Delia Herrera Operario, 88, of Cantilan, Surigao del sur, Philippines, passed away on March 21, 2018, at her home in Columbia, Louisiana. She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren when she finally took her last breath on that sad, somber, Wednesday dawn. The viewing of her remains will be on Saturday, March 24, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church, Columbia, Louisiana. Mass will immediately follow—from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. After the Mass, everyone will be invited to a small get together at the community hall, located at the back of the church. Her remains will be flown back to the Philippines, where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband, Pelayo.
Delia was born on February 3, 1930 in Cantilan, Surigao, Philippines, a town facing the Pacific Ocean, where everyone is related to everyone else. She is the third of seven children of Marcos Herrera and Concordia Ortiz. She finished pharmacy at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines. She married Pelayo Operario, an Engineer, on June 6, 1957. They were blessed with 13 adventurous children, who are now spread all over the continents of Asia, Australia, and North America. She worked for many years as the only pharmacist of Tandag, Surigao Hospital.
When her children started to enter college, she and her husband, Pelayo, decided to move the family to the city of Cebu, Philippines. With her husband away, working in Tandag & Davao (he visited the family once or twice a month) Delia raised and took care of her 13 incorrigible children, with the strength and subtlety of a woman of God. All 13 of her children graduated from college, due mainly to the sweat, tears, and prayers of this indomitable woman.
Delia and her husband, Pelayo, immigrated to the United States in 1998, and have stayed in Columbia, Louisiana, since 2001. Her husband, Pelayo passed away two years ago here in Columbia. He was flown back to the Philippines, where he is buried. Delia’s wish is to be buried where her husband was laid to rest, and so, her wish is our command.
She is survived by 11 of her 13 children, 28 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and three younger siblings: Marcosito, Lolita, and Gabriel. We remember her not with sadness, but with a big smile. She has done well. She has been very fruitful. And like the apostle Paul, she has fought the good fight and has gracefully finished the race.