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Obituary for Esperanza Sumagaysay Abueg, R.D. (1939-2018)
Esperanza Abueg passed away at her home the morning of October 31st, 2018 in the presence of her family. “Espie” as she was generally known, or “Baby” among family and friends in her early years, was born in Iloilo City, Philippines on April 24th, 1939, the second child of Roque Sumagaysay and Francisca Aguirre. She attended Centro Escolar University in Manila, Philippines, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Foods & Nutrition. In 1961, she immigrated to the United States, with a Dietetic Internship at Harper-Grace Medical Center in Michigan. She had a long and distinguished career in dietetics that spanned 45 years.
She was Assistant Director of Food Service at the 1000 bed William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, and promoted in 1977 to be the first Director of Dietetics at William Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan. At William Beaumont, she assisted in the planning of outpatient units, the Family Medicine Residency Program, and she coordinated the Wellness Program for employees and patients. She organized the “Health-O-Rama,” a health information fair for Macomb-Oakland counties in Michigan. While working as a therapeutic dietitian, she attended Wayne State University for post graduate study and later became an adjunct faculty member there, and at Mercy College in Detroit.
In 1984, she escaped the cold winters of the Midwest with her family, and moved to the Antelope Valley. She led the Department of Dietetics at High Desert Hospital in Lancaster, California until 1996, when she retired from management. She remained an employee of the County of Los Angeles as a Food Service Consultant with the Probation Department until her retirement in 2005. She was happy at her work as a consultant because of the time she spent traveling throughout the county with her retired husband as driver. After her 20 years of public service, she returned to patient care for another 11 years as a nutrition educator in the Health Education Department of Kaiser Permanente in Lancaster.
More than anything else, however, Espie Abueg was a devoted wife of Bayani Abueg, Jr. for 55 years, and mother to her four boys: Joel, Rick, Ed, and Jason. Together they travelled throughout the United States, and to a second home in Antipolo, Philippines. Wherever they called home, it was a center of activity, a gathering place to eat and enjoy rich Filipino food, and laugh in the company of others. The Friday issue Food Section of Antelope Valley Press that followed Thanksgiving Day 1993 featured Espie as the Cook of the Week with an article entitled, “Service for 500? No problem for a big-hearted pro.” She volunteered to chair food service at the annual Sacred Heart School Benefit luncheon for many years, and helped others transform the event to one that provided hot meals. Espie had a big heart, always sought out to help others wherever and whenever she could, and she did. She was a long-time parishioner of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lancaster, CA. There she taught confirmation classes and served as a Eucharistic Minister. Through the course of her career and life, she touched many, and will be sorely missed.
Espie is survived by her siblings Fe and Reno, her many nieces and nephews; her husband Bayani and their four boys; her daughters-in-law Kristine, Seres, Melanie, and Joy; and her five grandchildren, Matt, Amy, Malaya, Josh, and Kai.
A visitation will be held from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM with a Vigil Service and Rosary at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at Chapel of the Valley Mortuary in Palmdale, CA. The funeral mass will be held at 12:00 PM on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lancaster, CA. Flowers may be sent to Chapel of the Valley. For any questions, please email FamilyAbueg@gmail.com.