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Joshua Mortuary & Joshua Memorial Park

808 East Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster, CA

OBITUARY

Merlie Ibanez Sumartono

July 31, 1931January 5, 2020
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Merlie Ibanez and Djodjohusodo Sumartono, A Love Story

In 1960, I left Manila for the United States to meet relatives who had settled in California in the 1920’s, and to seek my fortunes in a new country. Felt sad at leaving my homeland, my friends and family, and my career.

Little did I realize that on this very trip, I would meet a nice, young Indonesian gentleman named Djodjohusodo Sumartono, He was on his way to Harvard University to complete his college education. He engaged me in conversation from Hongkong to Tokyo. Our flights would split up in Japan, his to Massachusetts and mine to San Francisco. But he changed his flight to be with me all the way to San Francisco.

From Harvard he smothered me with letters and flowers, and ultimately proposed to marry me. He swept me off my feet. On January 5, 1963, we got married in Boston. I gave him a nickname—Tonny. After his graduation he took me to Indonesia to meet his family. After a stopover in the Philippines, Tonny and I went to Jakarta in July 1964. On this, my first visit to Indonesia, I remember the beauty of Java as the plane descended over the verdant hills and blue sea. This is now my adopted country. Tonny, my husband, was born in Jogjakarta.

I was filled with trepidation, mixed feelings, happy and worried, at meeting Tonny’s family. I wanted so much to be approved and accepted. Would I fit in a society which is completely different from mine? Everything is different—culture, language, religion, customs and traditions. I leaned on Tonny for support. At the airport to meet us were Dr. Idroes and his wife Tien, who is Tonny’s younger sister. They put me at ease the moment I met them. They took us to their house, wherein other members of the family were waiting to meet us. We lived with the Idroes family for over two months, while waiting for the new house to be finished in the BB Timah housing project in Tjilandak. I integrated with the family without difficulty. They spoke English very well and that made it simpler and easier to communicate with them. Bapak Idroes certainly is a very respectful and understanding man.

I came to love the family of Tonny. I love them all, especially my father-and-mother-in-law, who were both so kind to me; I appreciate the good relations with everyone—Tien, Ril, and Tita; my husband’s cousin, General Erllanga; Richi and family—they are all very sweet and loving people.

Tonny worked in Indonesian companies from 1964-l967. I also worked in a secretarial capacity. But I became ill with ectopic pregnancy. Tonny and his family were so kind and solicitous. I survived, but it was with a sinking feeling that Tonny and I realized that we could not possibly present a grandchild to his mother and father.

In 1967 Tonny accepted a position as Special Consultant to the Indonesian in Geneva, Switzerland. He served capably and well till he retired in June 1994. Meanwhile, I was able to work in various companies in secretarial and assistant capacities until 1980.

We built a home in Peniscola, Spain and moved into it in 1994. Tonny passed away in 2001. I continued to live in Spain until December 2010. I sold the house in September. Then a week after the sale I met an accident, and broke my leg, and spent two months in a nursing home in Spain. Then I went to California to stay with close relatives.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, January 11, 2020
  • Funeral Service Saturday, January 11, 2020
  • Joshua Mortuary - Reception Room Saturday, January 11, 2020

Memories

Merlie Ibanez Sumartono

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Krislene Ipac-Dilinila

January 12, 2020

Those special memories of you will always bring us a smile. The fact that you're no longer here will always cause us pain but you'll forever be in our hearts. We will miss you and we love you sooo much grandma. Until we meet again grandma 😘😘😘

Elvira Valecillos

January 11, 2020

Querida Merlie,
Permaneceras en mi memoria como la eterna amiga fiel, como mi guia y consejera y tambien la compañera de viajes siempre lista con la maleta en la mano para embarcarnos en un crucero o un
tour. Te extrañare inmensamente.
Descansa en Paz.

Gracelyn Ipac

January 10, 2020

You will always be in my heart Grandma. I love you so much. ♥️

Winona Cowan

January 10, 2020

Merlie you will be missed in transportation...
Love you much...

Izzy Ibanez

January 10, 2020

Thank you for the lessons grandma.

Ellaine Ipac

January 10, 2020

You will be missed forever Grandma! I will miss your emails and stories and wise words. Thank you for always being there for us. I love you so much!

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