Socorro “Cora” P. Imperial died peacefully at home in Carmel, Indiana on April 22, 2023. Born in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Province, Philippines on September 25, 1930, she was the youngest of 10 children of Francisca Gumabay Pagalilauan and Severino Pagalilauan. Cora attended Far Eastern University and was an administrative assistant for a number of Philippine government agencies throughout her 20s. She eloped on Valentine’s Day 1956 with the love of her life, Boris S. Imperial, while Boris was a medical student. Their delayed honeymoon was on a ship around the southern Philippine islands while Boris took his first job as a ship’s doctor.
The opportunities of America called Boris to New York City in 1957 while Cora stayed behind and worked in The Philippines until 1958. Cora flew to New York City with stops in Hawaii and L.A. to refuel. After several days she was reunited with her new husband where they rented a room from an Italian couple in The Bronx.
Cora gained her much needed resilience in navigating a new country from her struggles as a refugee during World War II in The Philippines. Her family along with Boris’ family fled their homes during the Japanese occupation. She lost 2 brothers during the war, one who died in the Bataan Death March and one whom she nursed at age 13 while he had malaria. Cora also endured the death of 3 other brothers and her parents before she was 30 years old. Despite all this sadness and loss, Cora remained an eternal optimist.
Cora and Boris moved their family from New York City to Binghamton NY and then Saskatchewan, Canada when their visas expired. After three years they moved to St. Louis, MO then Jamestown, ND and finally Terre Haute, IN. After Boris retired from private practice, they moved to Carmel, Indiana to be near their children and grandchildren.
Mrs. Imperial, along with her husband, became U. S. citizens in Bismarck, ND in 1969.
Cora and Boris enjoyed traveling and exploring the world. Their adventures took the family to all four corners of the United States and to Africa, Asia, South America and Europe.
Cora was the glue who brought the family and friends together with her dishes from the homeland and other countries. She was an accomplished seamstress and talented painter.
Mrs. Imperial was an active member of St. Margaret-Mary Catholic Church and volunteered for Meals on Wheels in Terre Haute. She was a member of International Women Indiana in Indianapolis.
Everyone who met Cora loved her for her sweet, kind and loving demeaner. She always thought of others before herself.
Mrs. Imperial is survived by her children: Olga Imperial Keegan (Don), Leo Imperial (Tina), John Imperial (Jean Deering), grandchildren: Taylor, Luke and Ian Bossung, Alaina Keegan, Amira and Azra Imperial, Tessa and Austin Imperial, great grandchildren Milo and Remy Bossung, and many nieces and nephews around the world.
Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 5, 2023, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 10655 Haverstick Road, with the eulogy to be given at 10:15 a.m. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. Memorial contributions may be directed to the St. Meinrad Archabbey Monastery in St. Meinrad, IN or Carmelite Monastery in Terre Haute, IN. Arrangements were entrusted to Flanner Buchanan – Carmel. Online condolences may be shared by visiting www.flannerbuchanan.com.