Emilio G. Elagas


Emilio G. Elagas suffered a stroke and passed away at the Rillera Guest Home on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.  He was 92 years old. 

The son of Juan and Isabel Elagas, he was born on April 6, 1924 in Natividad, Pangasinan, Philippines. Emilio volunteered in the Philippine Army during the war.  In 1947, he went to Guam and worked in the Air Force as a civilian for 20 years.  In 1967, he came to Watsonville and worked for the Ramirez Labor Camp for one year, cutting lettuce.  It was also that year he met Esther Tabancay at a Dimas-Alang dinner in Watsonville and since then, they have been loving companions for 50 years.

Emilio was a Watsonville Band Booster and also a member of the Filipino Catholic Association of Watsonville, and the Filipino Catholic Federation of America.  He was an active member of the Filipino Community of Watsonville since 1967, serving as a Board Member and Sergeant-at Arms for many years.  He supported the social and fundraising activities of the Filipino Community and helped at the annual chicken barbecue by cooking rice all day!  During the social activities of the club, he was the first person to be crowned Mr. Hawaiian Tropic in 2008.  He loved to dance and participated in the costume contests many times.  He was selected as wearing the best Hawaiian shirt, best international costume dressed in a Japanese kimono and best Halloween outfits many times, dressing like a hobo, pirate, skeleton and witch.

Emilio’s favorite hobbies were fishing in Moss Landing, and gardening, tending to his beautiful orchids, roses and giving away the fruits of his persimmon, pear and lemon trees to neighbors and friends.  He loved fine dining and children.  He would give money to children that he didn’t even know!  He was a quiet, hard-working man, kind, honest and very generous.  He would give away his last dollar to a person in need.

Emilio’s favorite TV shows were western movies; The Price is Right; Let’s Make A Deal; and Family Feud.  He was an avid sports fan of the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s, watching the games on TV as well.

Emilio was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Inocencia, Juanita, Dolores and Lourdes.  He is survived by his brother, Bonifacio; nephews and nieces in the Philippines and Guam; his loving companion of 50 years, Esther Tabancay, and her five children whom he loved as his own, Dr. Ruth Tabancay, who is also an artist (Dr. Michael Austin) of Berkeley; Frances (David) Delfino of Royal Oaks; Darlene (Ray) Duffy of Santa Rosa; Jerry (Fely) Tabancay of San Jose; Linda (Tom) Walsh of Palm Desert; and 11 grandchildren, Renata, Caitlin and Mariel Austin, David and Dominic Delfino, Garrett, Jocelyn, Fallon and Caroline Duffy, Brian Agnir and Nicole Tabancay.

Emilio retired after working for Carl Dobler and Sons for 30 years. 

The family would like to give thanks to Dr. Kochi for his excellent care and Suzi Rillera, Ellis Pascual and their staff, Lani, Maria, Caring, Jay and Merly of the Rillera Guest Home for their loving care to make Emilio comfortable, safe and happy.

Visitation will be held Thursday, September 7 from 5 – 9 pm at Mehl’s Colonial Chapel with recitation of the rosary at 7 pm.  Mass will be celebrated Friday, September 8 at 10 am at St. Patrick’s Church with burial at Valley Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family would love and appreciate it if donations were made to the Scholarship Fund of the Filipino Community of Watsonville.

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