Dr. Cesar Oro-ni Joson Sagnip, M.D., longtime Trenton-area physician, departed this life in Pemberton, N.J. on Wednesday, Oct. 18. He was 89.
Born as Lorenzo Cesar Oro-ni Joson Sagnip on Nov. 14, 1927 in the province of Nueva Ecija, in the small rural town of Quezon in the Philippines he lived in Yardley, and Langhorne, Penn. for many years.
He was a proud American, being naturalized as a U.S. Citizen on Oct. 9, 1959. He was known by friends and colleagues as "Rony" or Dr. Sagnip.
Excelling in academics he earned a full scholarship at the most prestigious medical school in the country, the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines, graduating in 1953. Between 1946-48, he earned an Associate's Degree of Arts, Pre-Med. He obtained a visa to go to the United States in 1954.
Dr. Sagnip did a medical internship at Mount Sinai Hospital; a medical residency at McCook County Hospital and a residency in anesthesiology under the renowned Dr. Stevens Martin at St. Francis Hospital, all in Hartford, Conn. He settled in the early 1960s in the Trenton area and served for many years at Mercer Medical Center, and also worked at Helene Fuld Medical Center and Hamilton Hospital.
He was predeceased by his parents, Candido Sagnip and Carolina Joson Sagnip, and two brothers, Candido and Conrado, all of the Philippines.
He is survived by his six children: son Ronald S. Sagnip and wife Caroline of New Egypt, N.J.; daughter Carole L. Mischinski and husband Mark of Telford, Penn.; daughter Diana L. Butchko of Burlington Twp., N.J.; daughter Laurel A. Wilczek and husband Andzrej of Saylorsburg, Penn.; son Steven M. Sagnip and wife Lynn of East Stroudsburg, Penn., and; son Jeff Sagnip Hollendonner and wife Lina of Florence, N.J.
He had many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended family, as well as many nieces and nephews in the Philippines.
An avid reader, he will be remembered for his fondness of crossword puzzles, magazines, newspapers and World War II books. He enjoyed movies, traveling in the U.S., and watching NBA basketball and Fox News Channel, as well as driving automobiles, especially his red classic Porsche. His family and friends will always recall his taste for healthy foods, excepting his love of chocolate and cheesecake. He enjoyed attending mass at numerous churches, but especially Blessed Sacrament Church and St. Francis Church in Trenton.
Like many Filipino's he had a great appreciation for the United States of America, and had a love and admiration for his adopted country.
He and his family endured the brutal Japanese occupation of the Philippines, including scarcity of food and the destruction of Manila, where his family lived part of the year. Only age 16 at the end of the war, he was too young to sign up for military service; however with his strong skills to read, write and speak English, he was proud to serve American and Filipino soldiers and as a guide and translator during the latter part of the war. He was very proud of his older first cousin, Eduardo Joson who became a war hero featured in several books and a motion picture for his role in helping stop Japanese efforts to execute over 500 American and U.K.POWs. Eduardo later became the governor of his province.
A private internment service with the family will be held at St. Mary's Cemetery on Cedar Lane in Hamilton. A memorial mass will be held on Nov. 14 at St. Raphael-Holy Angels Church in Hamilton.