to travel with family and friends. Whether it be a road trip around the US and Canada or around the world to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Countries in Europe, Asia, Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean. She took most of her children and grandchildren to the Philippines, to experience the country and to meet our family. It was a dream come true.
Family was Mom’s first love! She not only was Mom to her family, but was a second Mom to so many. She was always welcoming to all and treated everyone like her own.
On her 92nd birthday, her wish was to go to Las Vegas. We went, wheelchair and all. She had the time of her life. She didn’t break the bank, but family time spent together was priceless.
Mom suffered her first stroke 8 years ago in 2013. She lived with her daughter, Betty, at home, who was her caregiver for 6 years. She suffered 2 additional strokes. The last one in May left her bed bound and she developed pneumonia. Mom’s Godson, Father Arthur Gramaje graciously administered the “Last Rites” to her in the hospital. She was in hospice for 12 days at her Adult Family Home before God took her home. Heartfelt thanks go out to all the doctors, medical staff and caregivers who took amazing care of her, so we could have her a little longer. PAC Med, Providence, Harborview, and Valley Medical Hospitals. Kline Galland Nursing and Rehab and the Great Leaf Adult Family Home. To Mom’s lifelong friends, Loretta and Carlos Orpilla, Daking Rosco, Josie Sangalang and Dick Farinas who lead and prayed the Rosary at her bedside, sang, joked and reminisced old times with her, we thank you! To the many family and friends who visited her, it meant so much and lifted her spirit. Thank you from our hearts!
Mom was a devout and faithful Catholic and a parishioner of St Edward for over 60 years. Throughout Mom’s nearly 94 years, she was our Matriarch, a strong foundation of love, hope and faith. Her outlook on life was always positive and she would give her all to those she loved. We love and miss her so much but we are grateful that she is at peace, healthy and happy once again.
Daughter: Elizabeth Sumaoang Ragudos
Grandchildren Great Grandchildren & Granddoggies
Jon Frederic & Sasha Ragudos Lily & Thor
Dante Mateo & Noelani Ragudos Leland John “LJ” Kahe’enaluokekai Ragudos
Christopher Dante Kalihilihiokawai Ragudos
Kawai Mateo Pico Ragudos
Tavia Elyse Ragudos Elyse Olyvia Pewitt
Son: Robert Apolinar Sumaoang
Grandchildren Great Grandchildren
Devin Taniguchi & Shawnna Sumaoang Serena Elena Sumaoang
Devin Robert Junior Sumaoang
Cherise & Jon Saechao Rizel Sumiko Sumaoang
Son: Tracy Apolinar & Sandy Sumaoang
Grandchildren Great Grandchildren
Vanessa Marie Hoff Kiara Michelle Kessler
Mikayla Rose Kessler
Amber Michelle & Vince Lane Gavin Miles Lane
Jackson Cash Lane
Isaiah Jaquay-Xavier Sumaoang
Siblings: Rafael Apolinar, Celso Apolinar, Petronillo Apolinar & Enriqueta Apolinar
Extended family: Quijance Family, Decaney/Asbill Family