Nature 14

Fred Josue Bobila

July 18, 1945 ~ January 16, 2022 (age 76)

Obituary

Fred Bobila was the nicest of men. Often described as kind, generous, and sweet, he was a genuinely lovely person. He was a full-hearted husband. A constant and unconditionally devoted father. The grandest of grandfathers. The best big brother. A true and trusted friend. He was all of these things and more… Because there was always (always) just enough, bite, bark, swagger, and swear to make him real, keep things interesting, and generate a presence that was meaningful and memorable.

Fred was born in July 1945 in the Philippines, the first of Vic and Nining Bobila’s seven children, and eventually manong to siblings Alex, Wilbur, Vicki, Marilou, Maribel, and Ellen. The Bobilas were well-known in the town of Bangued, capital of the large mountainous province of Abra in Northern Luzon. A prominent local doctor, Vic founded Clinica Bobila, which was home to his practice and to his large family. Nining, a teacher and local civic and religious leader, was beloved by the town and revered by her children. Together, Vic and Nining proudly raised a family of doctors… except for Fred. Always the rebel, he charted his own course, which included immigration to the United States in the mid-1960s where he remained and built his life. After settling in Washington, DC, he met and married his first wife, Nila Carpio, with whom he had two children, JR and Natalie. After taking computer classes, Fred secured a position at the National Geographic Society where he worked for most of his career. He would leave Geographic for a stint at the US Chamber of Commerce, but would eventually return before finally retiring.

While working at the US Chamber, Fred met Ann, who would later become his long-time partner and, ultimately, his second wife. In 2001, he, Ann, and Ann’s son Hunter, moved from suburban Silver Spring to their custom-built house on five acres in the woods in Upper Marlboro. Fred filled his retirement years with home projects selected from an endless list of honey-do options. He was a perfectionist and it would often take him quite some time to mark something complete. But when he did finish, it was with great pride that he displayed his accomplishments! He was a painstaking tinkerer, proudly eschewing directions of any kind because, with enough patience and finesse, he could figure out almost anything. He and Ann always looked forward to cooking – and most especially eating – together.

They were both endlessly excited about traveling the world together, seeing new places, experiencing the unknown, and allowing Fred the opportunity to indulge his passion for photography. They found joy in gathering family and friends on the deck Fred built, to feed them Filipino delicacies he prepared, and to spend time with the people he loved, in the home he enjoyed. He was an avid marksman and a crack shot. Although he had not lived in the Philippines for many decades, he was a loyal ex-patriot and closely followed hometown politics. He founded a wildly popular Facebook Group called The Beauty of Abra to bring attention to the diverse geography of his province. He wasn’t an especially sporty guy and was not a fan of routinized exercise but he had taken up yoga and recently enrolled in tennis lessons, though it could be said that he had a special talent for impromptu napping.

Fred was mulishly stubborn and fiercely opinionated with a rigid sense of right and wrong. But this was balanced and mellowed by an even-tempered tenderness that produced a disarming “live and let live” attitude. He had legions of friends, many of whom were lifelong. But he was just as likely to be warmly and enthusiastically greeted by the local pharmacist or hardware store associate who knew him by name. He was always the tallest Filipino in the room… surrounded by a bevy of women who were drawn to him like honey bees to the sweetest flower. He had charisma and charm to spare. He was the nicest of men.

Fred died in the early hours of Sunday morning, January 16, 2022, with his wife by his side.  Though fully vaccinated and boosted, he was one of the many millions who tragically lost their lives to the Covid-19 pandemic.  He will be missed by everyone who knew and loved him.  But his absence will be most keenly felt by his adoring children JR, Natalie, and Hunter.  By his steadfast brothers and sisters.  By the long-awaited and most precious of grandchildren, Xandros and Maddax, who were everything to him.  And by his wife, Ann, who was his cooking partner, travel buddy, fellow movie buff, best friend, and constant companion.  His dogs Jake and Roi still look for him. 

He left this world with a long to-do list.  He was a man with plans.  Plans to build things. To play with his grandchildren.  To travel with his wife.  To master the downward dog.  But he didn’t regret much.  He ate what he wanted and mostly what he shouldn’t.  He told his wife he loved her almost every day of their lives together. And although it was Covid that took him from her, it was also the pandemic that allowed them to spend every day of the last two years together.  He spoke his mind.  He swore like a sailor.  He bequeaths wonderful memories and the happiest of smiles (you know the one) to all those who cared about him.  He squeezed his grandchildren until his heart burst.  He lived life on his own terms. 

Fred never liked the idea of a funeral as a way to say goodbye.  Unsurprisingly, he instead favored something much more upbeat, happy, and celebratory.  His family has chosen to honor his preferences by hosting an outdoor, informal Memorial Service and Life Celebration on Saturday, May 14, from 2pm-5pm, at Fred’s home in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.   Guests are encouraged to bring a photo of Fred to share and display.  In the meantime, contributions in his name may be made to Anne Arundel Medical Center.  The nurses and doctors there were exceptionally kind, took very good care of him, and provided consistently excellent treatment over the years. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fred, please visit our floral store.


Services

Memorial Gathering
Saturday
May 14, 2022

2:00 PM
Ann and Fred's Home
15990 Croom Airport Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Donations

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