MRS. MAJOR CLAUDIA BEGONIA (R) was promoted to Glory on May 17, 2001, from the La Mirada Specialty Hospital, La Mirada, CA, after a lengthy illness.
Claudia Narvarro was born August 8, 1920, in Carcar, Cebu, Philippines, the eldest of five children born to Envoys Francisca and Favio Navarro. Her father introduced her to the Army at an early age after his return from Hawaii to pioneer the work of The Salvation Army in the Visayan islands.
As a candidate for the training college before WWII, Claudia and her father opened the Army work in Cebu. Claudia was commissioned in 1939 as one of the first cadets commissioned in the Philippines Territory. As a single officer her appointments included Manila Central, Cebu, the training college and as a district officer in the Visayan Islands.
Claudia was one of the original doughnut lassies responsible for feeding the U.S. and local Philippine troops and guerrillas during the war in the Visayan Region. Her efforts on the front lines were recognized and published in the USA War Cry, which led her to marry Captain Dionisio (Johnny) Begonia, who was stationed in Hawaii. After their marriage in 1947 they were stationed as corps officers in the Philippines.
In 1968, the Begonias, along with their only child, William, were transferred to the Western Territory where they held appointments in Honokaa and Lihue.
They retired in 1980 after 41 years of active service.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Majors William and Bernadita Begonia; her brother, Major Brengle Navarro; sisters Buenaventurada Opina and Jessie Folnsbe; four grandchildren, Captain AnnMarguerite Jones, Bramwell Begonia; Shoshannah and Anthony Begonia; and two great-grandchildren. Her husband was promoted to Glory in 1998.
Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef conducted the service of celebration. A service of committal will take place at a later date at the Haiku Memorial Park, Maui, Hawaii.
Messages of condolences may be sent to Majors William and Bernadita Begonia and family at 9929 Emerado Drive, Whittier, CA 90603.