A well known Filipino husband and wife from Toronto, Ontario, died days apart from COVID-19 in Canada.
Malakias Guerrero was born in the Philippines, the son of a local farmer. He ended up working for a well-to-do family who paid for his education.
His wife Norma also came from a big Filipino family. She studied medicine and moved to the United States, but went back home to the Philippines to marry the love of her life.
Guerrero moved to Canada with his wife, where they began their new life in Toronto, Ontario.
He worked as a teacher, while Norma worked as a hospital nurse.
They lived the Canadian dream, first moving into a small rooming house along Spadina Avenue before buying their first home in Scarborough.
Guerrero believed in the value of a good education, so he sent his children, Phil and Michelle, to private school.
Back when it was easier to sponsor relatives to come to Canada, Guerrero brought family members to Canada to share his good fortune.
He allowed them to stay in the basement of his home while they started out their new lives in Canada, just like he did once upon a time.
Guerrero worked at Central Commerce Collegiate, where he taught many Filipino immigrants, who remember him very fondly.
Guerrero and his wife fell ill in November 2020. Michelle, brought them both to St. Michael’s Hospital.
She was told that they were the first husband and wife to be admitted to the hospital at the time.
Guerrero was placed on a ventilator on the night they were admitted. Norma had improved, and was released.
Guerrero passed away on December 10, 2020. Not soon after, Norma’s health deteriorated further and she was readmitted to the hospital. Norma died on December 30, 2020.
“In the end they could not live without each other,” Phil told the Toronto Star. Guerrero and his wife were married for more than 55 years.
SOURCE: THE TORONTO STAR
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