August 23, 2004
Abe’s Own Story of His Life
Born in the Philippines, Abe survived the Japanese occupation of the islands. After the war he was employed by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He joined the Manila Bureau of the Associated Press and installed the first trans-Pacific radio photo equipment for them. Abe came to the U.S. in 1964 to finish his engineering degree at West Virginia University, and worked for the various phases of General Precision, Singer Link Simulation and CAE in
Binghamton, from where he retired in 1990.
In 1974, Abe was granted a sabbatical to work with The Institute of Cultural Affairs, a worldwide organization working with communities and organizations with emphasis on the human factor. His wife, Janice, and Abe have been actively engaged in various programs and projects of ICA, including travel to many places in the U.S. and to Taipei, Mexico City and Prague. Abe served on the National Board of Directors of ICA-US for several years.
Abe was an active member of the Calvary United Methodist Church in Vestal, NY. where he was involved with the choir and young people, served with various committees of the church, and was church treasurer for several years. He was also active with the Wyoming Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, serving on the Committee on Episcopacy, Council of Finance and Administration, and the Human Resources Table.
Abe relished the simple gifts of life that were available to him. He enjoyed cracking jokes, and was not above telling a pun. He thoroughly loved singing and joined as many groups as he could. There was a time in the Philippines when he had a choir rehearsal every night of the week, including one with the Press Club boys which had to be held after midnight, after the papers were put to bed. Abe loved games — bowling, chess, word games (Scrabble and Upwords) and any card games that he could learn. After he could no longer bowl, he concentrated on increasing his reading activities. Visits to the Vestal Farmer’s Market and flower photography continued to be a pleasure.
Abe is survived by his wife, Janice; a brother Samuel Ulangca and wife Ofelia in Fullerton, Calif.; a sister Thelma U. Rodriguez and husband Ambrose in Manila, Philippines; a sister Esther U. de los Santos and husband Virgilio in Chiangmai, Thailand; a brother Marcelo Ulangca, Jr. and wife Lee in Quezon City, Philippines; a sister-in-law JoAnne Maniago, Binghamton; and a host of nephews, nieces and other relatives. He was predeceased by his parents and three brothers. According to Abe’s wishes, his body has been donated to Upstate Medical Center for use in educating medical students. He said, “If they can make use of any of this old body, that’s great!”
May 15, 2004 Hello Dialogue Colleagues,
I thought you might want to know something about what is happening here. First, you should know how much Abe has valued this list serve. He knows you appreciate being connected, as he does as well, and as his health has deteriorated this was one thing he could do at his own pace. Those who have known him well know that the very essence of life for him is doing useful things. He loves people, and has rejoiced at hearing news and thinking from so many folks that he remembers with affection and respect. So the chance to serve via this list serve has been a great gift for him.
We have been able to share Abe’s reflections on his life, and he feels too that it’s coming to an end. Typically he’s concerned that I learn everything from him that I need to know — I’ve been pretty busy with that. Most Sundays he still gets to church, and good friends of years are glad to see him as he sits in a big chair in the lounge outside the sanctuary and listens from there. He loves to go out to lunch and to the library, watch Jeopardy, and always has a book going. He plays a mean game of Scrabble or Upwards, and gets a gleam in his eye when teasing friends. Oh, and watch out, when he goes to a store where they have the riding contraptions — he’ll ride all over the place.
Thank you, thank you, Tim, for taking over! He’s been so concerned about that. He just grinned tonight when someone had a question, and you jumped right in and answered it. It’s a big relief to him.
Love to all of you. I do some grieving, of course, but my local friends and colleagues (peace and justice, mostly) provide support, and I’m doing well. It is kind of a holy thing, isn’t it, to get to accompany someone on the last part of their journey. We’re looking forward to a visit next week from my sister and her husband. She’s my only sibling, and I haven’t seen her since we were in Denver for the Millenium Connection. I’m glad they’re coming now.
~~ Janice Ulangca
Abe was one of a group of Order people – Len Hockley and Gordon Harper were among them – who could see early potential in electronic communication that most of us could not imagine. Abe was absolutely passionate about e-mail possibilities for connecting colleagues, because he knew what significant work was being done and the power of connection. As the listserves developed, he continued to work with them, and passed on tips for newbies to help them get involved. The final few months of his life he talked to you, Tim Wegner, about taking over the administration of the Dialogue and O:E listserves. And when you agreed, he felt great relief, and he rejoiced that the work he cared so much about would be in such capable hands.
I find I take e-mail, and even the listserves, for granted these days. But as I remember how eagerly we read the global order reports in the Rochester House before e-mail, I do find the new ways of connection to be awe inspiring. And when we consider the number and complexity of global challenges these days, Those Who Care need all the help we can get!
~~ Janice Ulangca
Ah… dear Abe and Janice Ulangca, metro colleagues/guardians from Binghamton, NY. Creative musician Janice (obvious costume) and wonderful creative photographer Abe devoted their lives to our mission and serving others. The picture captures their smiles and their generous hearts. Thanks for these lovely memories.
~~ Louise Ballard
Eunice and I join the chorus to celebrate the amazing journey and courage of Janice our colleague and friend. She and Abe, like Eunice and me are “Phil-Am” couples who shared the same global mix in our marriages.
~~ Sherwood and Eunice Shankland
More on Janice: