AVIS DE DÉCÈS

Melly Gille Madamba

12 février 193429 août 2021
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Melly Gille Madamba, age 87, of San Diego, California passed away on Sunday, August 29, 2021 after a short battle with cancer. Melly was born February 12, 1934 in Paniqui, Tarlac Philippines. She was a retired LVN, Licensed Vocational Nurse, serving at the VA Hospital for 20 years.

She is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, William Bagayan Madamba and their five children and spouses, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Melly is also survived by her five sisters and their respective families and four sister-in-laws with their respective families.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.sorrentovalleychapel.com for the Madamba family.

Services

  • Visitation

    mercredi, 29 septembre , 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    jeudi, 30 septembre , 2021

  • Committal Service

    jeudi, 30 septembre , 2021

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Melly Gille Madamba

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Biographie

Melly Gille Madamba was born February 12, 1934 to Sergia Arrojo Manuel and Juan Corpus Gille.

She was the oldest of 11 children (Melly, Jorge, Adelina, Rose, Virginia, Aida, Lolita, Myrna, Nila, Elma, and Natividad) and shared in the responsibility of caring for her sisters, 5 of whom were as young as her own children. Throughout her lifetime, Melly continued to support her family spanning multiple generations.

As a young child, Melly accompanied her grandmother, the town midwife, on many family visits. This experience and the death of her brother Jorge made lasting impacts on Melly's perceptions of the world. She developed compassion and learned how to care for others, which helped prepare her for the challenging years ahead.

During World War II (1940-44), Melly’s father, who had worked for the U.S. Military, was captured by the Japanese. After some time he managed to escape and joined the Filipino Guerrilla resistance. To keep safe during the war torn nights, Melly and her family stayed underground in a hole dug by her father. Melly even played a role in the resistance by relaying messages between families and Guerrilla units. During this time her sisters, Rose and Virginia, were born and suffered fatal illnesses which took their lives due to the ravages of war, lack of medicine, and scarcity of food.

When the Philippines became a U.S. territory in 1898, English became the medium of instruction from kindergarten through college. English was the 5th language Melly was fluent in--along with Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, and Pangasinan.

By the time Melly was 12, she had witnessed many deaths but also assisted with hundreds of births with her grandmother Tomasa. At 15, Melly also became the leader of her troop in the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), furthering her leadership experience.

Melly met her future husband when she was just 13, Willy was 8 years older. Coming from the same small town of Paniqui, Tarlac, Willy would stroll past the Gille home hoping for a chance encounter. Melly wasn't allowed to date until she was 18, but they still managed to see each other at group outings and community events. Two months after turning 18, Melly and Willy were married on April 20, 1952.

In 1953 Melly had her first child, Wilfred, followed by Samuel 2 years later. That same year Willy received orders for boot camp in San Diego, after applying to become a sailor in the U.S. Navy a few years earlier. For the next five years Melly and Willy were together for only about a week each year, and could only communicate by letter.

In 1958, Grandma Tomasa delivered Melly’s 3rd child, Miriam, and her sister Naty a few days later. A few years later, Marichu was born, and Melly was then caring for 9 children, 4 of her own and 5 of her siblings.

By 1962 the US Navy moved the family to Bremerton, Washington, where Melly had their 5th child Myra. There she learned to navigate life and motherhood in a foreign country. Melly was a very strong individual, she raised all 5 children on her own while saving money and continuing to support her siblings and family back in the Philippines. All 5 children would also help support the family by working paper routes, mowing lawns, and picking grapes. They all learned the importance of hard work and generosity at a young age.

Following Willy’s deployment, the family moved back to the Philippines 8 years later in 1970. While stationed in Subic Bay, Melly took advantage of the opportunities to learn new skills to help her family and enrolled to be a seamstress, graduating with honors. There she picked up her hobbies for crocheting, hand embroidery, sewing and ceramics. Crocheting became Melly’s lifelong passion and over the years she made countless blankets, donating thousands to the neo-natal ward at Kaiser. Melly crocheted up until her illness, two weeks before her death. We continue to enjoy many of the art projects she completed to this day.

After 2 years in Subic Bay, the family moved to New Jersey, where she was employed as a seamstress. Although she loved sewing, Melly’s calling was to help others so she enrolled in Nursing school. At that time, there were no Filipino nurses in the program. She passed the nursing board and received her LVN, beginning her career as a nurse.

Melly and Willy were a military family and their next move was to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. Melly’s nursing career was put on hold where she again, learned to navigate the new surroundings, language, and Arab culture. She made a home for her three girls because by that time, both of her sons were on their own. Their stay was less than a year and the next move was to San Diego.

In San Diego, Melly worked as a Licensed Vocational Nurse at the Veterans Administration Hospital in La Jolla, CA, and worked her way to become a Charge Nurse, responsible for passing medications to patients on her floor. Her supervisor stated that she was hard working, much appreciated, and was meticulous in the care that she provided to her patients. During this time, Melly and Willy purchased 3 homes in San Diego while her children started to go to college, get married, and have children of their own.

When her own mother passed away in 1984, Melly was the matriarch of her family, often providing guidance and support to her sisters, as well as her own children. She even sponsored her siblings to immigrate to the US. After 20 years Melly retired from being a Nurse, and began to enjoy her life and the fruits of their labor. Melly and Willy travelled all around the world, spending a few months in the Philippines each year building a home for them to go back to, and seeing all the major cities in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Melly loved her 9 grandchildren Priscilla, Rachel, Sabrina, Christina, Graciella, Nicholas, Jacquelyn, Jessica and Grace. She took them on countless adventures from Seaworld, the Zoo, and the Fair, to local Asian markets like Lucky Seafood. In caring for her grandchildren she cooked their favorite foods, never took “no” in response to whether anyone wanted lumpia, and secretly handed them rolled up bills while whispering “shhh”. In her later years, Melly experienced being a Great- Grandmother and cherished her time with each of them.

Experiencing the joys of birth and death amidst the backdrop of WWII, shaped Melly into the hard working, compassionate, supportive, and generous woman that we all remember. She was the epitome of the American Dream, and was never shy to share stories of her successes and that of her children. She always strived to improve yet always conscious of the many blessings in her life. And to the end she thanked everyone for their support and love, uttering, “Thank you, thank you for coming and for your support."