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Mansfield: The best Nana in the world, Emilia “Emily, Ely” Aspiras Palapo, 76, of Mansfield, died on Monday, July 23, 2018 at OSU James Cancer Hospital, surrounded by her three daughters and sons-in-law. She was recently diagnosed with relentless and progressive pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonia, and after a hard-fought battle, passed away peacefully but much too soon.
Emilia was born on October 5, 1941, in Olongapo, Philippines, and was the second youngest of seven siblings born to Nemesio and Francisca Aspiras. As a teenager, she moved to the United States where the family made San Francisco their home. Emilia loved to make things pretty and discovered a passion for cosmetology that became her lifelong career. In San Francisco, she met and married a young handsome Navy man, Erasmo T. Palapo, who took his beautiful bride around the world on his numerous deployments. It was in Japan where she obtained a black belt in Judo, in Portugal where she visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima important to Emilia as a devout Catholic, and in California where she opened her very own beauty salon.
Upon retirement, true to their adventurous spirit, Erasmo and Emilia explored the country in their RV, where they ended up in Mansfield to establish a more permanent home base and so as not to miss their youngest grandchildren grow up. Emilia was a master gardener and had the most beautiful flowers and plants growing in her yard. She took pleasure in finding the most decrepit plant on clearance and reviving it to its full glory. She was also an avid crocheter. She loved crocheting intricate curtains, tablecloths, scarves, toilet seat covers, and plastic bag holders which she generously gave to friends and family. She was never without her yarn and crochet hook, even in the hospital.
Emilia made a positive impression on anyone and everyone she met. She was “Nana” to all, always recognized and adored. Always giving and caring. Always bringing the best out of people and making them feel important. Never to be forgotten but always and forever to be remembered.
Emilia was a doting, caring, and loyal wife to her ailing husband, Erasmo; a loving, larger than life matriarch to her three faithful daughters; Monette (Robert) Hernandez of Hesperia, CA, Brenda (Noel) Bays of Mansfield, and Emily Togliatti (Troy Eichler) of Mansfield; grandchildren Anjela (Carl) Dominquez, Vanessa Hernandez, Christina (Daelen Davis) Hernandez, Robert Hernandez II, Tania McPherson, Brad McPherson, Alex Billiris, Olivia Togliatti, and Teddy Togliatti; sisters and brothers-in-law, Josie Refuerzo of Flushing, NY, Soledad (Rafael) Bumbasi of San Diego, CA, and Carmelita (Ruddy) Elly of Fort Washington, MD; sister-in-law, Shirley Aspiras of Dixon, CA; and numerous nieces, nephews, god children, and extended family.
Emilia was preceded in death by her parents, Nemesio and Francisca Aspiras; sister, Magdalena Orville; brothers, Pedro Aspiras and Felino Aspiras; and nephew, Rafael Bumbasi, Jr.
Services will be scheduled for a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org) in memory of Emilia A. Palapo.