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August 29, 2006 > Primitiva T. Ranoa

Primitiva T. Ranoa

Primitiva Taclindo was born in the Philippines on July 20, 1919. Her parents were Crispin and Fortunata Taclindo. Crispin moved his family to Maui in 1924 to work in the sugar cane fields. He had been a teacher for 22 years prior to coming to the plantation where he was hired as a clerk in the plantation store.

Primitiva attended Maui High School and graduated from the Hawaiian Mission Academy in 1938. She met Victor M. Ranoa who managed plantation workers. They were married that year. In a life filled with many business ventures and personal accomplishments, they somehow managed to become the parents of 11 children of all whom distinguished themselves as productive contributing members of society. In their early years of marriage, Primitiva and Victor owned and operated a grocery and meat market in Honolulu. Primitiva managed the business and also became an insurance agent for Beneficial Life. When World War II broke out, she worked briefly in Pearl Harbor selling U.S. War Bonds then returned to the store.

In 1950, Victor came to the mainland to be a sheet-metal worker at Hunter's Point. Primitiva came a year later with seven of the children. At first, they lived in Richmond. Two years later, they moved to Washington Township to work on Allan Hirsch's strawberry farm. The family lived for a year in the camp house on the farm until they bought the John Mattos home on Blacow Road in Centerville. This was their home for the next 27 years.

"Vic" and "Prim" became sales representatives of the Phil-Am Travel Agency of San Francisco. They also led tour groups to the Philippines, the Orient and the Caribbean. Locally, they were active in several civic and social groups. Prim was chosen a commissioner of the City Beautiful Committee of the City of Fremont in 1976.

The couple also began helping immigrant Filipino families adjust to Tri-City life and assisted many in obtaining U.S. citizenship. They founded the Filipino Circle Club, Inc. in 1960. Prim served for eight years as president, eight as secretary, and earned a life membership. Prim also served many years as a Filipino court interpreter.

Primitiva worked as a nurse's aide at Washington Hospital from 1958 to 1973. She then joined Peerless Stage Lines, a regional bus company in Oakland. Vic and Prim bought the Japanese Language School on Bonde Way in Fremont from Allan Walton in 1975. They then remodeled the school and opened Ranoa Oriental Food Store. This was a Filipino "Mom and Pop" store known as "Long House" that was popular with the locals. Eventually, the language school became a basic English skills tutoring operation for Filipinos moving into the area, many of whom were nearly illiterate when they arrived in the US. The ambitious couple also owned and managed "Vic's Restaurant" in Union City.

The Ranoa children, seven boys and four girls, graduated from a variety of courses in colleges and universities. Five of them served in the armed forces. Here's a rundown of the brood listed in order of birth.

Calvin, a programmer analyst, is married to Johnnie Mae Henderson, they had two sons.

Shirley, a registered nurse, married Robert Griffiths, a maritime engineer and they had two daughters.

Arthur, a geologist and master photographer, married school teacher, Janis Hauck. They have two daughters.

Victor, an aviation engineer, married Carol Koenig, a former teacher. They have a daughter and two sons.

Eleanor, now retired, was a school teacher for thirty years. She married John Mortensen, a real estate appraiser. They have a daughter and a son.

Randolph is a telecommunication manager and is married to Susan Atkins. They have two sons and a daughter and are now living in Hawaii.

Carolyn, a teacher in the Fremont Unified School District married Vincent Suchoski, a manager at Applied Materials. They have a son and a daughter.

Patrick works for Lexus of Fremont and is engaged to attorney Linda Gonsalvez. He has two daughters from a former wife who is deceased.

Robert, a professional photographer, married Ruth Czahor, a nurse. They have a daughter and a son.

Claire, a former clothing buyer, married Martin Seitz who is also in the clothing industry. They have a daughter and a son and are now living in Germany.

Finally comes, Charles, who worked in the telecommunication and electronic industries. He is a senior citizen caregiver.

The eldest, Calvin and Shirley are now deceased.

After Vic died in 1983, Prim moved to her mother's house in Irvington. She taught "Coping Skills for Seniors" in the New Haven School District and worked as a senior adult educator for the Fremont Unified School District for twenty years. In 1990, Prim met Francisco Patis Gador, a widower and civil engineer from the Philippines. They were happily married for nearly 10 years before Frank passed away.

Two years ago, Prim traveled to Manila as a nominee for an international award representing the Filipino Communities of Northern California in 2004. She received a Gawad Geny Lopez, Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Award in recognition of her devotion to Filipino values of humanitarianism, industry, determination and dedication to public service.

These days, Prim still resides in Fremont and remains active in the Filipino community. She especially enjoys spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The large family jokes about renting a stadium should they decide to hold a family reunion!

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