December 18, 1950 ~ August 7, 2019
After a long, valiant fight against cancer, Corazon Leng-Gerson, aka Cora, passed away on August 7, 2019 at her home in Torrance, California.
Her survivors from her immediate family include: Ivan Gerson, husband, Merilyn “Mimi” Jakosalem, sister of Cora, Virgilio “Jack” Jakosalem, husband of Merilyn, Helen Palileo, sister of Cora, Roche Palileo, husband of Helen, Eliseo Leng, brother of Cora, Janice Gerson, sister-in-law of Cora and sister of Ivan Gerson, Hunter Jones, son of Janice Gerson, David Gerson, step son of Cora and son of Ivan Gerson, Katie Yorn, wife of David Gerson, and Jack Benjamin Gerson, step grandson of Cora and son of David Gerson and Katie Yorn. Cora and Ivan Gerson, never had any children together.
In addition, Cora is survived by a large number of nephews and nieces living throughout the world.
The following is a brief recap of Cora’s life.
Cora was born in Cebu, in the central part of the Philippine Islands, on December 18, 1950 to Leng Tian Su and Susana Uy. She graduated from a private college in the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Accounting. She worked for several different employers in the Philippines and eventually ran her own business. She was very generous and popular with her employees.
Cora was a loyal and life-long Roman Catholic who regularly attended mass and prayed for herself and for others with enthusiasm. She was a long-time member of the St. Catherine Laboure Church in Redondo Beach, California.
In 1989, Cora was granted a visa to visit the United States and she established roots and obtained a green card in the United States with the help of some Filipino friends and relatives. In the United States, she worked as a care giver for elderly Americans in Los Angeles County because it was easier and faster to get a job in the elder care field rather than the accounting field. In order for a foreigner to practice accounting in the United States, they have to prove their non-American accounting courses were equivalent to US accounting courses and they have to pass the state accounting test.
In February of 1994, Cora met American born, single, male Ivan Gerson. Ivan was born in Los Angeles, California, and lived and worked there his entire life. Ivan and Cora soon became a couple and married on August 19, 1994. Ivan and Cora were married in a civil ceremony in Norwalk, California and Cora wore a wedding dress borrowed from her sister Helen.
Ivan encouraged Cora to obtain her college transcripts and to study for the California state accounting test. Cora applied herself diligently to the task and passed the state exam and then worked as an auditor and as an accountant in the U.S. for around 20 years. She worked for several private US companies until landing a job with the City of Los Angeles where she worked for 10 years. She retired from the City of Los Angeles and retired from working in 2013. While working for the City of Los Angeles, she was assigned to the Community Development Department, Convention Center Department and Harbor Department. Cora was a very good worker and very good test taker and she was promoted several times by the City of Los Angeles.
Cora’s hobbies and interests included helping her family and friends, gardening, traveling to Europe, Canada, the Philippines and the USA, and admiring Christmas decorations every year. She was very proud of the Christmas trees and ornaments she accumulated and used each year for her own home. Although she did not play a musical instrument, she loved to listen to her husband who played piano. Her favorite music included Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and all of the famous Christmas songs. In fact, Hark the Herald Angels Sing was the Cora and Ivan theme song. Although Cora was not a music expert, she always admired the singing of Barbara Streisand.
Although Cora guarded her privacy with strangers, she was very open about her life with friends and relatives. Cora found housework to be a chore but she was very good at it, very well organized and kept a very tidy home. Cora loved to cook and had lots of exotic recipes. She also really enjoyed Filipino food, especially lechon. Cora also loved garage and estate sales and enjoyed the art of saving money.
Over Cora’s life time, she contributed money, encouragement and helpful advice to her friends and relatives. Cora is one of those people who had a major impact on other people’s lives in her immediate circle of friends and family members She will be missed. May she rest in peace.
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