During the World War II conflicts of our island of Guam, both parents were killed or were nowhere to be found—leaving behind and alone, our daddy at the tender age of approximately 6 years of age.
Upon the restoration of our island in 1945, the surviving villagers had placed all the children who had lost their parents into an orphanage camp.
Relatives were allowed to take their family members from the orphanage camp. An immediate aunt, the late Barbara Taitingfong Torres (Familian Åbarus), heard of our daddy being at the camp who then volunteered to take him and foster at her home.
One day, when our daddy was at school, his eldest brother, the late Mariano Cruz (a police officer at the time), came by looking for him at school when he heard of his sibling. He was so afraid of being seen with a 'police officer'; though his brother held him to assure that he was there to protect him and take him along to raise him. He told our daddy that he promised their mom to look after him.
As our daddy grew older, he matured into a strong, generous, hardworking, and handsome man. He was energetic and full of talents and trades.
Our daddy married our beautiful mama, Lourdes Quitaro Pangelinan on Aug. 07, 1965. They then built our family having six beautiful children. From oldest to youngest, is Don Jr, Roland, Lorraine, Ivan, Charlene, and our baby sister, Christine.
As time went on, daddy introduced us to another son, our brother, Vincent, having him from a previous relationship prior to his marriage. Then, came another shocking news of another daughter, our sister, Mary Doris, from another previous relationship prior to marriage. Altogether, there are four daughters and four sons.
Although, our daddy had experienced traumatic events, and had always been emotionally distraught from how he was raised, he made certain that bitter memories will not shape him to be a bad person and rather to raise his family with love for all his children alike.
He loved to work, spend most of his spare time at the ranch raising chickens and pigs with his elder brother, the late, Antonio Cruz Taitingfong, going fishing, fixing cars, building houses/churches, driving around the island, having picnics/parties with families, and going dancing. During the 60's through the late 70's, Daddy managed our island's very own popular top band group called the "Tropicsette", annually volunteered to being Santa Claus for the village of Yona and was also a Scout Master for the village. He coached baseball teams, enjoyed riding motorcycles and even street bikes to go motorcross off roads, gambled at casinos, and for the most part, he loved traveling to visit his only sister, the late Teresita Cruz Guevara, who was formerly from Ordot, Guam and relocated to Fairfield, California.
Our daddy has lived a long and full life. He lived his life to his fullest up till his passing age of 74 years. While with us, he gave so much of himself to each person who met him. He was always full of energy and was loved by many! Anyone who knows him has been blessed with his great sense of love and compassion. May his legacy continue to flourish in each of us. He has spiritually touched many hearts with his courages selfless support. We truly love and miss our daddy tremendously!!!
May our daddy’s beautiful soul rest peacefully in the heavens of our Lord... and may his perpetual light always shine upon him! Amen.