By Mariano “Anong” Santos
MARGATE, FLORIDA--Two Filipino Americans students died in an auto crash at Interstate 75 in Sarasota County in Florida on early Sunday morning of February 21.
From the report of the Florida Highway Patrol it was learned that Michael J. Panopio-Mones,18, of Miami, was driving a Mazda when the car hit a concrete culvert in the median and a utility pole.
Mones was airlifted in critical condition to Tampa General Hospital and he is expected to survive. His passengers, Matthew A. Santayana, 22, of Margate, and Luis M. Villena, 21, of West Palm Beach were pronounced dead on the spot.
Right pic: Matthew Santayana, 22
It was learned from an interview with Glenn Santayana, father of Matthew that his son along with Villena and Mones were on their way to attend a basketball event of the Youth for Christ (YFC), a parachurch fellowship of the Catholic Church, wherein the three are members. Santayana’s parents are leaders of the Couples for Christ (CfC).
Matthew Santayana and Villena were students at Florida International University (FIU) where Santayana was scheduled to graduate from nursing while Villena was taking a course in BioMed Engineering.
A memorial mass for Santayana is planned on Saturday, February 27 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Coral Springs and internment follows at the Lady Queen of Heaven in North Lauderdale, Florida.
Funeral arrangements for Villena are pending.
Roberto ‘BO’ N. Alvarez passed away Feb. 13 after bravely fighting cancer for the last eight years. He was 57. The eldest of four siblings, he is survived by his loving wife, Irish, daughters Natalia and Gabrielle, stepsons Adriane and Peter and a grandson – Ethan. An auditor for IBM, he got to travel a lot more so because of his passion for marathons, running through the streets of Berlin and Jerusalem as late as March last year.
His body lied in wake at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Homes and a mass was celebrated for him at St. Cornelius Catholic Church Feb. 20. The family plans to bring his cremated body back to the Philippines.
Zanita A Velasquez, 69, passed away on Feb. 10 at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL. Zanette attended the University of Santo Tomas where she graduated summa cum laude, receiving a Bachelor's of Arts in chemistry. After moving to the US, she worked as a quality assurance manager for several food manufacturers.
She is survived by her husband, Edgardo Velasquez, five children: Edeliza (Jason) Oliver, Daphne Velasquez, Edward (Malinda) Velasquez, Abigail (Jan Giovanni) Garcia, and Divina Velasquez, her lsister, Yoly (Gerry) Cruz and 10 grandchildren. Wake was held at Salerno’s Rosedale Chapel. Funeral mass was held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Carol Stream, IL.
Danilo P. Reyes passed away at the age of 65. He is survived by his wife Myrna. He is survived by his children Lizelle (Raul) Delgado, Yvonne (David) Robbins, and Joseph Derek (Priscilla) Reyes.
He was the grandfather of Crystal Delgado, Brandon Delgado, Jacob Robbins, Christopher Delgado, Samantha Delgado, Kimberly Robbins, Penelope Reyes. Sibling of Emelina Reyes Manzanilla. Uncle of Jonathan Manzanilla and Caitlyn Manzanilla, Great Uncle of Jonathan Manzanilla, Jr. and Isabelle Manzanilla. His wake was held at Salerno’s Galewood Chapels with a mass at St. Giles Church. Interment Private.
Roland N. Bantog, age 75, passed away Feb. 8. He is survived by his wife; survived by his children Cherry (Tony) Ayala, Marianne (Bryan) Smuin and Esther Bantog. He was the grandfather of Alysse, Rolando, Vanessa, Benjamin, Mara, Jade, Malayna and Bryton. Sibling of Emma (Godofredo) Magpoc, Linda (Richard) Trent and the late Leonardo, Milagros, Constancia, Benjamin, Myrna and Josephine. Dear Tito, relative and friend of many.
Visitation Feb. 12 at Colonial-Wojciechowski Funeral Home in Niles. Funeral Feb. 13 from the funeral home to St. Joan of Arc Church. Interment at Maryhill Cemetery.
Angel C. Calimlim passed away on Feb. 16. He survived by his wife Aurora; was the father of Ergeline (Jim) Williams and Rufo Calimlim; brother of Pedro, Marcelino, Epifanio, Milagros, Macaria, and Juanita. Angel was preceded in death by his first wife, Esther Calimlim. Visitation was held at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home in Lisle, IL. Funeral Service was also at the Funeral Home. Interment at Chapel Hill Gardens.
Rosemari Lara-Jorge of Chicago, 64 died Feb. 8 after a stroke. She is survived by her husband Recto, sons Recto Jr. (Cathy), Rafael, and Ramon (Lesly) and eight grandchildren. She was originally from Angono, Rizal and was fifth of eight children. A wake was held at Skaja Funeral Home in Niles Burial was at Maryhill Catholic Cemetery in Niles on Feb. 13.