Roberto Moncada Buñi, 83, fondly called “Bert,” left us to be with the Lord Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. He was born July 12, 1936, in the countryside barrio Bautista within the San Pablo City area of the Philippines.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Julio and Rufina Buñi; sisters, Emilia, Nenita, Juana and Rosario; and brother, Severino.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lourdes; son, Roy, and his wife, Josie; and granddaughter, Vivian.
Roberto served in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years. After retirement, he worked at Norfolk International Airport and M&G Electronics. Roberto was active in the Filipino American community establishing the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia. He supported his wife in the Mrs. Philippines fundraising efforts. He was president of the Batangas Association of Hampton Roads and a dedicated member of the Samahang Tagalog and Filipino American Veterans of Hampton Roads.
As a young boy, he played with his cousins, friends and neighbors who were younger than him. These youngsters enjoyed being carried by Bert on his shoulders as they played, and he protected them from being bullied. He loved giving the young ones snacks or candies, as was his generous nature to share food. This gesture of generosity and selflessness continued throughout his whole life. The boys missed him when he went abroad.
The God-given blessing enabled Bert to pass the qualifying examination for enlisted man in U.S. Navy. Sheer hard work as shoe shine boy, peddler of “pan de sal” and vendor of toys in barrio fiestas to support himself in his studies, and to help support his family even though he was the youngest of six siblings.
He came back to the Philippines to marry his sweetheart, Lourdes “Lody” on July 1, 1962. They were blessed with a handsome son, Roy.
He was the gateway for his relatives to migrate to the U.S. as it was his impetus to take care of his father Julio Buñi. He petitioned him to the U.S. when he joined the U.S. Navy and his old man in turn petitioned daughter Rosario “Chayong” to come to the United States. He continued to petition other family members including Flordeliza, his mother-in-law; Lilia, sister-in-law; Romeo and Margarita Teodoro, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, respectively, in the years to come.
Though he lived most of his life in the United States, being retired U.S. Navy, he kept himself connected with friends and family in his home country, the Philippines. He welcomed his relatives as guests in his home when they visited the U.S.
Bert was a great dancer who enjoyed twirling his wife Lourdes around on the dance floor at the Philippine Cultural Center. He was a wonderful singer who wowed his family and others while singing hymns in the congregation at church. He was part of a bowling league for many years and enjoyed playing mahjong with friends at various parties and functions in the Filipino community. He loved his family, his country, his heritage and he experience with the U.S. Navy. He was a jolly person, and his sweet smile will be deeply missed.
A viewing and wake will be held from 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12, at Smith and Williams Funeral Home, Kempsville. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 13, at Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach. Condolences may be offered to the family at 933 Cedar Road, Apt. 109, Chesapeake, VA 23322; or 708 Tucson Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.
Share online condolences with the family at Smith & Williams Funeral Home/Kempsville.