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Ruben Ayson Curameng

Ruben Ayson Curameng

Jun 17, 1927 - Feb 3, 2022

Ruben Ayson Curameng - Obituary


BITUARY Ruben Ayson Curameng June 17, 1927 – February 3, 2022 The Curameng family of Fort Washington, Maryland, sadly announces the death of Ruben Ayson Curameng, due to complications from a stroke. He died peacefully in his Fort Washington, Maryland home on February 3, 2022. He was 94. Ruben Ayson Curameng was born June 17, 1927 in Dagupan City, Philippines to Toribia Ayson and Jose Wilfredo Curameng. He and his eight siblings were raised by their mother, a nurse practitioner. She worked long hours traveling many miles to rural areas with nothing but a lantern to light her way in the dark. It was Ruben’s dream to support his mother financially that led him to join the Navy in 1944. In 1949, he fell in love with a young college beauty queen named Rosario Barba. She said it was hard not to fall in love with a man who faithfully pursued her for over two years and could also make her laugh. They were married in 1952. Their first child, “Baby Boy” Curameng would die just hours after his birth. There wasn’t time enough to even name him. In 1954, Ruben’s next tour of duty was stateside on the USS Long Beach, the world’s first nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser; the same USS Long Beach dispatched during the infamous 12-day Cuban Missile Crisis stand-off with Russia’s Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Ruben’s other tours of duty included Philadelphia, Massachusetts and Norfolk,Virginia where Helen, Rene and Robert were born. Early in his military career, the Navy offered him the chance to enter the Naval Academy pursuant to his commission as an officer of the United States. He turned it down to concentrate on raising his young family. In Washington, DC. Chief Petty Officer Curameng was offered yet another opportunity to train for the rank of Warrant Officer(s), the highest echelon attainable to an enlisted Naval officer. This offer, too, was turned down. He and Rose now had four young children and his sight was set on a Pentagon position open only to college graduates. This would allow him to stay in the military without leaving his family for extended tours at sea, while saving enough to buy their own home. He worked a part-time job for an insurance company overseeing both AARP and NRTA contracts and took college accounting courses by night. Though he retired after 23 years in the Navy, his “Pentagon Journey” ultimately led him back, as a civilian, to the office of the Undersecretary of the Navy where he served as a budget analyst. Ruben served as Commander to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) General Vicente Lim-General Douglass MacArthur Post 5471. He strongly identified with its advocacy for veterans’ rights and their community support services. Later, he would also join the Fleet Reserve Association. Ruben and his family visited vets in hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities and prisons. Though Ruben was a lifelong democrat, his policy was to support any party candidate loyal to veterans and Asian-American citizens (Asians during and shortly after the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act were not allowed to use “white” bathrooms, had to ride in the back of the bus, and could not drink from “white” water fountains). In time, Ruben and Rose joined other Filipino-American families to form a small seedling club called the Ilocano-Pangasinan Club which blossomed into an organization whose members were committed to furthering Asian-American opportunities and cultural awareness. The club name would later be changed to Combined International Philippine-American Association. By the mid-1980s, CIPAA was one of the largest Asian-American organizations in the United States. It was not uncommon for politicians to court CIPAA’s endorsements. Ruben would be elected for several terms as CIPAA president. In Ruben’s home are boxes and spaces and walls holding Ruben’s numerous awards, plaques, trophies, framed letters of appreciation and commendations. There are many pictures showing him and Rose with many luminaries, dignitaries and politicians. But Ruben’s greatest joy was serving the Lord either as a piano accompanist for ecumenical church services, as an outreach volunteer and lector with the St. Colomba Church in Oxon Hill, Maryland or as a member of its Charismatic Prayer Group. He loved serving as the music DJ for the weekly entertainment and food distribution visits to the Oxon Hill Senior Citizens Home. Ruben loved going out for breakfast, lunch and the movies a few times a week with Rose. He loved fishing, crabbing, tinkering with computers and gadgetry. He spent his later years watching Filipino cable news and game shows. He reminded people to vote on election days. He helped his youngest son Ronald establish the non-profit group “Yo-Yo” - dedicated to teaching Filipino and Hawaiian music, dance and culture; musical theater, performance and puppetry. Ruben was a gifted musician who played piano, organ, guitar, accordion and mandolin all by ear. He was an excellent dancer. When his children were younger, he would make most of their birthday cakes, breakfasts and lunches. His brother-in-law Jess Rivera, who died just weeks before Ruben, was his best friend. Ruben’s most trusted mentor was his older brother Jim who taught him chess, how to fix cars, how to solve mathematical puzzles and how to improve his vocabulary. Jim left Ruben the legacy of self-improvement through continuing education, reading and through conversations with people of all backgrounds. Even though Alzheimer’s began to take away his memory and vivacity 12 years ago, Ruben would never forget his favorite football team, the Washington Redskins. Ruben is survived by his loving wife, Rose Barba Curameng; his children Helen Grace Barba Curameng, Rene Bennett Curameng and his wife Jonalyn; son Robert Neal Curameng; and his daughter-in-law Anna (Beng) San Pedro Curameng, the wife of his youngest son, the late Ronald Don Curameng who pre-deceased Ruben in 2015. He is specially survived by his beloved nephew, Napoleon Curameng, Jim’s eldest son, and Napoleon’s wife, Mamie. Ruben is survived by his Grandchildren (in order of birth): Ruben Alexis Curameng Ruben’s namesake); Edward Joseph Gallichio II, Johnathan Ayson Curameng; Elijah Hezekiah Gallichio; Aria Renee Curameng and Lacs Alexander Sabalande. Relatives and friends are invited to Ruben's Life Celebration on Thursday, February 17, 2022 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the KALAS FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 6160 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill, MD. A Mass of the Resurrection for Ruben Curameng will be offered on Friday, February 18, 2022, at 10:00 AM at St. Colomba Catholic Church, 7800 Livingston Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745. The interment with Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery will take place on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 9 a.m. Please meet at the Administration Building at 8:15 a.m. with one's own transportation and a government issued ID for anyone over the age of 16.