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Angeles “Lily” Trinidad Aradanas

Death 4 Feb 2017 (aged 92)
Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
Burial Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
Memorial ID 176332253 · View Source
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Proudly calling America and Lompoc her home since 1958, Lily Trinidad was born the eldest daughter of a farming family in Tigao, a tiny then-remote fishing village in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, which her great-grandfather founded in the 1880’s. She grew up among pristine coral reefs teeming with fish and a lush old-growth tropical rainforest populated by macaque monkeys and dotted with waterfalls, swimming holes and giant orchids.

Lily’s late teens were spent in the upper reaches of this rainforest, as an evacuee in hiding from Japanese occupation during World War II. Although most survivors typically recall the war years with trauma, ironically Lily remembers her care-free existence in the hills as one of the happiest periods of her life.

In 1953 in Tigao, Lily married her 5-year pen pal, Pedro Aradanas. Pedro was a Philippine native who had already been living in the U.S. since 1925, an era when the 1924 Johnson-Reed Act legally restricted immigration as whites-only, from Europe, but which made one exception: uneducated young single males from the Philippines (which was then owned by the U.S. as an official colony) due to the need for cheap labor in the building of fledging West Coast industries such as agriculture and fish canning. Per state laws outlawing interracial marriage, Pedro belonged to a generation of Filipino immigrants who mostly became aging childless bachelors; but at his advanced age Pedro was lucky enough to find a Filipina wife almost 20 years his junior, which was typical of both Lily’s and Pedro’s respective generations in that era.

Due to medical complications Lily could not move to America / Lompoc until 1958, where husband Pedro had been managing the “L.F.E.” (Lompoc Filipino Enterprises) Market at I St. and Cypress for several years, in a neighborhood that had once been widely stigmatized by local whites as “Tiger Town” – the Chinese / Mexican / Filipino district of Lompoc, bounded by Ocean and Cypress Avenues and by I and K Streets.

After giving birth to four children, Lily in 1964 – when teachers of color were a rarity in Lompoc - began a 30-year career of educating Lompoc’s elementary school children, as well as preparing 30 years’ worth of Lompoc’s Catholic children for the sacrament of their First Holy Communion. From 1964 to 1977 she taught second-graders at Catholic schools run by La Purisima Church, and from 1977 to 1994 Spanish-speaking Lily taught primary school students in Lompoc’s bilingual public education system, although she still continued teaching “Cathechism” (Catholic education) on the side during this latter period. In 1988 at the age of 64 she received her Master’s Degree in Education at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, an accomplishment of which she and her family were very proud. This latter period overlapped with her very active involvement with her church’s ever-evolving adult choir, which finally came to an end for her in 2013 at the age of 89.

In Lily’s latter years this lifelong flower lover was active in Lompoc’s Alpha Club, and as a longtime member of the Lompoc Filipino American Club she was key to the organizing of two regional projects honoring Filipino heritage on the Central Coast: Lompoc’s Filipino Heritage Mural in 2006, dedicated by then-Mayor Dick DeWees; and the controversial 2008 historical preservation of the “P.I.” (Philippine Islands) Market in Pismo Beach. In 2002 she was also instrumental in introducing the uniquely and unconventional Filipino Catholic celebration of “Santo Nino” to her La Purisima parish, a legacy that proudly continues today.

At the age of 90 in 2014, Lily was among the women honored by a Cal Poly exhibit and website titled the “Re/Collecting Project,” as a “pioneer” of the Central Coast – a key agent in the significant post-war growth of Asian-American families in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties during the 1940’s-1950’s.

Lily is survived by son Peter John (“P.J.”) Aradanas of Lompoc, daughter Mary Aradanas of Santa Barbara, daughter Angeline Hall of Colorado (and son-in-law Steve Hall, granddaughter Sydney Hall, and grandson Miles Hall), and son Clarito (“Bing”) Aradanas of Lompoc, her at-home caregiver from September 2012 until her death.

The following are the details of Lily’s funeral services on Saturday, February 18, 2017: viewing of the open casket 7-8 AM at La Purisima Church; memorial mass 8:30-9:30 AM; burial at Lompoc Cemetery afterward; and reception 9:30/10:30 AM to noon at the church’s Parish Hall.

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  • Created by: Steve Burton
  • Added: 14 Feb 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 176332253
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Angeles “Lily” Trinidad Aradanas (30 Aug 1924–4 Feb 2017), Find A Grave Memorial no. 176332253, citing Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, USA ; Maintained by Steve Burton (contributor 48198296) .