Juanita B. FlorCruz
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Juanita B. FlorCruz
  • September 13, 1922 - May 11, 2017
  • Alexandria, Virginia

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Mrs. Juanita Begley FlorCruz, 94, passed away peacefully on May 11, 2017, at the Fairfax Assisted Living Facility, Ft. Belvoir, VA, where she had resided for the past 10 years.

The widow of the late Col. Pedro R. FlorCruz (US Army, retired), she is survived by her sister, Josephine Alunan of Daly City, CA, and her four children: Paul of Fort Monroe, VA, Rita Trenga of Alexandria, VA, David of Springfield, VA, and LTC Celia FlorCruz of Ft. Sam Houston, TX, as well as seven grandchildren and one great-grandson. She was predeceased by three siblings, Rachel Shaffer, Wild Bill Begley, and Frances B. Chua.

Juanita was born in Manila, The Philippines, on September 13, 1922, to Juana LaCoste Begley and Henry L. Begley. One of five children, she and her family moved to San Francisco in 1926, where she attended various schools including St Vincent's High School, City College of San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley. Juanita was the big sister and leader to her two younger sisters, Josephine and Frances, during the difficult years of the Great Depression. She was an excellent seamstress with a talent for creating all types of garments, especially hats. At St. Vincent's High School, she received the honor of Prefect of the Sodality, a high award among Roman Catholic laity devoted to religious and charitable causes. In addition, she earned honors for academics and drama, enjoying both singing and acting.

During World War II she met her future husband, CPT Pedro R. FlorCruz, a 1942 graduate of West Point, who was then involved in forming the First Filipino Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, for deployment in the Pacific Campaign. After the war, she joined her husband in the Philippines where he was assigned to develop the curriculum for the Philippine Military Academy. As an Army wife, Juanita moved with her family to numerous postings including Princeton University, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories, Heidelberg, Germany, Fort Monroe, VA, Washington, D.C., and the Panama Canal Zone. She and her family eventually settled in the Stratford Landing area of Fairfax County where they enjoyed the company of their grandchildren.

A funeral mass will be held at 12:30 PM at Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, VA, on August 29 followed by interment in Arlington National Cemetery.