Leticia Buyao Joaquin from Phoenix, Arizona was called home by the Lord on November 16, 2021. Dearly loved wife of the late Francisco de Guzman Joaquin, Jr. Much loved Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Mother-In-Law.
Letty, as she was called, was born on May 16, 1934 in a small town in the Philippines called Malasiqui, Pangasinan. She was one of 5 sisters born to parents Daniel Buyao and Crispina Geslani. Their mother Crispina died when they were very young. Unable to care for them by their father, they were split up to live with their mother's siblings. I can only imagine the anguish, the sadness, the sacrifices, the feeling of loneliness and longing endured by these young sisters to grow up with their own family.
But despite of all these challenges in their early lives, Letty grew up to be a fine woman. She married her high school sweetheart. Gave birth to 9 children, sadly a daughter named Carissa died many weeks later of Rheumatic Heart condition. Mother was devastated. It was hard but she persevered. While juggling motherhood, she studied to be a teacher. I remember the times she would take me and some of my siblings along to attend some of her classes. There were a lot of sacrifices, but she triumphed.
Through it all, her love and caring for her family remained her focus, and in countless ways she was able to show that love to us. Although her focus was to raise her family, she also found time to do some of the things she enjoyed. She loved to cook. Even in her advanced age, she still insisted on cooking her own meals and to bring to potlucks she liked to attend. She loved flowers! In her house in the Philippines, she cultivated and grew beautiful orchids. It made the house look so festive with those flowers everywhere. But most of all, she loved playing Mahjong. It was her favorite pastime.
Leticia passed away due to complications arising from a heart arrhythmia. She was surrounded by her family in her final moments. She was 87 years old. She is survived by her children Victor and wife Cleofas, Joseph and wife Adriana, Suyin and husband Robert, Yvette and husband Largion, Gisella, Crispina and husband Elias, Francisco III and wife Mars, Catalina and husband Shobit, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sisters Frody, Corazon and Caridad, half brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces. She fought so hard to remain in this world. In tears, we saw her sinking. We watched her fade away. She faced her task with courage. Her spirit did not bend. She kept fighting until the very end. God saw she was getting tired. When a cure was not to be, God put His arms around her and whispered, "Come home to Me". So, when we saw her sleeping, so peaceful and free from pain, we could not wish her back to suffer again. We wished we had more time spent with her before she joined her Creator. While we know that she is now at peace and her struggles put to an end, there is pain and sadness in the family. She may be gone, but her legacy of love and perseverance will be treasured. The way she touched our lives will remain in our hearts, always remembered, and forever missed.
God bless us all.