By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2018 Journal GlobaLinks)
“Non Omnis Moriar” (I will not altogether die)
(Motto of the Knights of Rizal)
—- Quintus Horatius Flaccus or Horace
CHICAGO (JGL) — Dr. Rufino F. Crisostomo, Jr., the President of the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACGC), who gave up his post
to past FACGC President Alex Gonzales due to failing health, had died on the early morning of Labor Day, Sept. 4, eve of his 82th birthday.
His departure from the FACGC follows the controversy that surrounded his acceptance, endorsement, appointment and support of Elaine C. Lehman as Executive Director and “Residential Manager” of the Rizal Center, home of the FACGC in the north side of Chicago.
The day before he died, the soft-spoken retired Obstetrician and Gynecologist called up a friend, saying, “Paki-puntahan mo nga ako at para maayos na ang gulo.” (Please see me so we can settle this problem).
But his friend was not able to see Dr. Crisostomo that day as he was rushed the following day, Labor Day, to the Northwestern Hospital, where he died at 2:30 a.m. Dr. Crisostomo died with his son, Glenn, by his side. Dr. Crisostomo has been suffering for years from lung and kidney cancer and may have also died of "old age," according to his son, Glenn.
It was not known if Dr. Crisostomo was trying to fix the lawsuit filed by majority members of the FACGC Board ousting his friend Ms. Lehman and Lehman's two other FACGC Directors supporting her from the Rizal Center she turned into her own private residence.
APPEALS TO HELP RIZAL CENTER:
DR. RUFINO F. CRISOSTOMO is shown appealing to the Filipino American community to help in raising funds to repair the Rizal Center building in one of the fund-raising events in 2014. Others in photo from left are Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACGC) Director Carmen Estacio, FACGC volunteer Apple Umali and then FACGC President Thelma Bascos. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
The lawsuit will be decided by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sofia H. Hall on Sept. 20 after Atty. Arcadio “Jun” Joaquin, Jr. asked Judge Hall to rule on his motion for summary judgment.
Mr. Joaquin represents the nearly a dozen majority members of the FACGC led by former Skokie Commissioner Jerry B. Clarito, who were arbitrarily termed out by Ms. Lehman.
Born on Sept. 5, 1936 in Bulacan province in the Philippines, Dr. Crisostomo had an illustrious medical career after graduating with a medical degree from Far Eastern University in the Philippines. He was also active in humanitarian medical missions.
PRACTICED IN KENTUCKY FOR 15 YEARS
He practiced for 15 years as an OB-Gyne specialists in Barbourville, Kentucky before relocating in 1987 to Chicago, Illinois where he later worked at City of Chicago Department of Public Health and the Cook County Department of Public Health until his retirement in 2011. In Kentucky, he helped in the delivery of 10,000 babies.
Dr. Crisostomo was known to his colleagues, nurses, and patients for his compassion, care and humility.
Throughout his life, Dr. Crisostomo remained socially, politically, and civically engaged, according to an obituary on the website of Drake Funeral at 5303 N. Western Ave in Chicago.
KOR HONORS HIM
At Drake Funeral, a necrological service will be observed by the Area Knights of Rizal from 4-6 p.m. today, Saturday, Sept. 8. Dr. Crisostomo was a Knight Grand Cross of Rizal (KGCR) of the Chicago Chapter, according to Sir Mariano A. Santos, Area Knight Commander of Rizal (KCR).
Sir Felix Gonzales, KGOR is preparing the ritual during the service.
Lady Carmen Estacio will also help with the refreshments. Sir Rev. Bishop Eleazar Pascua, the new commander of the Chicago Chapter, will eulogize the departed brother.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White may also be joining the solemn ceremony.
Funeral services will also be held by community, family, and friends from 3:00 to 9:00 pm on Sunday, Sept 9, and at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 10 before internment service that will be held privately for family at Rosehill Cemetery also in the north side of Chicago.
Dr. Crisostomo remained an active member of the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, and served in several volunteer capacities, including as Mabuhay (long life) Fellowship president and as a physician in a Rwandan refugee camp in response to the genocide and civil war.
He was a member of the Philippine fraternal order Knights of Rizal, and was conferred the esteemed rank of Knight Grand Cross of Rizal for his outstanding contributions and achievements for the order. Grateful for the community and people around him, he was also an active, longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago, and served as Chairman and Immediate Past Chairman.
His life exemplified the ideals of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal. He will be remembered for his kindness, sense of wonder, thoughtful stewardship, and dedication to community service and philanthropic leadership.
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