Laurie was born on August 22, 1927 in Mabalacat, Pampanga in the Philippines. She was christened Laureana Lugtu Sanchez, the youngest daughter and the eighth child in a brood of 10. Her nickname was Luring and she also called Laurie by friends in the US.
Laurie excelled early on. She was very intelligent and was accelerated from 3rd grade to 4th grade in 1936. She eventually graduated as the class valedictorian in 7th grade. Her schooling was interrupted by the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines in WW2. She moved to Manila in 1947 and enrolled in a 2 year course in commercial science at the Philippine School of Commerce. She worked as a bookkeeper for an import-export business while going to college. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1955.
One year later, she married Emiliano Baluyot Sanchez on her birthday, August 22, 1956. They were blessed with one child whom they named Teresita. Laurie was committed to be a full time mother to her daughter and only started working when Tessa started schooling in 1963. She worked at the Malaria Eradication Training Center (METC), a training center funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Manila. She eventually transferred to an Accounting position at USAID Philippines. Working as a Voucher Examiner, she uncovered fraudulent claims in one project audit and was recognized for her efforts with a Special Achievement Award in 1982.
She applied for and was given a special US Immigrant Visa upon her retirement from the service. She went to the US on February 14, 1987 at the age of 60 and settled in San Diego where she has relatives. She found a new calling working for seniors recuperating from medical treatment at home as companion aide. She retired from this work when her husband came to join her in San Diego in 1997. They were able to enjoy their retirement years together until his death in 2003 from a massive heart attack. They were married for 47 years.
Her only daughter Tessa joined her in the US a year after her husband’s death in 2004 and they enjoyed many travels and fun time together until Laurie’s death this March 2018.
As a mother, she was always in charge, willing to make sacrifices for her family, always one step ahead. Life with Laurie as Mom has been lots of fun and she is the best travel buddy you can ever have.
While Laurie has only one daughter and no grandchildren of her own, she is Mommy to many of Tessa’s friends and Lola or Grandma to the children of her nieces and nephews in the US. Her joyful spirit and big heart has touched the many people who came into her life for the past 90 years.
Laurie was one of the first seniors to join the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) when it was established in San Diego in March 2008. She learned about PACE while reading the 2008 Medicare Booklet. She quickly became a very active member of St. Paul’s PACE taking the role of Welcome Wagon as she warmly welcomed new members/participants to the PACE Program. She has also been their poster Senior appearing in a number of TV Ads and on television to promote the PACE program. She in turn holds the people who run PACE very close to her heart and talks endlessly about how well they care of her – something her daughter Tessa has personally witnessed first-hand every time she goes to PACE with Laurie and most especially when they were caring for her as her health declined in the last few months.
She is feisty and will relentlessly make things right. For example, she filed a complaint in the Small Claims Court and won her case against a furniture store owner who was ignoring her request to replace a defective merchandize. In another instance, she was able to persuade the TSA at the La Guardia airport to replace her eye glasses which disappeared in the conveyor belt during a Security Check.
She is technology savvy for a senior. She was using the computer as soon as it was out on the market and was sending out emails while most seniors her age were either knitting or going on Senior Day Trips. She has a Facebook account which allows her to see updates on family and friends all over the world as well as to post her travels. She has embraced Artificial Intelligence and has been thoroughly enjoying Alexa’s jokes, music and world knowledge since her grandnephew, Nivard, gave her Alexa as a Valentine’s gift this year.
Laurie has never been afraid of death. She is practical person and is comfortable talking about preparing for the time death comes knocking at her door. She left specific instructions on what dress she will wear when she dies way back in 1990 – this was her Catholic Women’s League (CWL) blue and white uniform. She served as president of the CWL chapter in her parish community before moving to the US.
She has remained gracious and joyful even as old age was slowly creeping up on her causing her increasing aches and pains. She died on her sister, Roberta’s birthday (March 16) as if to affirm the special bond they had for the past many years after most of their siblings have died. She is survived by her 85 year old brother, Ramon, who is the youngest in their brood.
Farewell, Laurie. Have a peaceful journey back to your Creator. Until we meet again.
Celebration of Life
- Date: April 4, 2018
- Time: 10:00 AM
- Location: St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
- Address: 4080 Hawk Street San Diego, CA 92103
- Directions: St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
- Date: April 4, 2018
- Time: 11:30 AM
- Location: Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery
- Address: 4470 Hilltop Drive San Diego, CA 92102-3698
- Directions: Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery
Rupert on March 26, 2018
chay on March 25, 2018
Obet Baluyot on March 23, 2018
Carol Hubbarf on March 22, 2018
Corine Moralda on March 22, 2018
Jane Kurtz on March 22, 2018
Bob and Bebot Holbrook on March 21, 2018
Julius Ponce on March 21, 2018
Erika Enriquez Villanueva on March 21, 2018
Paul Edwin Granado on March 21, 2018
Gilbert Sanchez on March 21, 2018
Tito A. Lugtu on March 21, 2018
Patchie Aguilera on March 21, 2018
Jopie Badoy on March 21, 2018
Ferrer family on March 21, 2018
Granat on March 21, 2018
iris dizon saquilayann on March 21, 2018