Obituary of Celestina (Cely) Mendez Espina
May 19, 1927 – Limay, Bataan, Philippines
November 17, 2021 - Calgary, Alberta
After a long life in Philippines and Canada, Celestina “Cely” Mendez Espina passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at the age of 94 years.
Cely was born in Limay, Bataan, Philippines on May 19, 1927 and was the youngest of six siblings. During World War II, Cely moved to Camarines Norte, Philippines and met her husband, Ladislao Espina. She was a dedicated wife and loving Nanay (mother) to her children. In 1983, Cely and Ladislao left their home in the Philippines behind and moved to Calgary.
Simple life pleasures brought great joy to Cely, including Filipino romance novels, Hawaiian pizza, TV game shows (Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune), and “teleseryes” (soap operas). Cely treasured her family and she did her utmost to keep her family strong, instilling faith, education, and cleanliness as her legacy in her children and grandchildren. She was happiest when surrounded by family and traveled frequently between Canada and the Philippines to spend as much time as she could with them all.
Cely was known by her apos (grandchildren), whom she adored, as G-ma and Lola. In return, she bestowed on them the titles “prinsesita” and “prinsipe” (princess and prince) as she shared her many experiences, hard-earned wisdom, and laughter with them. Cely’s loved ones will mostly remember and revere her incredible strength and perseverance, endless love, graceful smile, sense of humor, and warm heart.
Cely will be forever missed by her children, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law, Lolit, Roger, Betty, Romeo, Paraluman, Erlinda and all their families in the Philippines; Gil, Carlos, Raquel, Lydia, Lani and their families in Canada and the US; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren all over the world.
Cely was predeceased by her husband Ladislao and her children, Fencing, Rufino, Floro, Manuel, Daisy, Luvimin, Jose, Norma and Ronald.
She will be lovingly remembered by all her family and friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Chapel of The Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB) on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. For those wishing to attend, Alberta’s COVID-19 Restrictions Exemption Program will be strictly enforced during this event. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.
Funeral Mass will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church (404 Northmount Place NW, Calgary, Alberta T2K 3P9), on Wednesday December 8, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. Graveside Service to follow at Queen’s Park Cemetery.
The family extends their gratitude to Dr. Tsoi, Dr. Bhargava and the team in Unit 43 at the Peter Lougheed Centre as well as the team at AgeCare Skypointe Hospice for their kind care.
In living memory of Celestina Mendez Espina, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, CALGARY, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.