Auntie Esther was born January 10, 1927 in Isabella, a province in the Northern part of the Philippines. Her parents were Antonio and Felisa Calimag who both preceded her. Four out of 5 siblings preceded her: Francisco, Agustina, Thomasa, and Emma. She is survived by her youngest sister, Perla Quinsay and sister in law Milagros Calimag. She was also survived by several nephews and nieces, Joy, James, Job, Anthony, Epie, Bobot, Susan, Annie, Cristie, Josie, Ruth, Sammy, and Lydia. Along with in laws Alan, Mary Anne, Raquel, Brandi, Choo and Vic. She will be forever cherished by her grandnieces and grandnephews, Jordan, Makai, Megan, Charity, Brittany, Alyssa, Jacob, Emily, Nathan, Max, Tony, Paolo, Chika, Sara, Fatima, Daniel, Paul Adrian, Princess Anne, and great great grand niece Thania Olive.
Born in the 1920s, My Aunt grew up in an era of change and growth. ...American culture, such as books, movies, and Broadway theaters.
She grew up during the second World war when Japan invaded the Philippines. She remembered hiding under a table while the Japanese entered their homes to take food and anything the soldiers could find for gain. During one of our conversations, she mentioned that growing as a young child, life was very difficult. They worked very hard to support each other and putting each other through college. They were indeed blessed with supportive families and closed friends or “kababayan.”
Auntie Esther attended elementary and Highschool in the province of Isabella. She graduated with honors and was able to enroll and attend the University of the Philippines, a very prestigious school similar to Stanford, Berkely, or UCLA.
After graduation, Auntie Esther became a school teacher. Mom shared with us that Auntie brought mom to work. Mom sat with Auntie’s students as much as possible tried to behave as a 5 year old should. Auntie was in her early 20s when she started teaching.
Auntie aspired to continue higher education. In the 1950s, she Received a scholarship to attend school in the US and obtained her Doctorate Degree in Education and Philosophy.
She taught in Canada, went to the Peace corps, taught on a cruise ship.
In the mid 1960’s, She moved to San Jose and became a full time Professor at San Jose State University specializing in English and Linguistics. She taught for at least for 30 years. Our youngest brother Anthony also as a 5 year old accompanied Auntie to teach in one of her classes.
During the summer months, with her adventurous and energetic personality she traveled all over Europe many times. She mentioned to us that her favorite European city was Paris, France. No wonder she became very fluent in French.
Her journals were written in French. So, for those of us who only speaks English will need a French translator.
Some of us attained French nicknames. My brother Anthony gained the name “Antoine”, and my nephew Anthony, “Antonito”. I supposed “Antonito” is derived from Latin or Spanish.
If anyone offended her, she did not speak French. She would speak in German. She would refer to them as “Dumkoff” or something else we can’t repeat. My Aunt definitely spoke her mind. And she is an amazing woman with a brilliant mind.
But for those who she shows affection to especially her grand nieces and grand Nephews she always addressed them as “Cheri” which in French means “Dear” or “Precious”. Every time she sees the little ones, she always greeted them with endearment by saying “Hello Cheri” how are you?
Auntie Took up painting after she retired. She enjoyed books, museums, classical music, opera, cactus and succulents, shopping at Ross, Marshalls, Barnes n Nobles and the flea market. She loved the book of Psalms and wrote verses on paper to remind her of God’s promises from His Word. Her most favorite quote was: “This too shall pass”
Which she obtained from her father when he was alive.
Her declining years were spent in her home in San Jose. My brother Job and Jordan had the privilege of caring for her during those years.
We appreciate the support of all our family and loved ones during these past years. We thank you for attending her Celebration of Life on April 13, 2021 at the Gazebo in Los Gatos Memorial park to celebrate Auntie/Grandma Esther’s life. We also thank everyone who viewed the livestream and shared with us her memories.
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