Felisa Mondejar Paviera was born June 12, 1916, in the Philippine province of Iloilo. She was the sister of four younger brothers and one older half-sister. Felisa was a faithful Catholic, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She enjoyed an exceptionally long and happy life and will be remembered for her humor, love of her family, natural cooking abilities, beautiful handicrafts, and skills at the Blackjack and Mahjong tables.
As a youth, Felisa loved dancing at parties in Bacolod. She reported staying out until two in the morning dancing the tango, waltz, and salsa. During World War II, she left her town and hid with her family in the mountains of Negros Occidental. She would frequently recount the aerial dog fights she witnessed between the American and Japanese forces, much to the amazement of her grandchildren. In 1944, she was recognized for her beauty and was named Miss Minihaha “Laughing Water” at the Military Trainee Parade in Central Binalbagan.
When the war ended, Felisa married her husband, Jose Paviera, in 1945. They went on to have five children: Milagros, Cecilia, Rafael, Tony, and Erlinda. She immigrated to the United States with her family in 1978.
In her later years, Felisa hand-made thousands of rosaries and sent them to Catholic missions and orphanages around the world. On Sundays, she could be seen freely giving rosaries to everyone around her as they left services at the local church.
Felisa passed away peacefully at home in Severna Park, MD on Sunday, February 6, 2022, with her family by her side. The sun was shining as if God was clearing the sky to welcome her home. She joins her husband, Jose, and son, Rafael, in eternal life with our Heavenly Father. Felisa was 105 years old.
She is survived by her children, Mila, Cecilia, Tony, and Erlinda, her eight grandchildren, her four great-grandchildren, and extended family around the world.
“I’ve had so many ups and downs, but through prayer, I think I solved them. I know my children have recognized what I have done for them. I think I have done something for them that they have been glad of. Even my grandchildren. Giving is more beneficial than receiving. I think it’s about time that I’ve accomplished my mission here.” - Felisa Mondejar Paviera (on the occasion of her 90th birthday)
Family and friends are invited to call at the family owned and operated McCULLY-POLYNIAK FUNERAL HOME, P.A. 3204 Mountain Road Pasadena, Maryland 21122 on Friday February 11, 2022 from 4-8 PM and Saturday February 12, 2022 from 8-9 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday February 12, 2022 at 10 AM at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church 689 Ritchie Highway Severna Park, Maryland 21146. Cremation to follow.