Conrado M. Domingo of Virginia Beach, VA, shared his last heartbeat with his loved ones gathered around his bedside on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Conrado, who is affectionately nicknamed “Dadong” by his family, and also known as “Conrad” by friends and co-workers, was 80 years old. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Perla, and their sons Francisco (“Frankie”), Conrado (“John”) and Don; and by his brothers, Aurelio and Francisco (San Francisco, CA), and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents, Francisco E. and Aurelia M. Domingo of Santa Ignacia, Tarlac, Philippines; brothers, Camilo, Emilio, Justiniano, and Godfredo; sisters, Julieta (Agustin), Rizalina, Lucita (Rabara) and Clarita (Millo).
Dadong was the 9th child of 11 born to Francisco and Aurelia Domingo in San Francisco Barangay, Santa Ignacia, Tarlac, Philippines. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Far Eastern University, and then enlisted in the US Navy. After 20 years of service, he retired and was honorably discharged as Petty Officer First Class, Mess Specialist. Having traveled the globe, Dadong’s dream was that his children receive the best education possible and pursue lasting careers so that they too could achieve their dreams and see the world on their terms and at their leisure. He worked 2 jobs simultaneously, at times, as a cook after naval retirement, never complaining about the long hours and the lack of rest. He ensured that his children would be able to receive baccalaureate degrees and that tuition, room and board were paid without any outside financial aid. His work ethic was instilled in his children. His eldest son Frankie matriculated at the University of Virginia. Dadong’s other sons soon followed, and UVA truly became his own alma mater. Within the first few minutes of meeting Dadong, a stranger would learn that his 3 sons graduated as Wahoos, what his sons’ professions were, and where they lived.
When Dadong and Perla first met, he was not the conversationalist you’d expect. Intelligent, handsome, and fashion savvy, he was shy and reserved when he started courting his love. Perla thought that this young man was too quiet…however in 52 years of marriage; she has learned quite the opposite! His devotion, like his work ethic, was evident in his actions and eventually, to her chagrin, his humor and engaging conversations.
Dadong had a knack for befriending strangers. He was an avid walker. On one morning he was walking along the sidewalk when a person driving by thought that he was walking because he didn’t have a car to get to where he was going. The driver, who we came to know as Uncle Freddy, struck up a conversation – and a few years later, Uncle Freddy renovated the house. During a family drive, before this last hospital admission, the family placed an order at McDonald’s and was directed to a drive thru parking spot. Upon delivery, the manager immediately recognized Dadong (who was in the rear seat) and greeted him by name. The manager, as Dadong would often say, was one of his buddies. In the recent hospital stays, the Filipina nurses who became our surrogate siblings treated Dadong, and called him “Tay” short for “Tatay,” which in Tagalog means father. And yes, every single one of these buddies knew that Dadong’s sons graduated from UVa!
Dadong was borne of a generation when men did not speak about love, and so, he did not know how to say it. Dadong’s actions, however, spoke love in every breath of every minute of every day, and every heartbeat. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 resonated in these recent days. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Dadong was raised in the Aglipayan Church. In 2004 he decided that he wanted to become Catholic, because he wanted his love and marriage to truly be one with God. He received the sacraments and Dadong and Perla’s marriage was blessed. His devotion to his children was incessant and unbounded. Whether it was a long day’s drive to and from Charlottesville, picking up a meal, dropping off or picking up at the airport at any hour, cooking breakfast for Frankie, staying with John to assist in rehabilitation from back surgery, watching basketball with Don, amongst several other kindnesses; Dadong’s dedication never failed. In his last hours, as scripture was on the tongue of his eldest son, Dadong was reminded that his name and his heartbeat were synonymous with love.
His hobbies included an unwavering support of UVa athletics – highlighted by a spirited following of the 2019 UVa Men’s Basketball National Championship; cooking (and eating!), long walks, driving and gardening. When Dadong finally retired from all of his jobs, his garden plants and landscape flourished. He grew several fruits and vegetables that he would give to neighbors and soon-to-be friends.
Through the end of his days, everyone he came into contact with recognized his patience, his selflessness – placing his family’s needs always above his own, his concern and genuine interest in the lives of those he met, and his boisterous laughter.
When Dadong’s strength slowly began to leave his legs, his family shared in his hobby of driving, often taking long drives together before and after meals. After Dadong’s passing, the family drove around the city to see his favorite spots. Several parts of Virginia Beach had been drenched in rainfall. The hospital grounds, however, were dry. When Dadong passed, it was his family’s tears that rained in that part of the city. During the drive, the sky did open and give way to the sun. The rain clouds were dissipating.
Dadong would often say to us “Stop it” if one of us was crying. As the heavens stopped weeping, off in the horizon, we knew that Dadong was with us. Someone had to tell the clouds to “Stop it.” We were soothed to know that his last heartbeat would continue beating in each of our chests, as a constant vigil of his eternal love.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 19, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5033 Rouse Drive, Virginia Beach. Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, July 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 1968 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach followed by burial at Colonial Grove Memorial Park, 3445 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA. Please adhere to COVID regulations while in attendance. Condolences may be left for the family at www.altmeyerfh.com.
Date: Sunday, July 19, 2020
Time: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Date: Monday, July 20, 2020
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
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