Marlene Nagrampa Epres
December 23, 1944 – June 21, 2020
Marlene (“Mayene”) Nagrampa Epres was called to the Lord on June 21, 2020; it was a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. Her final days were spent at her home in Santa Clara, California, looking out to her beautiful backyard garden, surrounded by family, friends, and prayers. Mayene is survived by her husband, Narciso, and children, Christine (Phil), Marlo (Christine Joy), and Nicole. She is also survived by her siblings, Georgia, Florina, Elmer, Raymundo, Edgar, Danilo, and Bartolome, Jr., as well as other relatives, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and long-time friends.
Mayene was born on December 23, 1944 in Iriga City, a town in the Bicol region of the Philippines. She was the daughter of Cristita Taduran, a teacher, and Bartolome Nagrampa, Sr., also a teacher who later became a politician. Mayene was named Valedictorian of Sagrada Elementary School in 1958 and Salutatorian in 1962 at the then Saint Anthony’s College, now the University of St. Anthony. While studying in Manila, Mayene worked alongside her sister Florina (“Bolly”) as a manicurist and hair specialist at the Venus Beauty Parlor. She graduated with a BS in Accounting from the University of the East in Manila. Mayene then passed the Accountancy Board Exam and went on to become a Certified Public Accountant, serving as Regional Accountant for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Naga City. She also taught Accounting courses at Mabini College, now the University of the Northeastern Philippines in Iriga.
In 1976, Mayene’s adventurous spirit led her to a new life of opportunities and dreams in the United States of America. Soon after she married Narciso (“Esong”) in 1978, the two planted roots and raised a family in the San Francisco Bay Area, calling Silicon Valley ‘home.’ Mayene worked as a supervisor in an electronics company before she decided to become a full-time mother and homemaker. She then went on to operate an in-home daycare and adored the many children she cared for over the years.
Mayene left a lasting impact on many lives through her work and involvement with the community. She was a devout Catholic and an active member of the Our Lady of Peace Church and Shrine and Mission Santa Clara de Asis fellowship. She believed in giving back to her hometown of Iriga and served two terms as President of the Iriga (Bicol) Association of America (IBAA) in Northern California. She returned to Iriga with fellow members of IBAA to support local projects including Medical Mission, an initiative to provide medical and other vital services to Iriguenos.
Mayene’s true passion in life was her family. She was a devoted and loving wife and mother. Mayene was “CEO” of the Epres household and constantly supported and encouraged her husband and children in their day-to-day activities, work, and education. Mayene cherished the time spent with Esong in their colorful garden, full of hydrangeas, orchids, and succulents, as well as their adventures cruising throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. She lived by the motto “a family that prays together stays together” and embraced every long road trip with her children Christine, Marlo, and Nicole as she always saw it as an opportunity to pray the Rosary together as a family. Mayene welcomed her son-in-law Phil and daughter-in-law Christine Joy as new members of the family with open arms. She was known as the “hostess with the mostess” and never turned down a chance to host and entertain large family gatherings at her home with her cooking and hospitality, particularly during the Christmas holidays. Mayene was like a second mom to so many of her nieces and nephews and was always quick to feed them her delicious empanadas. When these same nieces and nephews surprised her with musical performances during her 75th birthday celebration, with songs ranging from Abba’s Dancing Queen to Beatles hits, she loved each and every moment.
Mayene will be fondly remembered by her husband and children as the best wife and the best mom. She will also be remembered by family and friends as a strong warrior woman, as well as a kind and generous soul who was always willing to open her home and heart to her loved ones.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Marlene (Mayene) Nagrampa Epres to the organizations below. Please inquire with your employer about company donation matching programs to make your donation go even further.
Iriga (Bicol) Association of America (IBAA) (Please contact daughter Christine at email@example.com for IBAA donation instructions)
American Lung Association | 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601 | www.lung.org
American Cancer Society | PO Box 22478 Oklahoma City, OK 73123 | www.cancer.org
Second Harvest Food Bank | 750 Curtner Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125 | give.shfb.org/donatenow
Due to COVID -19 regulations, private services have been scheduled for invitation only.
Marlene Nagrampa Epres
July 9, 2020
I will always remember riding in the bus with you after Kuya Marlo and Ate’s wedding. You were sitting next to Kuya Marlo, and you looked so incredibly happy. I also remember our trip to Tala when the adults braved the hanging bridge with us kids. Our families had so much fun that weekend bonding with one another.
What I remember most is that every time I saw you, you always looked so content and at peace. I think this is because you were in the presence of those you loved most: your family. Rest In Peace, Auntie Marlene, in the same state of peace and content that you lived your life. I know that whenever your family gathers, your presence will still be felt among everyone. We will miss you always, but I know you will always remain with us in our hearts.
Lilia & Albert Garcia
July 9, 2020
I remember Mareng Mayen for her kindness and welcoming smile. She always made us feel comfortable because we knew she loved our daughter, Kris, like her own child. I remember the first time our families back home were introduced to Marlo and his family—they had a Philippine Wedding Reception at Vikings. The David, Garcia, Nagrampa, and Epres families all had the opportunity to meet & welcome the newlyweds to the Philippines. We shared family stories when we continued our vacation at Sinagtala Resort in Orani Bataan. Mareng Mayen was full of energy walking and enjoying the beautiful view. When we came to visit Orkney for Kris and Marlo’s wedding shower, I remember Mare’s beautiful garden and welcoming backyard. When we see each other she would often ask me “Kaylan na cami caya magkaka apo?” Our most recent visit to Orkney was bittersweet—while it was her last moments, there was beauty in seeing all of her family and loved ones showering and comforting her with love and prayers.
