Obituary of Margarita Chan Lu
June 5, 2023
Margarita Chan Lu, 68, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, June 5, 2023, at New York's Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, due to complications from chronic kidney disease and diabetes.
Margarita was born on November 18, 1954, in Manila, Philippines, the fifth of eight children to Ester Ong-Te and Guillermo B.P. Chan. A lover of music, she could be found singing with the Rosa Mystica Choir at the Binondo Chinese Parish Church, recording music off the radio using cassette tapes, and teaching herself how to play guitar and piano.
She graduated from Chiang-Kai Shek (CKS) High School and received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the Philippines. After emigrating to New York City with her family in 1980, she worked for several years in the Garment District as a bookkeeper. In 1989, Margarita married a fellow CKS/UST graduate, an old classmate of her sister whom she knew of but had never met until both came to the United States - that is, until they were set up by Margarita's matchmaking sister and mother. Together, Margarita and her husband raised their only daughter in Stuyvesant Town, making friends in the community who would become family.
Margarita loved commemorating special occasions, whether it was cooking someone their favorite dish for their birthday, taking tons AND TONS of photos to distribute as remembrance afterward, or designing and printing custom banners to liven up celebrations for framily and friends - be it birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, graduations, and more. It was no surprise she was the go-to family party coordinator who thought about an experience from start to end and how to best make people feel welcomed and entertained. She effortlessly made everyone she came in contact with feel so special, so sincerely loved and included.
She is survived by her husband, Phillip; daughter Pauline; siblings Anita, Nelly, Leticia, Nelson, and Emy. She leaves behind countless nieces and nephews/grandnieces and grandnephews/godchildren/cousins/siblings-in-law/ and family friends. She affectionately went by several nicknames including Margaret, Margie, Marge, Maga, Ma-lea, Achi Bong, Go-ee, and Go-ee-ma. She will be dearly missed by all for her warm hugs, small acts of kindness, and endearing sense of humor that only she could pull off.
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