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Born: Jun 29, 1928

Date of Passing: Jul 17, 2022

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On July 17, 2022, Victor "Jun" Navarete Pagtakhan Jr. passed away peacefully, at home, at the age of 94, with his family by his side. He is reunited in heaven with his wife of 56 years, Amparo "Par" (deceased in 2015), and his parents, Victor Sr. and Fabiana.
His memory will forever be a blessing to his three children, Teresita Chiarella (Anthony), Jocelyn Striemer (Robert), and Arnel Pagtakhan (Agnes), to whom he was a loving "tatay," and his grand and great-grandchildren, Allegra, Amy (Marie), Mark, Grace, Adrian, Nicholas, Eloise, Oskar, Zoe, and Lily, who remember him as "lolo" or "great-lolo." He is also mourned by his many siblings and relatives in the Philippines, the US, and Canada.
Victor was born in the town of Bacoor, Philippines, on June 29, 1928. He helped to support his family from a young age, before working alongside his siblings in the family bakery while still in high school. He married the love of his life, Par, in 1958 and passed the bar examination in 1961, while also working his way up to become the head of the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the province of Cavite before immigrating to Canada with his family in 1973, in pursuit of a better future for his children. The family settled in Winnipeg, where Victor worked in the office of the Auditor General for the provincial government and sponsored many of his relatives' immigration to Canada. He was a disciplined, lifelong learner, mastering photography, piano, and poetry over the course of his adulthood. Following his retirement at the age of 59, he spent much of his time cooking and baking for his family and babysitting his grandchildren - a visit to Lolo and Lola's was never complete without being sent home with an abundance of freshly-baked pan de sal or hand-rolled lumpia. Until the very end, he loved watching Filipino cooking shows on Youtube and was eager to try out new recipes and techniques. He is remembered by all those who knew him as a man with an impeccable work ethic, an unwavering faith in God, and a deep devotion to his family, for whom he made great sacrifices without hesitation.
The family would also like to express their gratitude to Dr. Sue Deonarain and the WRHA Palliative Care community nurses, especially Johannes and Sean, for their compassion and support throughout Victor's illness.
A viewing will be held at St. Emile Roman Catholic Church, 556 St. Anne's Rd., on Tuesday, July 26 at 12:00 p.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at 1:00 p.m. and a reception in the parish hall afterward. Considering the ongoing pandemic, we kindly request that all attendees wear a mask, and a livestream of the service will be made available on the St. Emile Parish Facebook page and website for all those who are unable to join us in person.

"I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7
Family and friends may sign a
book of condolence at
Glen Lawn Funeral Home

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 23, 2022

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • In loving memory of a wonderful father who was a blessing to us, his children - happy 95th birthday, Papa/Tatay and your first birthday in heaven with Mama/Nanay! We miss you and love you forever. - Posted by: Joyce/Jocelyn (Daughter) on: Jun 29, 2023

