CARMELITA ONGPAUCO SIDECO
Born March 25, 1935 Lita Sideco, wife, mother, teacher and devoted community organizer, passed away suddenly of complications from pneumonia on February 25, 2009. She will be sadly missed by her loving husband, Dr. Edgardo Sideco, their sons, Eric (and Sonia), Ian (and Valerie), Neil (and Sabine) and Arne (and Julie) and their families. She will be equally missed by her extended family and multitude of friends throughout Canada, the Philippines and other parts of the world.
After distinguishing herself academically, Lita's nursing career path brought her from Manila, Philippines to America and then to Montreal where she enjoyed a successful and rewarding career as an administrator, clinician and assistant director of the School of Nursing at the Jewish General Hospital. She had a passion for teaching and went on to become a nursing teacher at Vanier College until her retirement. She served as role model to young nurses, teaching values of selflessness and professionalism.
She had a passion for the arts and a special love for music. She was President of the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, a Friend of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and patron to aspiring musicians and artists. Among her Filipino community involvement, she was the Founding President of the Philippine Folk Art Society of Quebec (PFASQ) and the first female President of the Philippine Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS). In addition, she was a member and supporter of the Filipino Nurses' Association of Quebec (FNAQ), the Federation of Philippine Canadian Association of Quebec and a founding member of the Philippine Centre Foundation of Greater Montreal. She supported many other associations related to the promotion of Philippine culture within the province of Quebec.
Carmelita was active in many associations as a supporting member of municipal, provincial and federal parties, serving on the board of directors for the Federal Liberal Party, Mount Royal Riding and serving on the Executive Council for Centre de Recherche Action sur les Relations Raciales (CRARR).
She received many civic nominations and accolades; including being twice honored by the Women's Y Foundation with Highest distinction - for the Advancement of Women. She also received the Award of Recognition, by the Philippine Ambassador to Canada; the Certificate of Merit by the English Speaking Catholic Council and was winner of the Mabuhay Award for most outstanding Filipino in Canada.
The family will receive condolences at the Centre Funeraire Cote Des Neiges, 4525 chemin de la Cote des Neiges, Montreal, Quebec, 514-342-8000. Viewing hours are from Sunday, March 1, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday, March 2, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at the Annunciation of our Lady Church, 75 Roosevelt Avenue, Mount-Royal, Quebec on Tuesday, March 3 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Philippine Centre Foundation of Greater Montreal; any of the several Filipino organizations; or to your local church or religious institution. Carmelita will be sadly missed but her spirit will live on forever.