Thursday, April 8, 2021
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and beverages will be served.
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
Friday, April 9, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
St. Monica Catholic Church
4408 S. Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery following mass.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
FBO Olotayan Chapel
Checks may be made payable to Augustus Guerrero who will direct the gift to Olotayan Chapel.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Ann Guerrero was a devoted family woman. A loving wife, kind-hearted sister, beautiful daughter, and a very special grandmother, nothing brought Ann greater joy than the time she spent with her close-knit family. She lived her life fully and touched the lives of many. She and her husband, Gus, lived selflessly supporting friends and strangers alike and giving them hope and comfort. Ann leaves behind a warm collection of memories to be lovingly remembered by all who knew and loved her.
Reflecting on the year 1952, so much around the world was evolving. The polio epidemic was threatening lives and funds were being allocated to design a vaccine, a post war consumer boom was happening as a result of the markets in Europe, and news and media were becoming more easily accessible with televisions entering more homes around the world. That same year on December 1st, Cresencio and Lourdes (Albino) Aperocho welcomed home their newborn daughter, Annie, in Roxas City, the seafood capital of the Philippines. Born the youngest of nine children, her birth brought great joy and happiness to her family.
Ann’s parents were hard workers who instilled in their children that hard work and education was a path to success. Her father owned three passenger buses in the city. Being the first of their kind in the province, he nicknamed them all “Annie” after his baby girl. Ann’s mother was a homemaker who worked tirelessly to ensure her children were well cared for and never went without a home cooked meal. As a young child, Ann would flip through her father’s car magazines and brochures. She took note of one special advertisement of a Ford station wagon and the family camping amongst the pine trees and snow. She wanted nothing more than to live the American dream.
Studious and ambitious, she graduated from Colegio de la Purísima Concepción with honors. By 1974, she earned her nursing degree from the Philippine Women’s University College of Nursing in Manila. Afterward, she completed four months of rural nursing around the outlying areas of the city where she grew up. With a strong desire to make her way to the United States, she fearlessly applied through a traveling nurses association and secured a work visa. Ann was delighted to be stationed at Southwest Detroit Hospital as a medical and surgical nurse.
Ann relished in her new environment, though while she was still learning American customs, Ann accidently flagged down a police car thinking it was a taxi. She commuted from her small apartment to the hospital nearby. She and her roommates were all from the Philippines and often sent money back to their families. By 1980, Ann left the harsh winters of Michigan to work in Texas where the climate was similar to the Philippines. Although she enjoyed her time there, she ended up back in Detroit and met Levi and Ophie Guerrero through some co-workers. Levi knew that Ann would be heading back to visit the Philippines and asked if she could take back a cane for his father who had recently had a stroke. Ann eagerly agreed as it was common whenever someone was traveling to take US goods back to relatives. Little did she know, by taking the cane over to Levi’s parents’ home she would meet his brother, Gus. Once they landed eyes on one another, it was truly love at first sight. Gus was the quintessential romantic. During the next three months, Ann fell for his humor and sense of adventure. Once they established that they had similar family values and beliefs, they joined in marriage on March 27, 1982 in Manila, Philippines. Together they raised three wonderful daughters: Lhotse, Lily Amber, and Leslie.
Both in the medical field, Ann and Gus’ lives were busy from the start. Lhotse and Lily Amber were born during their time in Cleveland. Ann worked night shifts in the cardiac ICU and was well known for her ability to place lines. Supporting Gus during his residency, she worked right up until her delivery due date. Ann recalled the residents wheeling her around in a wheelchair to get around the hospital floor whenever they needed an IV placed. When Gus completed his residency there, they moved to Kalamazoo where they had their third daughter, Leslie. Ann cherished her role as a mother. She always juggled a full plate working as a nurse at Gus’ private practice with three physician partners and keeping their books, as well as making sure the kids practiced their piano and got to their various events.
As a family, they enjoyed making the best of memories traveling back to the Philippines and visiting relatives. They often visited Olotayan Island, a small fishing community Ann was first introduced to during a high school trip. One year, a typhoon destroyed the only chapel on the island. Devout Catholics, Ann and Gus took it upon themselves to help. They facilitated the building of a new chapel to serve the local residents. In fact, just recently, their chapel was formally recognized by the Catholic Church and they received their first priest in residence and is now known as Mission Station Stella Maris. Ann modeled a beautiful example of faith and, on their many trips back to the island, often took donated books and gifts for the children. A mother figure to many, Ann’s warm spirit and generous heart earned her the nickname, “Mom Ann.” One year she even organized a Christmas party for the entire island community! Ann also enjoyed Catholic pilgrimages, traveling to many holy sites in Jerusalem, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Bosnia, Mexico, America, Portugal, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines.
Besides travelling, Ann and Gus treasured camping and hiking together. Ann’s family was important to her. There was never a day without a phone call to chat with her kids as well as her granddaughter, Zoe. She prayed for her family daily, often going to the adoration chapel. Ann was a lover of all people and formed many special relationships over the years. Social by nature, she enjoyed the company of everyone and looked forward to sharing time with her close friends and family. There is no doubt that Ann will be deeply missed by her loved ones. May they always find comfort in her loving ways, as well as her gentle wisdom and guidance. She loved her family and wanted nothing more than to share in their successes. May they never doubt the love she held for each and every one of them.
Ann Guerrero, age 68, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died on April 3, 2021. She was an active member of Philippine American Association of Southwest Michigan. She is predeceased by her parents; her siblings: Lilia, Judith, Theresa, Dionesio, and Barceno. Surviving are her husband, Gus; children: Lhotse (Seth) Voege, Lily Amber (Trevor) Scott, and Leslie (Shane) Brennan; granddaughter, Zoe; siblings: Crencensio Jr., Thelma, and Isidro; and several nieces and nephews. A Life Story gathering with food and beverages will be held 5-7 PM Thursday, April 8, 2021 at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM Friday, April 9, 2021 at St. Monica Catholic Church, 4408 S. Westnedge Ave., with burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Ann has impacted the lives of so many around her. Please visit her personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Olotayan Chapel. Checks may be made payable to Augustus Guerrero who will then oversee the gift to the chapel.