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|Noel A. Espina|
|Viewing: February 7, 2019 (Thursday) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and February 8, 2019 (Friday) from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.|
Service: February 9, 2019 (Saturday) at 9:00 a.m.
Location: DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Noel A. Espina passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family on January 31, 2019 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia.
Noel is survived by his wife, Amelia “Mel” Espina; children: Crystal Hamilton, Cheryl “ChiChi” Espina, & Christopher “Chino” Espina; son-in-law, Dusty Hamilton; grandchildren: Owen & Luke Hamilton; his brother, Mamer Espina and sister, Trining Roncales who are both still in the Philippines. All of the Espina family members, except his nephews, Ricardo “Ricki” and James “Jimmy” Alexander, are living in the Philippines. However, his first cousin, Celedonia “Cely” Encarnacion was present and by his side during his final moments.
He was born in Samar, Philippines on May 8, 1954 to Victorio & Crespina Espina. He was one of thirteen brothers and sisters. In 1968, at the age of fourteen, he left his home to move to Manila in an effort to make some money to help take care of his parents and siblings. He served as a baker and cook, plus took on labor-intensive jobs for years to care for his family.
In 1978, his sister, Carmen Alexander was in need of a kidney transplant due to kidney failure. Noel was the only one who was willing to donate his, which saved his sister’s life. He migrated to the United States in 1979 to undergo the procedure. From this moment, he began a life where he had always dreamed…America.
In 1981, he met his future-wife, Mel. Noel’s roommate, Rudy, who sold her life insurance, saw that she was “single” on her form. Rudy passed her phone number to Noel, who called her the next evening just to chat. After three months of chatting, they finally met in person, but Mel did not let him into her apartment so the two talked between a c hained, but open door. Eventually, they went on their first date to a disco club called “Crystal City Underground” in Crystal City, Virginia. This became a weekly Friday date. In January 15, 1982, they got married at the courthouse, but also married again at Saint Martin Catholic Church on October 30, 1982. They lived in a small apartment in Washington D.C. during their first few years and eventually moved their family to their first real home in Springfield, Virginia in 1991.
On May 11, 1983, their first daughter, Crystal was born. Followed by Cheryl, who was born on September 4, 1984, and Christopher, who was born on March 27, 1986. He became a “Lolo” (grandfather) for the first time on March 19, 2012 (Owen) and again on, February 20, 2015 (Luke). His grandchildren brought him so much joy. He especially enjoyed playing hide-and-seek with them, doing school pick-ups or drop-offs, baby-sitting, and sneaking them cookies.
Noel was well-known for his Fil-Am Limousine Services from 1991 – 2001. He was an avid bowler (mostly at the Bowl America on Edsall Road) where he won several trophies, rings…and bets! He was famous for his pancit (Filipino Rice Noodle Dish), which was made for almost every family event. He was well-loved by many and had the best sense of humor. All who have known him are guaranteed to have a funny story to tell about him.
Noel lived an eventful life that began with hardship, but ended with ease and comfort. He never complained and always had a generous spirit. He worked multiple jobs so he could put all of his nieces and nephews back in the Philippines through school all while raising his own family in America. He was the livelihood for many and he would give even when he had very little. He gave with all his heart and his big heart is what took him home. He will forever be missed.
Friends may call DeVol Funeral Home on Thursday, February 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, February 8 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 9 at 9:00 a.m. at DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Interment will follow to All Souls Cemetery, Germantown, MD.
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