Leonido R. Begonia

SOUTH PORTLAND – Leonido R. Begonia, 75, died on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at Maine Medical Center.

Leonido, lovingly known to most as “Lolo”, was born on Jan. 27, 1945, in Alaminos, Philippines, the son of the late Alejandro and Brigida(Rabot) Begonia.

Leonido was an only child, but grew up with many cousins that were like brothers and sisters to him. He grew up in the Alaminos area where he attended local schools and eventually graduated from De La Salle Araneta University with a degree in agriculture. After graduating he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1966 where he honorably served in the Vietnam War before being stationed in the United States.

Leonido met Claudette on a blind date in Portland where he was stationed and on Dec. 27, 1969, they married in St. Patrick’s Church and shared 50 years together.

In 1971 Leonido received his citizenship to the United States. He had an honorable and distinguished career in the United States Coast Guard and eventually became a Senior Chief, serving all around the country at numerous stations. At the start of his career, Leonido and Claudette spent several years in Kodiak, Alaska, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and Cape Cod, Mass.

In 1979, they came back to Portland to continue to raise their family while he finished his Coast Guard career in Boston, Miami, Fla., and Alameda, Calif. before retiring in 1995.

Even after retirement, he never slowed down. He began working at the Viking Nursing Home and Piper Shores Nursing Home, both in Cape Elizabeth, where he managed the kitchens for nearly 10 years before being truly “retired”. His love of cooking also came home with him. There was always more than enough food to go around as he enjoyed sharing his love and passion for Philippine cuisine with those around him.

When he wasn’t cooking, he was usually traveling to visit his children, attending his grandchildren’s sporting events, spending time at Sebago Lake State Park, visiting with friends and family at reunions, walking the mall, and shopping of course. His children will remember him as a strict but supportive father and inspiring and strong man who was a two-time cancer survivor that was entering his eighth year of remission. He was always giving back to others, especially to his Alaminos community and schools where he grew up.

Leonido was predeceased by his loving wife of 50 years, Claudette Begonia, last year.

He is survived by children, Leo “Rick” Begonia of Virginia, Eric Begonia and wife Renee of Gorham, Elizabeth “Liz” McDuffie and husband James Jr. of Cape Elizabeth, and Mark Begonia and wife Heidi of St. Cloud, Fla. He was the loving “Lolo” to Derrick, Alisha, Nathan, Celia, Gavin, Brady, Caden and Scarlet. He is also survived by the family’s beloved pooch, Teddy.

Visiting hours will be held from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. To view Leonido’s memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit http://www.ConroyTullyWalker.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family would respectfully request that you donate to either of the following charities on his behalf: The Alexander Begonia Foundation, https://facebook.com/AlexBegonia98/ or https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/Abegoniafoundation; Green Mango International, http://www.greenmangointl.org/

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