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Memorial for Aurora Fernandez

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Family, relatives and friends gathered together for a solemn memorial service for the late Aurora Jayme Fernandez last January 26, 2012 in the Archival’s Ecological Park in Talamban, Cebu City.

Aurora, a board member of the Visayas Primary Health Care Services, passed away in her Oakland home last September 12, 2012. Her ashes were brought by her son Clay to be buried in Cebu. Aurora hails from Guadalupe, Cebu City. She would have turned 69 on January 26.

The memorial service was officiated by Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC, Fr. Paul Medina, O.Carm., and Rev. Rey Gelloagan, UCCP and was attended by family members, relatives, friends, staff of VPHCS, and acquaintances of Aurora.

Tributes from VPHCS and Council for Health and Development were offered; two brothers, Manuel and Douglas reminisced about their lives together with Aurora, a close relative talked about the Jayme family, and Bobby Bajenting, a very good friend, shared about Aurora’s advocacy with him in protecting the environment. Her son, Clay, capped the messages with a poignant sharing about his mother.

The memorial ended with a moving singing of the “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” of Andres Bonifacio, a closing prayer and blessing by the officiating priests.

Excerpts taken from

One of the kindest, thoughtful, most intelligent, and loving persons I’ve ever met, Aurora has so much idealism in helping the poor and needy and in saving the environment. That was uppermost in her mind when she returned to the Philippines where she had done a lot of charitable works. Her declining health however, forced her to return to the U.S.A. where she could be closer to her children whom she loved unconditionally, taking such great pride, in whatever accomplishments they may have had. But then Aurora herself wasn’t just a dedicated nurse; she was such a good and sensitive writer she would have excelled as a writer had she pursued writing as a career.

Taken from the Philippine News, Filipino-American newspaper in the U.S.

Aurora Fernandez died in her Oakland home on Sept. 12, 2012. She was 68.

Aurora was a tireless activist for healthcare issues, especially those concerning the underserved and underprivileged. She worked for decades as a registered nurse, including as a public health nurse in Berkeley, and was a key member of Tambalan, a Filipino organization supporting community-based healthcare programs.

Her retirement proved equally active. In the Philippines, she volunteered as a patient and women’s advocate for community-based healthcare programs in Bohol and Cebu. In Oakland, she strove to educate her community about kidney disease, nutrition, and the dangers of genetically modified organisms, volunteered for a food bank, and worked to improve multicultural translation services for seniors.

Aurora was known for her energy, intelligence, determination, compassion, and gentle spirit. She was her high school’s valedictorian, graduated summa cum laude from Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, and received her B.S.N. with highest honors from the University of California at San Francisco. She was a jazz enthusiast and enjoyed the films of Woody Allen and works of William Shakespeare, and spending time with her family.

She is survived by her brothers Douglas, Manuel, and Andy; loving children Clay, Sangumay, and Michael; and beloved grandchildren Elizabeth Aurora and Winston Truce.

Donations may be made in her memory to Visayas Primary Health Care Services, Inc. in the Philippines at ([email protected]; Banco de Oro , F. Gonzales Branch, Acct. #6110005001).

Her memorial service took place September 22, 2012, where those she touched contemplated her life through the moving words:

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
– Rabindranath Tagore

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