  • Kuya Jun, I know you can see and hear us. We will gather this noon at St. Emile Roman Catholic Church – the parish house of worship you frequented with Ate Paring – to celebrate your life and to memorialize the blessings you both have brought into this world. At once brilliantly shining was your and At Paring’s devotion to your daughters Teresita and Jocelyn and son Arnel since their births and growing up years in the Philippines and until they started in Winnipeg with Anthony, Robert, and Agnes, respectively, their own family, and ever since. You had showered them with unconditional devotion that intensified as grandchildren came, came, and came into your widening household. These are the blessings your life with Ate Paring has left. Lasting legacies they are for they – Tess, Joce and Arnel with their own families, grandchildren included – have followed your examples as reflected in the admirable roles they themselves have lived and in the service and friendship they have shared with others. Kuya Jun’s life with Ate Paring had, indeed, been a life of love and devotion and family commitments. To more fully appreciate his life – nearly half of it lived in the Philippines and slightly more than half in Canada – let me share a portrait of our family and recall the era of the time and the prevailing environment he had to confront – to provide some context. As far back as I can remember, there has been no middle-class family in the Philippines – only the rich and very rich (the minority) and the very poor and nearly poor (the vast majority). Our family readily belonged to the majority. We had a two-storey, two-bedroom home in the town of Bacoor, province of Cavite. Thanks to my aunt – my mother’s oldest sister; my mother was the youngest of four children in her family – the house and lot were gifts to our parents. Nanay – as we called our mother, was a schoolteacher-turned ‘used-goods-buy-and-sell businesswoman’ and in charge of sales in our family-owned bakery business; Tatay – as we called our father – was a self-taught accountant-turned fisherman, jeepney driver and baker. In our gifted home lived and grew up, with our parents, 11 siblings – two girls and nine boys – nearly a year-and-a-half apart in age. Kuya Jun was the oldest brother, but not the oldest sibling; he was the 3rd. Born in June 1928, the family had grown to 6 siblings by the time he began Grade I – I was the youngest then – to 8 when he entered high school four years later, and to 11 siblings when he began college. From birth to the start of college life, Kuya Jun lived during the era of worldwide upheavals. The world was entering, experiencing and recovering from the worst economic depression throughout his pre-school and grade school life. Soon after his high school began, the Second World War reached the Philippines – then an American colony. The 4-year Japanese occupation of the country pretty much encompassed his high school years. Now I fully understand why he had to bike 40 kilometres a day during high school in Cavite city. Although tuition was free, there was no family cash for bus transportation. Tatay’s accounting employment in Manila was gone; he turned to fishing, establishing his own fish coral (baklad) in the sea.Younger, I saw the tail end of this 4-year experience with our fish coral as a source of livelihood, but Kuya Jun did it for the duration of the war occupation. Post-war remained tough times for the country. Kuya Jun initially took a shorter bookkeeping-accounting course of study. This allowed him later steady employment during the day while studying to be a lawyer at a night school as was his ambition. A slower pace than full-time law college courses would permit, he became a lawyer in 1961. From then on, it was only a matter of time; he achieved his dream to reach a leadership position in the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the old country. While at the middle of his work career and feeling secure, yet another upheaval visited his life: martial law was proclaimed in the Philippines in September 1972. I happened to be visiting at the time, exploring avenues for my eventual return. One evening – and several more before I could get my clearance to return to Canada – Kuya Jun, among other brothers, really worried about the future for their three children; he asked me – as others did – how his family could immigrate to Canada. In 1973, he and his family – five – arrived in Winnipeg. At 45, it was not as easy to re-start one’s career in a new country. Eventually, he did it – and successfully at that – utilizing the skills-set he had: accounting and law, enriched by his many attributes: hardworking, determined and self-disciplined; forthright and honest; kind and patient; creative; and above all, abiding faith in God Almighty. Let me share a few specific examples to illustrate his attributes: he made a T-square to increase our harvest of clams at the seashores; informed of the dangers to health, he stopped smoking one day during his early adult life and never touched one smoke again; confronted with unpleasant news about anyone, he would simply say, “I cannot understand,” with a tincture of pain and sadness in his voice and countenance, never an admonition nor a harsh word. Let me conclude by sharing with you our last conversation which occurred a couple of days before he made his last breath. Alone with him in his bedroom and he on his palliative bed, he at once confided as soon as I was seated beside him: “Rey,” he calmly began and said with equanimity, “I wanted to die now.” There was no hesitation. No complaint of pain. He did not ask for any medication. There was no fear of death on his face and in his voice. I only discerned in him a complete surrender to God’s will. At that moment, the only thoughts that came to mind were Jesus' words in Luke 22:42: “Not my will but Thine be done.” I shared them aloud with him, twice. He looked at me with serenity and gently closed his eyes, breathing normally. After a little while, he opened them again as I excused myself. He said, with his usual endearing words and characteristic smile: “Pahinga ka na” (Take you rest now.) This last conversation I shall continue to cherish. Kuya Jun, we love you; we will miss your presence in our midst and your ever-wise counsel. We take comfort and solace in the assurance you are now with Our Father in his Kingdom, resting in peace with Ate Paring. We bid adieu, not goodbye, until we meet again in His Kingdom where we all long to be someday. - Posted by: Dr. Reynaldo D. Pagtakhan (Brother) on: Jul 26, 2022

  • Arnel, Agnes and family my sincere condolences on the loss of your father, father-in-law and grandfather. - Posted by: Brigitte Fisher (former co-worker) on: Jul 25, 2022

  • Teresita & family, my condolences on the passing of your dear Dad. He was such a loving and kind man, and very friendly, the few times we encountered. May he rest in peace. - Posted by: Eva M Haddad (Friend of Teresita) on: Jul 23, 2022

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