Siena Marie Dinh
July 9, 2020
My memory of Auntie Mayen would hands-down be of her love of children and family. Being the sister of her daughter-in-law, Kris, it was so touching when Auntie would buy gifts for my sons. The first gift she gave to my son, Francis, was a Costco Cash Card—I remember very well because Francis LOVED that card so much. It was almost like no other gift mattered because he had a really cool card he saw adults use...except this one was all his! Another gift Auntie gave was a Target gift card. Auntie’s love of children knew to get a fun card design but her choice turned out to one of Francis’ FAVORITE things: a train! The most recent gift of Auntie was a genuine denim jacket. I will cherish this gift for both my sons. Over time, with love and care, genuine denim softens from those who enjoy its comfort and warmth. Similarly, Auntie’s memory of loving children and having such a welcoming home will remain with me and I hope to adopt those qualities and pass them on to my family. I have full confidence she is looking down on her loved ones from Heaven. Auntie did exactly as Jesus does and preaches, “Let the children come to me” (Matthew 19:14) “...You welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).
July 9, 2020
My fondest memory of Ma happened during the time that I lived with Ma and Pa alone in Orkney while Marlo was away on a two week work trip to NY and Amsterdam. One night, Ma made kare-kare for me because she knew that it was one of my favorite dishes. I distinctly remembered that her kare-kare had a little bit of coconut milk in it, which I had never had like that before. She told me that she also really loved kare-kare too but that her kids don’t like it. While I ate, we traded stories and talked for hours. Ma asked me questions about my side of the family and she shared old memories about her family, while Pa listened closely and occasionally commented. I remember she told me about a piano teacher that Marlo, Nicole, and Ate Tin had, and about an older dear friend who lived at Orkney when the kids were younger. I remember talking to Marlo on the phone soon after and being excited to tell him about my bonding experience with Ma. ♥️
Renato and Agnes Garcia
July 2, 2020
We remember Marlene Epres fondly at Marlo & Christine’s wedding. She had a lovely smile and spent time to talked to us about family.
We are saddened by her joining our creator and leaving her family.
Grant eternal rest on to her soul O Lord
May Your perpetual light shine upon her
May she rest in peace.
Our condolence and prayers to the family.
It is only through death that you will get in to heaven.
We know that she is in heaven and at peace now.
Love and prayers
Rene, Agnes Garcia and family
June 30, 2020
I’ve first met Auntie Mayen in 1978 when I stood as a sponsor for their wedding. She caught me as a stern woman, strict not the type you could mess up with. But as the tv show will tell you now, Bawal ang Judgmental that exactly I should not have done. Yes, she might have been that woman described rolled into one but all in a moderated, cool way. No feeling of self entitlement, very frugal with criticism and generous with praise and support. I still remember when we emigrated here from Saudi Arabia, they sent us an ample amount of money. And when I called to give thanks for their generosity, she, with heartfelt support told me she knows how hard it is to start and that we can call anytime if we needed any help about anything. Yes, a family needs a strong boat ( the father) to traverse the river of life but it needs an equally efficient rudder to guide it through. We love you Auntie Mayen and thanks for the nice memory. Epres-Embestro-Limjoco Family, Houston, Texas
Marilyn (Sagucio) Davis
June 29, 2020
I literally would not be here if not for Auntie Mayene.
She and Auntie Bolly Bardonado owned Venus Salon back in Iriga, and they employed my mom Estrella. To hear my mom tell it, she and Auntie Mayene were like sisters, and shared many good times there.
One of my fondest memories is sitting with my husband and parents at Auntie Mayene's dining room table and listening to them speak about how one certain gentleman came in for a manicure by my mom, and kept coming back. That gentleman was my dad. So literally, if not for that salon and subsequent events, I would not be here. (I'm welling up as I type this.)
Besides that, Auntie Mayene was always so gracious and welcoming, and the persimmons she would give us (a LOT of them, too!) were so yummy!
Thank you for everything, Auntie Mayene, including my life.
June 28, 2020
When I think about Mama Mayen I think about the love and care she took to invite my father and mother to Orkney for get togethers and holidays. My parents’ siblings are very far away living in the Philippines and Mama Mayen always welcomed the Ibarrientos family to share the love and happiness through the years. Being away from siblings didn’t feel as bad for my parents through these holidays.
My mom even told me that Mama Mayen helped set my mom and dad up! My mother told Mama Mayen that she was looking for a husband and wanted to start a family so if she knew anyone she’d be willing to meet him. Mama Mayen really helped in putting the Ibarrientos family together! These two generations really shared a lot of good times and Nenita, Abel, Marybeth and Irwin are very thankful to her for that.
I have a funny personal story too. I went to Montague Elementary in first grade and one time after school I felt like I wanted to just go to Orkney.
I’m not sure why I did. I think it was because Mama Mayen made Orkney a really fun place to get babysat. She would would talk and sing to me and I thought why wait at school. So guess what I did? I walked over all by myself and when I walked in Mama Mayen was so shocked.
“Where’s your Papa?!?”
I didn’t reply.
“I didn’t know that I was supposed to baby sit you today!”
I explained how I just wanted to wait for my dad at Orkney instead of the school. She laughed as she dialed my dad who was probably very worried. She gave me some Kool Aid and crackers, explained how I need to be more safe, then let me watch cartoons. It was awesome.