On January 5, 1933 - Jesus Manolo Esteban was born in Manila, Philippines. He was the youngest of ten siblings. Jesus peacefully passed away at home, in the presence of his loving family members on September 16, 2021, at the age of 88.
He is survived by his wife, Nora, and their children: Jesse (Jesus N.) - who is married to Ruth, Norman - who is married to Yvette, and Jessica - who is married to Steven. His joyful memory lives on through all of his grandchildren: Ysabelle, Justin, Zachary, Joshua, Miguel, and Sabrina. His great-grand pets, “Blackey Doo” and “MiMi Meow” will miss their best friend, who always showered them with companionship and treats.
He lived a very successful and fulfilling life - both as a citizen in the Philippines, as well as in the United States. He never failed to bring a smile to the face of whoever he talked to, while spreading the wisdom that his mind was overflowing with; truly the type of man you wanted on your trivia team. He was always able to bring out the best qualities in everyone and had a very contagious smile.
Jesus Manolo was an extremely resilient, hard-working, and determined man. Even at a young age, he had a strong work ethic. Growing up in the Philippines, his family was tight on money. At a young age, he discovered that he could go to the junkyard to sift through the rubbish and find scraps of metal, plastics, and other reusable goods that had just been discarded. Then, he would either choose to repurpose the item at home or bring it to the recycling center where he was given money for items that no one else had wanted. Through his effort of collecting and recycling, he was able to earn enough money to help contribute to his family. Despite this time-consuming job, he was able to do it all while still attending school.
He went on to become a proud member of the Philippine Navy. Not only was his determination obvious when it came to his ability to swiftly rise through the ranks and become a Commander, but it could also be seen throughout his many accomplishments in life. He was successfully able to set afloat again a once sunken warship that lied on the bottom of the ocean floor after a battle in World War II. With only a month’s deadline, many others had attempted to do this task before him; however, there was no success until the command of the mission was given to Jesus M. Once in charge, with three days remaining - he worked tirelessly, using every ounce of wit and determination he had. The great warship was once again above the surface because of Jesus’ ability to not give up, even though the odds and time were both stacked against him. It was after this great accomplishment that he was recognized and rewarded for his feat by the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
Jesus Manolo lived out his college degree in Naval Architecture to its fullest. After his resume of accomplishments, he was then head-management of the shipping and lighterage division of the San Miguel Corporation in Cebu, Philippines. On his watch, he had soon observed and noted that the shipments were taking too long to be unloaded and loaded from the port. To combat and resolve this obstacle, Jesus M. designed new loading ramps that were then implemented on the entire pacific San Miguel fleet. Due to his high level of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and a strong educational foundation in Naval Architecture, ships were able to spend half the time and effort in port and allow for shipments to be delivered more quickly and efficiently.
All of his knowledge and work ethic were then instilled into his children and grandchildren. Jesus Manolo was truly a seed that sprouted into a strong oak that branched out into a loving family. Nora and Jesus had a long and prosperous marriage. They were inseparable - two peas in a pod - when you saw one of them, the other was right by their side. Jesus was the epitome of a chivalrous man. Through his considerate actions, he has taught his children and grandchildren the importance of integrity and respecting others. Jesus Manolo dedicated his life to walking in the footsteps of Christ. He was an active parishioner in St. Mary’s Church in Bethel and held a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother Mary. By the way he lived his life, one could see the authentic love and joy of Christ exuding from his heart; he taught his family and everyone that he encountered, how incredible the gifts of the Lord’s grace, forgiveness, and mercy, are. Jesus Manolo’s trust and obedience in the Lord led to an over-abundance of blessings in his lifetime.
Weekend family beach trips, having his children see him on the Navy Base, visiting the Blessed Mary in Lourdes, trips to the Divine Mercy Shrine, going on vacation to the Philippines, walking the streets of Bethel, and enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with his grandchildren - were all cherished memories that he held dear to his heart. His favorite pastime hobby, which always brought a smile to his face, was assembling various kinds of model ships.
Throughout his entire life, he devoted himself to working hard in order to provide for his children so that they were able to have a better childhood than he did. Through his endless support and loyalty for his children, he was able to form a family bond that lasts forever and can’t be broken.
Despite his vast accomplishments, he remained a humble man - a rare quality that was adored by his family, friends, and everyone that he’s encountered. He was a loving husband, devoted father, a treasured grandfather, and a beloved brother - he will be extremely missed by all that were lucky enough to meet him. The world will not be the same without the light that he has shined on all of our lives.
The family will receive friends at the Bethel Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, Thursday evening, September 23, 2021 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary Church, Bethel, CT Friday morning, September 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM, followed by interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bethel.
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