Godofredo Angeles Datu, passed away in the home he shared with his daughter and her family in Nyack, NY on Thursday, May 3, 2018. He was born in Bacolor, Pampanga Philippines to the late Godofredo A. Datu, Sr. and Maxima A. Datu on October 21, 1935 and was the youngest of 9 children.
Growing up in Bacolor, his fondest memories were of the fiestas celebrating the holy days and attending mass at San Guillermo, the church originally founded by Augustinian friars in 1576. Raised in a devoutly Catholic family, Fred at one time attended seminary and considered a vocation as a priest. Ultimately, he remained secular and attended Araneta University. He later joined the military.
In May of 1965, as a captain in the Philippine army, he met Avelina Perez Juico. Not long after, they were married and immediately moved to Butuan City, where Fred was assigned. Their daughter, Gemini was born a year later. In 1974, they took a leap of faith and emigrated to California. They moved several times over the next few years and finally settled in Danvers, Massachusetts in 1978.
Fred saw the beauty and potential in all things. He enjoyed going to yard sales and found purpose in things most saw as useless. American Pickers would have loved him. While he was an avid tennis player and golfer, Fred enjoyed watching sports typically only aficionados would follow -- track and field, table tennis, figure skating, volleyball, car racing.
Most of all, Fred was devoted to his wife Avelina and was devastated when she suffered a stroke in 1999. While she was in a coma for 4 years, Fred was by her side daily until she passed away in 2004. His deep faith, love and optimism sustained him throughout this difficult period as it did during these last six years after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2011.
Fred's absolute trust that he was where he belonged was a testament of his faith in God and God's plan for him. He lived with his daughter and her family for the past 6 years, where each day, he never failed to show gratitude for each moment. Fred's gentle, kind and optimistic nature was a gift to his family and everyone he came in contact with.
He is survived by his daughter, Gemini D. Watanabe, Nyack NY; son-in-law Brett Watanabe, Nyack NY; two grandsons Corey D. Watanabe and Evan D. Watanabe, Nyack NY; two brothers-in-law, Pitt Vasquez of Quezon City, Philippines, Vil Salvador of Plano,TX; three sisters-in-law Leonila B. Datu of Angeles City, Philippines, Elly Datu of Fremont, CA and Joan Datu of Ledyard,CT; and many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his wife, Avelina Juico Datu, and his brothers and sisters -- Amanda A. Datu, Leonila A. Datu, Carlos A. Datu, Jesus A. Datu, Jose A. Datu, Maria D. Vasquez, Elena D. Salvador and Hermina D. Marro.
Family and friends are invited to Fred’s memorial service at the chapel of St. Ann's Church in Nyack, NY on June 16 at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Cancer Research Institute (www.cancerresearch.org). A private burial will be held in California at a later date.