Woodlawn Funeral Home & Woodlawn Memorial Gardens

6329 E. Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk, VA


Ligaya T. Octavo

July 16, 1934September 1, 2020
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Ligaya T. Octavo, 86, of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, surrounded by her immediate family. She was the daughter of Gregorio and Maria and grew up in Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines. To her friends and loved ones, she was called by the nicknames Gaya or Leigh. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

She completed midwifery training in the Philippines in 1954 and served the village of Imus as a midwife until 1965. After her marriage to Antonio, she became a U.S. Navy spouse and followed his career to Mississippi and other far flung parts of the world. She eventually relocated to the Virginia Beach area where she completed the requirements to become a registered nurse in 1976. She continued her education with a Bachelors of Science Degree from Hampton University in nursing in 1983. She worked as a registered nurse for Sentara Healthcare, working at Sentara Leigh and Norfolk General Hospitals, from 1976 until her retirement in 1996. In her 31 collective years in obstetrics and nursing, she touched many lives, delivered many babies, and made such a difference to the patients and people with whom she worked. Following her retirement, Gaya taught nursing for Tidewater Community College and enjoyed mentoring her students very much.

Gaya is survived by her loving husband of 59 years Antonio, her son Joseph Octavo (Connie Heckman), and her daughter Maria Esmay (Ian Esmay). She leaves behind her two grandchildren Michael and Hannah, as well as many cherished extended family members and friends.

She was the living example of kindness and compassion, and she was known for her wit, courage, thoughtfulness, loyalty, spunk, and good humor. She treasured her children and grandchildren and embraced every moment she had with them. Her husband Tony was the love of her life. Together they loved to ballroom dance, travel, and spend time with loved ones and friends. Gaya had a love of learning and always had time to explain how to properly plan for the future and invest wisely. She spoke up for what she believed in and instilled in her children her strong values. She was generous with encouragement and was the type of friend who was there for the tough times. She will be dearly missed and will remain in our hearts forever.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Woodlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens. The family will receive guests on Friday, September 11, 2020 from 6 - 8pm, and will hold a funeral service within the chapel on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10am with interment to follow within the Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.


  • Visitation

    Friday, September 11, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, September 12, 2020

  • Burial: Woodlawn Memorial Gardens Avenue of States

    Saturday, September 12, 2020


Ligaya T. Octavo

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Stevenson

September 19, 2020

Gay was like family...my dance family. She was a joy to work with at the USA dances as well as the annual New Year’s events. She taught me how to be a good volunteer. She was totally devoted to USA dance and gave it her all. Two words about Gay...True Grace. RIP dear lady❤️God bless you Tony and family🙏


September 11, 2020

Annette and I would like to offer our condolences and for the loss of a dear friend. We enjoyed the many years spent with our involvement with the dance community, the parties on our deck, along with the joys and trials and tribulations of the many Tidewater Chapter NYE dances she was essential in making a success. She will be sorely missed. Our prayers are with Tony and his family at this time of sorrow.

Josephine Octavo

September 9, 2020

To: Tiyo Tony & family
My sincere sympathy and condolences to you, Joseph & Maria. May God comfort you during this difficult times.
Tiya Ligaya will be remembered as a very beautiful auntie inside and out. Our family had lot of happy memories with her during our vacation in Virginia, USA. Her "wit" really is extra special...
REST IN PEACE, our dear Tiya Ligaya. YOU & EDDIE will be together now in heaven...pls hug & kiss Ed for us...
God has you in HIS loving arms, and WE have you in our hearts.
We love you,
Josie & Joyce Octavo


September 8, 2020

We met Ligaya and Tony almost twenty years ago at the dance studio. We quickly became close friends. We shared and enjoyed countless memories not only dancing but traveling, attending semjnars,, shopping, or just sharing stories over meals, or watching Gaya's favorite sports on TV-tennis and boxing. Many times people asked if we were sisters. We looked at each other and said we were more than sisters to each other.
Gaya, I already miss your voice, smile, laughter, witt, friendship , your love.
We will forever keep and cherish memories of you. We so love you Gaya.
Our prayers and deepest sympathy for Tony. Joe, (Connie), Maria, Ian, Hannah and Michael. GOD BLESS!

Perry and Rey Francisco

September 7, 2020

Tony, Joe and Maria,
We share your loss of our beloved Ligaya. We offer our condolences and heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. We continue to celebrate her life in our daily novena that we started on Sept.1. The joy she brought to our lives will forever be remembered. Hugs to all of you.
Perry and Rey

Marilyn Bradley

September 7, 2020

I worked with Ligaya at Sentra Norfolk General Hospital, Labor and Delivery. I will always remember her joyful personality, and dedication to her patients & their babies. She was a very special person. Go with god Ligaya.
You are missed: Marilyn

Mickey Parker

September 6, 2020

Memories were made and experiences shared working with Ligaya in the nursing department at TCC. The nursing profession was enhanced by her contributions to the lives of the students. Ligaya was a dear friend and colleague. May she Rest In Peace.

Christa Fleischer

September 6, 2020

As a friend of Ligaya’s daughter Maria, I was blessed to have met her and spend time in her home. I will forever remember her beautiful smile, her quick wit, and her cooking!

I am heartbroken for her family and pray that our Heavenly Father eases the pain and provides comfort that only He can.

I am sending my deepest sympathies, my sincere condolences and my continued prayers for Ligaya and her loved ones.

With love, Christa Fleischer

Lois & Michael Esmay

September 6, 2020

Every time we would get together with family Leigh would grab you and we would talk and laugh and share stories no matter how long it had been since our last family gathering. We just picked up where we left off last time.

And of course Tony and Mike would quietly look on smiling

Loie &Mike

Susan and Tom Mayo

September 5, 2020

Dear Tony, Joe, and Maria,

We will always have fond memories of Gaya. She was a shining star, full of energy and love.
She was not just a neighbor, but a dear friend.
We will cherish our memories of her. Gaya was always kind to everyone.

Gaya, would always take time to say hello to our boxers, Izzaboo and Buddy. They knew she had some biscuits for them. ❤️🐶❤️

We will be thinking of you during this difficult time. Heaven has gained a new Angel.😇

With love,
Susan and Tom Mayo




1976 graduation II


1973 Lesner Avenue


2002 post chemo


1976 graduation




1979 Octavos


2002 Grandma trying on Michael's hat


1983 Graduation, BSN, Hampton

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