It Happened to Me



Photo by Rannie “Photojunkie” Turingan.

Dad passed away peacefully at St. Joseph’s Health Centre on February 27, 2006. He was the devoted husband of Dr. Maria A. deVilla and the loving father of me and my sister and Eileen and father-in-law to my wife Wendy and Eileen’s husband Richard. He was also the beloved grandfather of Aidan, Nicholas, and Ryan, who knew him as “Dodo” (their mispronounciation of the Tagalog word for grandfather, lolo) and the adored brother to Thelma Leelin, Regina Morabe, Elizabeth de Villa and the late Scarlet Santos.

Born in San Juan, Batangas, Philippines, he studied at Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines. He trained in the U.S. then lived and practiced medicine in Toronto for over 30 years.

Dad was a friendly, outgoing, and generous man. He was devoted to work and family and was a pillar of the community, playing key roles in the Filipino Centre Toronto and the Filipino Canadian Medical Association. He touched the lives of the many patients he cared for as an obstetrician-gynecologist to the many friends and associates who sought his wise counsel, and to his family who love him and will miss him dearly.

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century will return to its regular blogging schedule on Monday, March 13th.

84 replies on “Dad”

There are too few people in this world that fit the description of your Dad and the world loses big time when someone like him passes. Death seems to impose its terrible irony of greater pain and sense of loss to those close to very good people — A penalty of sorts for being close to someone so valuable to all of us. I pray that you and your family find peace during this most difficult time.


I was a great admirer of your father the moment I met him- you, Wendy, and your whole family have my sincerest condolences.

I don’t know what else to tell you Joey, except that I’m very sorry for your loss. My best to your family.

Your father brought much joy into the world – you are not alone in mourning his passing. Very sorry for your loss, Joey. When it gets tough, remember how many lives your dad touched. It will get easier with time.


Blogula Rasa

Hey Joey

Sorry to hear about your Dad. From your stories he sounded like a wonderful father and husband.


It’s sad for any man when his father dies. I said a prayer for you in this life and for your Father in the next.

Terry Valko

My condolences Joey. It’s been 19 years since my Mother died and I still think of her everyday. With your memory and talent I am sure stories of your father will live long in your family and your children will know him through you.

You must be feeling inexpressible grief right now. I’m sorry for your loss. You don’t say how old he was, but if you’re only in your late 30s it was much, much too soon.

Michael O’Connor

My sincere condolonces to you, Wendy and your family. May your dad be remembered for his work in the community and the lives he touched over the years.

My condolences to you and your family Joey. I’d also like to say you do a wonderful job of paying tribute and remembering.. i feel fortunately to be able to read such heartfelt words.


I’m so sorry. Losing a parent changes everything. My thoughts are with you and your family.



My condolences to you and your family.

I have know doubt he was as proud of you, as you are of him.

Ian Irving, FalsePositives

Very sorry to hear about your dad Joey. My condolences to you and your family. My dad passed 7 years ago and I know there are few words that can be used to describe it.

Our prayers are with you and Wendy, your whole family, and especially you mother.

Grace and peace be with you —


My sincerest condolences to you and yours in this time. I’m sure your father was a wonderful man and was very proud of the man you have become. I know what it’s like to lose family having lost three grandparents thus far in my lifetime (the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing was Monday). Once again deepest sympathy to you all.

Long time reader, first time poster. I’m truly sorry for your loss. From the way you’ve eulogized him here, it is apparent that he has left a tremendous legacy.

My thoughts are with you.


Joey, our prayers are with you. May the burdens of the day rest lightly on you, as my own Dad would say. I’m sorry I never met your Dad – for him to have fathered a man like you, he must have been a fine, fine human being.

Thank you so much for posting that beautiful photograph of your father. His obviously kind and gentle personality shines through; it helps us empathize with your loss. My thoughts are with you and Wendy.

