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Originally published Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 06:00a.m.

Susana Lachica Parel of Kingman, Arizona, passed away at home, March 29, 2018. Mrs. Parel was the widow of Florentino Parel, who preceded her in death in 1985.

Susana was born in Rosario, La Union province, Philippines on June 5, 1933. She lived for many years in Baguio City, where her father was a public school administrator. She was the daughter of Tomas and Esperanza (Ranon) Lachica.

Susana’s elementary education was interrupted in December 1941 by the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. She told many stories about her experiences during those three and a half years of Japanese Occupation such as observing Japanese cruelty to local Filipinos, including the requirement to bow to any Japanese soldier, and the imprisonment of her father on allegations of supporting local Filipino guerilla operations against the Japanese (he did). Tomas Lachica was eventually released from Japanese custody to resume his school work.

After the end of World War II while staying with relatives and attending Far Eastern University in Manila, Susana met Florentino Parel, originally from Bantay, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. Susana and Florentino were married in Baguio City, Philippines and later settled in Bantay, Ilocos Sur where their first daughter, Susieflor (Parel-Duranceau), and son, Danilo Parel were born.

Susana and Flor moved to Baguio City, Philippines where Susana completed her college and Master’s degrees in Elementary Education at the University of Baguio, while Florentino worked for the City of Baguio Public Works. Susana had a long career teaching at Mabini Elementary School in Baguio City. Even years later, her former students would see her in town and thank her for her teaching efforts on their behalf. Her other daughter, Maribel (Parel) was born in Baguio City.

In 1986, after seeing all her children graduate from college, Susana and Florentino immigrated to the United States (they had both been born under the United States, Philippine Commonwealth) and settled in Kingman with their children. Susana had a long, second working career in Kingman, first working for Shilling’s Footprints, then for a local day care center. Susana then worked for Mohave Mental Health until she retired in 2008 after 20-plus years as a human service worker.

Susana never learned to drive despite family efforts to get her to try. Susan did enjoy traveling with her family going back to the Philippines many times to visit family, other grandchildren and friends. She also traveled to San Diego, Los Angeles, Alabama, and the San Francisco area, where she also had relatives. She went to Hawaii a number of times and spent Christmas 2016 in Maui, where she enjoyed the beach immensely. Susana went to all her grandsons’ (Marty and Alec) basketball games when they played for the Kingman Academy of Learning and Kingman High School teams. She enjoyed going to Flagstaff and Tucson when her grandsons were at the Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona. She became a huge University of Arizona basketball fan (Wildcats) and made sure to watch every game on TV.

Susan is survived by her daughters Susie (Tom Duranceau, son-in-law) and Maribel (Parel) of Kingman, and her son Danilo (Evangeline Chua, daughter-in-law) of Baguio City. She has six grandchildren, and was very proud of them graduating from college, including, Alec in Tucson, Marty in Phoenix, Danica and Denyll in Singapore, Danileen and Danice in Manila, and two great-granddaughters in Singapore. Susan was the second child of 12 siblings, and is survived by Catalina in Manila; Cecilia, Cesar, and Samuel in Baguio City; Virginia in West Covina, California; Erlinda in Taladega, Alabama; and Araceli in Los Angeles.

The family will hold a viewing memorial service at Sutton Memorial Funeral Home,1701 Sycamore Ave., Kingman, Arizona, from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 6, 2018. A memorial prayer service will be held from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Sutton Memorial Funeral Home. A reception for family and friends will follow. Interment will be in the Philippines at a later date.