“May the spirit of Christmas reign peace and harmony… wishing all good health, joy and a long life for 2021.” – Josie 12.24.2020
Josefina (Josie) Lagniton Alba, age 88, of Chatham, NJ and formerly of Manila, Philippines, peacefully passed on Friday, January 22, 2021 at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital with loved ones beside her.
Josie’s unwavering faith reflected a life of strengths and hopes with devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, and to the Divine Mercy.
Born in Iloilo, Philippines on June 19, 1932. One of Josie’s fondest memories was running around as a child on the seashores of Davao’s Samal Island. Josie’s “sparkling charm” and “sweet and smiling face” were among the qualities that led her to be voted the Class of 1954 Ms. Pharmacy at University of Santo Tomas (UST).
When asked by a reporter what type of men appeal to her most, she shyly answered: “Those who are pious, intelligent, and handsome….” She met our Papa and Grandpa/Lolo, Rafael Jerry Alba, a UST law graduate, who nicknamed her “Joy”. They were married for 47 years, sharing a mutual love for music and dancing! Together again, after 17 years, almost to the day.
Josie with an adventurous curiosity, keen fashion sense, and culinary gravitas, enjoyed traveling, photography, great taste, and especially playing the piano, particularly Beethoven’s Für Elise. She continued learning new classical music through Christmas 2020.
In February 1976, Josie started a second career as an Immigration Counselor with the U.S. Catholic Conference (Catholic Charities). She was dedicated to helping other immigrants come to know first hand the “loving concern of the Church” for their welfare. Recipient of the Holy Family in Flight porcelain plate, Josie was recognized on behalf of “thousands who benefitted” from her personal and exemplary interventions. Josie continued her impassioned service at the Archdiocese of New York, Immigration and Refugee Services, with a particular commitment to serving the clergies of various religious orders.
Josie and Jerry raised their 4 children in Manila, spent summers in Capiz and migrated to New York. After 35 years, Josie retired for the second time at 80 years old, spending more time with her children, grandchildren, families, and friends.
Survived by her three sisters and their families, Erlinda Vicente, Louisa Rodriguez, and Pilar Abaya; beloved Mom/“Mother Goose” to Jo-Rose (Drew) Portfolio, Gerard (Nina), Anthony and Josefina (David) Essex; loving Granny to Quinn, Brian, Gabriela, Rafael, Miguel, Maximilian, Aimee, Sydney, and Montgomarie.
Celebrating Mom’s resurrection mass at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church Short Hills NJ this Friday, January 29th, at 10:15 am. We welcome your virtual presence as well.
In lieu of flowers, suggested donations are appreciated on behalf of Josefina (Josie) L. Alba to MSKCC Breast Cancer Oncologists team, Dr. Elizabeth Comen and Dr. Heather Kurtis. https://giving.mskcc.org/ways-to-give
Gratitude to Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home in taking great care of Mom!