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Club Mourns Mang Jun's Passing
May 29, 2011 | Share
Members mourned the death of Mang Jun Leonardo who passed away on April 14. Hundreds of members paid their last respects to him during the wake in Our Lady of Beautiful Love Parish Church.
The priest who spoke during the funeral took note of the diversity of people who paid their last respects to Mang Jun – from the very young children to the seniors; from local members to expats; his fellow staff members to current & previous members of the board of directors.
What is it about Jun that is so endearing that it made us worry when he started losing weight and profoundly affected us when he died?
It must be that unobtrusive concern that he has for whoever is left in the bar at 3 in the morning; that sunny disposition that we see; the quick grasp of what regular members order from the bar and his uncanny detachment from issues that plague individual members.
In the more than 30 years that he served in the Nomads bar where he can bare witness to a lot of unspeakable fights, drunken banter and even embryonic romance between members – never was he suspected of starting a gossip. That is classic Jun.
Bed-ridden and weighing barely 100 lbs, Jun could barely sit-up the week before he passed away. Typical of Mang Jun, he managed to smile, shake hands with friends who visited him – unflustered with the tubes attached to his throat, the difficulty of communication and the pain that he tried to conceal.
He died peacefully on April 14, 2011 at 11 am in the arms of his son, Brian and surrounded by his immediate family. He was 58. Ernelita, his wife, asked him the night before if he was in pain and he said he is alright, refusing to take any pain killer. He was described as calm and brave, despite being advised by his doctor a week before that there is not much else that can be done.
According to his wife, cremation was not an option for Jun, nor the thought that he be buried in his province. Thus, the wake was in Our Lady of Beautiful Love Parish Church in Washington Street, Merville – close to home and friends that love him. A board of director suggested, with the approval of his wife, that a Nomads flag be draped on his coffin.
The medical funds that were contributed by Nomads members were used by the family to purchase the lot in Manila Memorial Park and shoulder other funeral expenses
Patrick, his second son who also works for Nomads, insisted that the hearse that transported his father’s body passed Nomad Sports Club from the church to the cemetery. And when it passed, members stopped playing in the field and those in the bar paused, waved a poignant good-bye to a dearly-loved staff who will be sorely missed. In the words of Tom Whitwell, “it was a fitting send-off to a true Nomad”.
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