We haven’t met, but I know Wendy through Berkman meetings, and so between that and reading your blog I feel as if I know you a little. I remember thinking when seeing your wedding photos what a handsome couple your parents were. I am so sorry for your loss. I just wanted to add my thoughts and prayers to the others. Ann House

So sorry, Joey. That you are such an amazing guy is tribute to him.


Sorry to hear about your dad, Joey.

My father passed away 17 years ago, and my mother just last year. I think I have an idea what you’re going through. What I can tell you is that he will stay with you. Your memories of him form who you are, and who you will become. From the sound of it he touched the lives of many people, and made the world a better place. I wish I’d met him.

My thoughts are with you, Wendy, and your family.

Scott Watkins

I’m so sorry for you loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful man who led a great life. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


(lurking reader)

Stay strong. You seem to have had good training, there. All the best to your family from ours.

Joey, I’m so sorry to read this news. It comes through so clearly in this blog what a fantastic family you have and how much love you all share. My sincere condolences to all of you.

Joey, I am so sorry for your loss. I always admired your father. I have heard from other people that he was very much respected in Toronto’s Filipino and medical communities. This was definitely before his time. I will always remember how hip and young he seemed, and his dry sense of humor.

Ryan M.

Dear Joey

I am so sorry for your loss.

I never met your father,

but I feel a familiarity with him through your blog.

For many of your readers,

I think your dad represented our own fathers,

and our relationships with our fathers.

… and in that,

your loss is shared by all of us.

You and Wendy are in all of our thoughts



I was shocked this morning to fire up your site and see this first posting. It’s so hard to get through these times. My father passed away just over a month ago, tragically drowned while on vacation. Not a day goes by when I’m not thinking about him and just wishing for one more day. I’m sure you’re going through the same. It’s hard, but the saying is true…each day gets a little bit easier. I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

Joey – as a regular reader of your blog I feel I have gotten a glimpse of knowing you and your family a bit. I am very sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like a fantastic guy.

My most heartfelt condolences, Joey. He got to see you and Wendy get married – I’m sure this was a great source of joy to him. My prayers go out to you and your family.

My most sincere condolences to you and your family at this time.

Joshua Day

Roanoke, VA USA

Another avid reader but first time to make a comment. My deepest condolences to yourself, Wendy, family and friends. Your Dad sounds like he was an amazing man.

Thank you so much for opening your world up ~ I used to live and work in the area that Tocows in locatd before moving to Los Angeles. Thanks for not making Toronto seem so far away at time.

Thanks again!!

My prayers are with you to give you strength. I’m very sorry for your loss. Let me send this poem, “I cannot halt the hands of time, nor live again the past, though in my heart are memories that will forever last”.

Sorry to hear about your father’s passing, Joey – my sincerest condolences to you and your family.

– Hamish Grant


I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your father. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

I am in the “don’t really know you” category, but I have seen you at critical mass rides and am a big fan of your blog.

Please accept my sincere condolences.

I am in Beijing today and saw a woman with an accordion (no case) in her bike basket.

of course I thought of you.

best regards

Lisa R-R

What a handsome man! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family Joey.

Kim – Bacon and Ehs

Hey Joey. I don’t post often but do frequent your blog as much as I can. I was truly saddened to see this post just now. I wish you and your family strength and togetherness through these times. Through the many posts you made about your father, I would appreciate more his sense of humor, affable personality, and contributions to community. My prayers go out to you and your family, and will include much gratitude for the positive presence that your father gave to the world around him.

Hi Joey,

Haven’t had a chance to read your blog in a while, as I was at a conference in Spain. Anyways, like everyone has said before, my condolences to your family. It is an extremely difficult time, but you can take comfort that your dad is now in a better place. God bless you and your family.

the good always die young, like my mom and dad. they were both lovely, honest people.

so many angry, jerky people live long lives. it just doesn’t seem fair.

keep your head up Joey.

The Spammer

I have often enjoyed the warm way you write about your family, and I offer my family’s prayers for your loss.

-Will E., “just a blog-reader”

I’m very saddened to hear about your father, Joey – my thoughts and well wishes go to you and your family.

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