Manong Fred Cordova

FANHS Monterey joins FANHS members in sending their condolences to the Cordova family. Manong Fred’s pioneering work in Filipino American History, and his support of FilAm historians, was an inspiration to us all.

Seattle Times Obituary, Jan. 5, 2014:

Frederick A. Cordova 1931-2013

Frederic A. Cordova, 82, passed peacefully on Dec. 21, 2013. Born June 3, 1931 in Selma CA to Margarita Pilar and Geraldo Umali, Fred considered Stockton, CA his hometown although as a child he lived in numerous California farm areas because his adoptive parents Leoncio and Lucia Cordova contracted migrant farm laborers. In 1948 he moved to Seattle to attend Seattle University. After graduation Fred was a copy boy/reporter/editorial secretary at the Seattle Post Intelligencer and sports editor at the Catholic Northwest Progress. In 1966 he became Director of Public Information at Seattle University and in 1974 Manager of News and Information at the University until he retired in 2000.

In 1957 Fred co-founded the Filipino Youth Activities of Seattle and created the award-winning FYA Drill Team. In 1982 he was founding president of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) creating its National Archives. For over 50 years he reached out to and mentored thousands of young people. During the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, Fred was an outspoken advocate for economic justice, racial equality, and ethnic identity. He was the weekly commentator on issues important to community of color for KYAC-FM Radio’s “Dark Voices” series.

For 12 years he was an affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington teaching Filipino American history and culture. In 1998 Fred received an honorary doctorate from Seattle University for lifetime achievements in research, writing and promoting Filipino American history and community work. He started the national effort to make October Filipino American History Month.

A devout Catholic, Fred served the Immaculate Conception parish for 50 years. In 2003 he was ordained Deacon of the Archdiocese of Seattle. Despite failing health, he created the San Pedro Colungsod Guild and led efforts to propose a national shrine at Immaculate Conception for the Filipino saint.

Fred was a devoted husband, proud of his family, committed to the community. Survived by Dorothy, loving wife of 60 years; eight children Anthony, Damian (Judy), Timoteo, Cecilia (Jay), Margarita, Dominic, Dion and Bibiana (Alfonzo); 17 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by sisters Feling, Catherine, Pauline and brother Sam. Survived by brothers Don Bilar, Phil Ventura and Ernie Balucas and a large extended family.

Viewing at Bonney-Watson, 1732 Broadway, Thurs. Jan. 9 – 1 to 8 pm and Fri. noon to 4 pm. Rosary and Vigil Service at Immaculate Conception Church Fri. Jan 10 at 7 pm. Funeral Mass Sat. Jan.11 – Immaculate Conception Church 10:00 am. Interment at Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to FANHS 810 18TH Ave. or Immaculate Conception Church – 820 18th Ave. – both Seattle, WA 98122.

Published in The Seattle Times on Jan. 5, 2014 – See more at: