Prudencio T. Manglona, 80

Prudencio Taisacan “Tun Dencho” Manglona, 80, passed away yesterday at 5:51am after battling cancer for over a year. The long-time former Rota mayor and family patriarch was surrounded by his family at the Commonwealth Health Center when he took his last breath.

He is predeceased by his first wife Bernadita and is survived by his spouse Virgie, and his children Vincent A. Manglona, Paul A. Manglona, John A. Manglona, Charles A. Manglona, Priscilla M. Torres, Prudencio A. Manglona Jr., Thomas Lee A. Manglona, his 34 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

His oldest grandson, Dean, told Saipan Tribune that the family is deeply saddened by the loss of their grandfather. “But his legacy will still live on, with us and our community” he said. “He was a very selfless man as evident by his many years of service to the community. We will miss him dearly, but he will always have a special place in our hearts and minds.”

Upon learning of Manglona’s passing, Gov. Eloy S. Inos issued a statement, saying he and Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider are extending their condolences to Manglona’s family.

“Manglona served our islands in numerous capacities… He truly displayed what it means to be a productive and respected leader. Through his devotion to his faith and family values, Mayor Manglona was a loving husband to the late Bernadita Atalig Manglona and an exemplary father to his children and grandchildren. We owe a debt of gratitude and a great deal of respect to them for their support and love they gave during his years in public service. The death of former mayor Manglona is a deep loss for Rota and most especially, the Commonwealth. He will be deeply missed by many.”

According to a grandchild, Nicole Manglona Torres, Manglona was a man who valued education.

“From a young age, our grandfather instilled in his grandchildren and the CNMI community the importance of education. He believed that education was key to moving the CNMI community forward. He will always be remembered for his dedication to the youth and education,” she said.

Another grandchild, Donovan, said his grandfather always emphasized the importance of faith. “He would constantly ask us to accompany him on his daily afternoon visits to the Santa Lourdes chapel on Rota. He made sure our faith was strong and that we prayed for everyone every day.”

“The Manglona family is grateful to Pale Isaac Ayuyu, the Rota Health Center and Commonwealth Health Center staff, nurses, and doctors for their patience and care for our dad during his illness and the numerous friends and family who stood by his side,” said Priscilla Manglona Torres.

The former mayor just celebrated his 80th birthday on May 27 and received a commemorative resolution presented by CNMI senators. According to the resolution, which was presented at Manglona’s hospital room, he showed “exemplary innovative and progressive leadership in public service, community building, and economic development.”

Manglona’s career in public service as a mayor for 16 years lasted from 1978 to 1994. He also served as the Marianas District Administrator representative during the U.S. Trust Territory period from 1956 to 1974 and Resident Commissioner’s representative from 1974 to 1977. The former mayor was also instrumental in the uptick of tourists to the southern island and the improvement of prime tourist destinations. He was also one of the founding fathers of the CNMI Constitution.

Saipan Tribune learned from Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola that a municipal tribute will be held for Manglona.

Starting today at 6am, a Eucharistic Mass will be held at the Garapan Kristo Rai Church and Rota’s San Francisco de Borja Church. Daily rosary is at 7pm at Kristo Rai until Manglona’s body is flown to Rota for funeral services. The daily rosary will commence on Rota simultaneously.

A public viewing will be held at Mount Carmel Cathedral in Chalan Kanoa on Monday, June 9. 2014, from 10am to 12pm.

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Thomas Manglona II | Correspondent

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