Obituary of Rosa Monzon
Rosa Yaptinchay Monzon, a longtime resident of Sunnyvale, died peacefully in her home on
January 9, 2021 surrounded by her family. She was 97 years old and died from natural causes
due to old age.
Rosa was born on July 13, 1923 in Binan, Laguna, in the Philippines to Josefina and Ysidro
Yaptinchay; she was the third of 9 children. Always inquisitive, Rosa excelled in school and
studied political science at Far Eastern University in Manila. Her studies were interrupted by the
Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II, from 1941-1945, which shaped her
future studies and interests. She would later travel to the United States to study at U.C.
Berkeley where she earned a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations in 1955, with a
focus on Southeast Asian politics. After graduating, she toured across the United States and
eventually returned to the Philippines to teach political science at Far Eastern University, where
she became a respected and admired professor.
In 1959, she married Jesus Martinez Monzon, both sharing a mutual love of opera. In 1964,
daughter Marissa was born, and her sister Rossana followed in 1966. Even though they lived a
comfortable life in Manila, they felt that the new socio-economic and political climate in their
country was negatively changing. Jesus wanted a better life for his daughters and convinced
Rosa to abandon her teaching career, uproot their family and move to the United States in
They eventually settled in Sunnyvale, California, where they bought a duplex in 1971, and
where Rosa lived the rest of her life. Jesus worked nights so he could take care of the young
girls during the day. Rosa found a job at GTE Lenkurt/GTE Government Systems, preparing
government contract proposals. She retired in 1988.
Besides a love of opera and classical music, Rosa also was an ardent gardener. Her front yard
was filled with dozens of roses, hydrangeas, camellias and other flowers. She created an indoor
garden of blooming orchids and skillfully grew many tropical plants. She also loved to travel. A
3-week European tour in 1990 was highlighted by attending the Passion Play with her daughter,
Rossana, in Oberammergau, Germany. She also travelled with Marissa to Nova Scotia, Italy,
England (to attend the Chelsea Flower Show, of course), Norway, and Sweden.
Rosa was close with her family both in the U.S. and the Philippines. Rosa helped take care of
her mother, who lived with her twin sisters a couple of blocks away. She continued to visit
siblings and cousins in the Philippines into her 80s. A devoted grandmother to Marissa’s sons,
Christoph and Michael, Rosa travelled to all nine bases where Marissa was stationed in the Air
Force to see them. Rosa was also a devoted parishioner of St. Martin’s Catholic Church in
Sunnyvale and regularly attended services until her dementia no longer allowed her to.
Rosa is predeceased by her husband Jesus (d.1987) She is survived by her daughters Marissa
Potter (h.Charles) and Rossana Monzon (w.Ann), her beloved grandsons Christoph Van Hover
(w.Christine) and Michael Koch, and many Yaptinchay nieces and nephews. She was the last
surviving sibling of her 6 sisters and 2 brothers.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Martin Catholic Church of Sunnyvale: