Alma Gonzales Medina
The meaning of the name Alma means "to lift the spirit", kind and nourishing. Alma definitely lived up to that.
Alma was born April 7, 1966 to Ricardo Medina Sr and Albina Gonzales Medina in Mexico, Pampanga, Philippines. She was the fifth child in a sibling line up of eight. Her oldest sister Lita, followed by brothers - Ricardo, Mario, Asuncion, then Alma, and then three more brothers, Albert, Rodel, and Robin.
Alma was very studious and loved to take courses and study. Her career started in Grade 1. She was the only one in the family to be on the stage at school and receive special awards and medals. Alma went on to accomplish a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Degree (Philippines), and Civil Engineering Technology Diploma at NAIT in Edmonton. Prior to her onboarding with the City of Fort St. John Alma also had extensive experience in private sector engineering firms in Alberta and public sector work in Strathcona County, Sherwood Park Alberta.
Due to the fact that Alma had three brothers on either side of her could be a reason that she chose the single life. The brothers thought that she was bossy but she did have to clean up after them. She had a knack for turning work into play and would often be found using the broom as a microphone and a dance partner and be singing and dancing away. One of her loves was singing, whether it be karaoke or singing in the church choir, or getting in a tune here and there during a card game. She was very talented and could play cards, sing and talk to her family all at the same time.
Some of Alma's joys in life were:
- Going for ice cream on a hot summer evening, after picking berries or any other reason you could think of.
- Dancing at the staff Christmas parties. Although if she didn't feel skinny and sexy she wasn't going to be seen.
- Cooking and food in general - especially spicy food. Even though she lived as one person she cooked for an army. Then she would put it into containers and put it into her car and make deliveries all over town. I'm sure we all have some of her beloved spring rolls in our freezer. Robin is going to have a hard time keeping up with making us all some. Her gatherings at her home and backyard barbeques were exceptional.
Alma looked forward to our badminton group on Monday nights. All's well that ended well as long as she won, she was very competitive.
She loved the beach especially when she was back home with her family. She enjoyed bargaining with the street vendors. If they didn't give her the price that she wanted she would start walking away - well you guessed it, they would call her back, she was a tough negotiator.
Alma loved her family dearly and was always talking about them and with them, whether in the Philippines or around the world. She would save up some money and buy lots of gifts to take back to them. Her suitcases would be bulging at the seams, but there would be a big smile on her face as she loved to give. Her last trip to the Philippines with Robin and Catherine, she also wore a trench coat bursting at the seams. Robin noticed her walking very slowly and she would ask him before she would sit to help her take off her coat. To avoid the airport scanner, she stuffed very large Toblerone chocolate bars into the lining of her trench coat - 30 kilo's (66 pounds) worth!! She didn't dress for comfort, Alma was on a mission.
Before Alma would return to her home in Fort St. John, she, Robin and Catherine took a bus into Manilla to do some shopping for her friends back in Fort St. John. They were walking along when Robin and Catherine noticed that Alma wasn't with them. They stopped, looked and here Alma was walking across the street eating chips and drinking coconut milk and had fallen down flat in the middle of the road. Robin went to offer her help getting up but that was a big no-no. She bounced back up and kept walking like nothing happened.
After Alma finished college in the Philippine's she left for Hong Kong, in 1994, to be a caregiver. From there she moved to Edmonton, Alberta in 1996 where she resumed being a caregiver and a radio announcer. She later worked at private engineering firms and in the public sector. Alma worked for the City of Fort St. John from August 2, 2004 when she started work here as an Engineering Technologist. In 2008 she was awarded the position of Development Officer and then in 2015 her position was reclassified to Engineer, which she remained in. She was continually working at improving her education and learning new things in her chosen field.
In 2019 Alma was diagnosed with Leiomyomasarcoma cancer. She was positive right from the start that no matter the outcome God was going to look out for her. She was always hopeful that she would get better and would talk about future plans. She didn't want help but wanted to always help others. Her faith in God gave her a lot of strength, hope, peace and comfort. As her health became more of a challenge Alma moved in with Robin and Catherine. It was a great comfort and security for her being able to live with family. 1966 - 2021 The dash represents a person's life. For Alma that little dash was 55 years. For all who knew her, she was determined, feisty, dedicated, strong-willed and fun-loving. She was the best friend you could ask for.
Alma was predeceased by her mom and dad, and her brother Rodel.
A service will be held for Alma Tuesday, June 8 at 12:00 pm and will be available through the following link - Click Here.
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