Memorial service Thursday, 5 p.m., at St. Francis Church for Beatriz Velilla de Tobon | Passages

Beatriz Velilla de Tobon ... Dec. 10, 1944 - July 25, 2009 - Tobon family
Beatriz Velilla de Tobon ... Dec. 10, 1944 - July 25, 2009
— image credit: Tobon family

Memorial service is Thursday, 5 p.m., at St. Francis Church for Beatriz Velilla de Tobon of Friday Harbor.

Mrs. Tobon passed away July 25. She was 64.

Her family remembered her today as a person who loved children, loved dancing and parties, and enjoyed the company of friends.

She was born Dec. 10, 1944 in Medillin, Colombia. She owned a clothing store and a couple of clothing factories.

"She always wanted to come to the U.S. because it was a dream to her to live here," her daughter, Teresita Tobon said. "To have lived on the island was important to her."

She and her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and settled on San Juan Island. Here, her love for children was manifested in Child Care University, a child care center she founded.

"She loved children. Children were her life," Teresita said. "She lived for music and the kids. Family was very important to her, especially her grandchildren."

She sang in the choir at St. Francis Church, and enjoyed playing bingo at the American Legion. "She enjoyed the company of friends," her daughter said. "She always cooked for everybody. She loved parties and dancing and singing. She was very energetic, a happy amazing woman up until the last day."

In 2004, she and her husband made a long-desired trip to Spain.

Mrs. Tobon loved San Juan Island. Lately, she was staying at her daughter's home in Snohomish so she could be close to treatment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "She missed her friends at bingo. Those were her buddies," her son, Juan Pablo Tobon, said.

She never complained about pain, he said. But as the end neared, she made it clear she wanted to return home to San Juan Island.

She passed away in her home, in the presence of her family. Her family participated later that day in Relay for Life.

Mrs. Tobon is survived by her husband, Juan Rafael Tobon, of Friday Harbor; daughter, Teresita Tobon, of Snohomish; son and daughter-in-law, Juan Rafael Tobon and Yudy Ochoa, of Boca Raton, Fla.; son and daughter-in-law, David Tobon and Bianca Benavides, of Friday Harbor; son, Juan Pablo Tobon, of Friday Harbor; grandchildren, Juan Pablo Tobon, Alexandra Tobon, Rikki Tobon, and David Tobon.

She is also survived by her brother, Victor Velilla, of Medillin, Colombia; sister, Ana Catalina Velilla, of Medillin, Colombia; sister, Claudia Velilla, of Miami, Fla.; sister, Pilar Velilla, of Medillin, Colombia; sister, Patricia Velilla, of Bogota, Colombia; and sister, Victoria Velilla, of Miami, Fla.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Alma Velilla.

The family prefers memorial contributions to American Cancer Society, c/o Danielle Anderson, 728 134th St. SW, Suite 101, Everett 98204. Write on the check that the donation is for the Friday Harbor Relay for Life in memory of Beatriz Velilla de Tobon.

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