Teresita “Tess” Chua Tonogbanua
November 1, 1947 - January 4, 2023
Teresita “Tess” Chua Tonogbanua, age 75, of Newark, DE, passed away peacefully to be with the Lord on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by her loving husband of fifty-five years, Dr. Gabino Conwi Tonogbanua and family. Tess, as she was affectionately known by her family and friends, was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, mother, and grandmother to her large extended family, both in the Philippines and here in the United States.
Tess was born in the Philippines on November 1, 1947 and grew up in Pilar, Bataan and later in Quezon City, Philippines. Tess attended Siena College and then graduated, with honors, from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce in 1967. Earlier that year, Tess met her beloved future husband, Dr. Gabino Tonogbanua, who was completing his medical training at Far Eastern University Hospital in Manila. After a year-long courtship and the approval of their parents, Tess and Gabino were married at Our Lady of Loreto Church in Manila in 1968. In 1969, Tess and Gabino welcomed their first child, Rob, into the world. Towards the end of 1969, Tess and Gabino decided to pursue a life in the United States and moved to San Francisco, California with their young son, Rob. While in San Francisco, Tess worked at United California Bank while raising her son and supporting her husband Gabino’s medical training.
In 1974, Tess and Gabino relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where her husband began his residency in psychiatry. While living in Philadelphia, Tess continued to raise her son, Rob, and also worked at Provident National Bank for a time. In 1976, Tess and Gabino welcomed their second child, Marc, and then moved the family to New Castle, Delaware in 1977 where Gabino earned his first full-time job in psychiatry at Delaware State Hospital. Tess stayed at home to raise her young sons, Marc and Rob, and support Gabino’s medical career for many years, but returned to the workforce in the mid-1980s, where she resumed her career as an Administrative Assistant at American Centennial in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1992, Tess and Gabino relocated with the family to nearby Newark, Delaware. Tess retired in 2010 after a long twenty-five year career to care for her father, Amado Chua, in the Philippines. During her time in Delaware, Tess enjoyed traveling the world with her family to such places as the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, and Puerto Rico. Tess also just simply enjoyed spending time at home in Newark with her husband, Gabino, and truly relished the time spent with her four grandchildren, whom she adored. Tess was an active, outgoing, and lively spirit who enjoyed dancing and long walks at Battery Park in New Castle and Riverfront Shipyards in Wilmington with her husband. Tess also had a deep faith and strong relationship with the Lord and was a lifelong active parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Castle and later St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Bear, Delaware.
Tess was preceded in death by her father, Amado Chua; mother, Rosita Rodriguez Chua; and mother and father-in-law, Dr. Francisco G. Tonogbanua and Florencia Conwi Tonogbanua. She is survived by her husband of fifty-five years, Dr. Gabino Tonogbanua; sons, Rob (Peachie) and Marc (Liz); brother, Dr. Ernesto Chua (Tere); four grandchildren, Marc Andrew, Mel, Amalia, and Paolo; in-laws, Melchor and Milagros Magsanoc; loving nieces and nephews, Roderick, Richard, Ruth, Robert, and Randall; sisters-in-law, Flor Cevallos and Joni Ambayec; and her extended family all over the United States, the Philippines, and Australia.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 6 pm until 8 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE. A second visitation will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton R.C. Church, 345 Bear-Christiana Road, Bear, DE, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 am. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery, 6001 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE.
In lieu of flowers, donations can also be made in the name of Teresita Chua Tonogbanua to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741 or online by clicking here.