Evelyn Embestro Sugiyama, 79, of Westerville, Ohio, peacefully passed away, surrounded by family and friends, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. She was the most giving, patient and loving wife, mom, mother-in-law, grandma, mentor and friend.
Evelyn was born in Naga City, Philippines, central to Bicol Province where rice fields span far and wide and give way to picturesque mountains. Jeepneys and old motorcycles whizz by water buffalos, field hands and many impoverished families and children.
At age 3, Evelyn lost her father, a businessman and bicycle racer. During a tropical storm, he graciously gave up his train seat to a person in need. He huddled cold and drenched in a roofless back car and later succumbed to pneumonia. Evelyn embodied his loving kindness throughout her entire life.
Like her mom, a retired school principal who then founded a technical college, Evelyn was smart, passionate and driven. At age 20, she received her R.N. and set her sights on the U.S. to help others and live the American dream. In Chicago, she married a dashing young engineer and then was blessed with a bouncing baby girl 1 ½ years later.
As a nurse, she tirelessly worked 3rd or 2nd shift, weekends, holidays and birthdays in many different departments – surgical, pediatrics, medical, psychiatry, post anesthesia and burn care. Plus she earned certifications in nursing administration and chemotherapy, oftentimes staying late or getting called in to administer chemo when there was no other.
Evelyn went back to school and earned a B.S. in Nursing and worked her way up to Charge Nurse at Riverside Methodist and then Nursing Supervisor at St. Ann’s Hospital. It’s awesome that a young, wide-eyed Filipina and naturalized citizen rose through the ranks to lead an entire nursing staff.
Upon retiring after 45 years, she was elected president of the Philippine Nurses Association for two terms and received their Leadership award. She did take time off work (and retirement, LOL) to visit family in the Philippines and explore Spain, China, Korea and the Caribbean. Her most treasured vacations were times with her precious granddaughter Mikaila – summer holidays in Hawaii and celebrating every birthday in California.
Evelyn loved and cherished all of her relatives and friends. She kept every Christmas card and remembered where people lived, their kids’ names and what they were doing. Her natural talents included singing, art, crocheting, knitting and cooking. She was a devout servant of God and a parishioner at St. Paul’s Catholic Church since 1977.
Evelyn is at peace in love and light and streaming all her love to those she has touched. She is survived by her husband Clyde of Westerville, OH; her daughter Michelle (Bob); granddaughters Austin and Mikaila; and other relatives in the U.S. and Philippines.
Please join her celebration of life this Sunday, January 27, 2019. Family will welcome friends from 2:00 to 3:30 pm with services starting at 3:30. Hill Funeral Home, 220 S. State St. Westerville OH. 43081. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Evelyn’s name to Doctor’s Without Borders. Immediately following the service, family and friends are welcom to join in a pot luck at the Westerville Senior Center, 310 W. Main St., Westerville OH 43081.