Dr. Ramon Cukingnan, Jr. beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away Wednesday, September 26, 2007 surrounded by his family. He was 63 years old. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Bernadette and his children Jennifer, Marietta, Amanda, Michael and Tara. His grandchildren, Gianna and Gage as well as his sons-in-law, Garry and Damon grieve his loss. Born in San Jose, Philippines, Ramon was the son of Ramon and Inez Cukingnan. He was the oldest son of a large family of several brothers and sisters, most of whom continue to reside in the Philippines. He studied medicine at the University of Santo Tomas before moving to the United States to complete his residency. He was a prominent cardiac surgeon at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Little Company of Mary Hospital. His hobbies included cooking, fishing, spending time with family and watching USC football games. He will be dearly missed by all. A gathering of family and friends will be held at McCormick Redondo Beach Chapel on Sunday, September 30, 2007 from 12 Noon until 5:00 P.M. A vigil service will follow at St. Lawrence Martyr Church at 7:00 P.M. The funeral mass will be held at St. Lawrence Martyr Church on Monday, October 1, 2007 at 10:00 A.M. Burial will follow at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society online at www.cancer.org in memory of Ramon Cukingnan.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Doctor Ramon Cukingnan. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to his family. Like so many other patients, I am eternally grateful that he was there in my time of need. Maybe other surgeons could have performed the same life saving operation, but he was the one that did. My wife and I always enjoyed our visits with Doctor Cukingnan. We talked about more than just my medical condition. We talked as friends. I will dearly miss my checkups with him. I will miss his smile, his good nature and his casual friendly attitude. I will also miss the conversations we had using the excuse of an annual checkup to get together. The following is what I wrote after my surgery in my annual Christmas letter in 2004, the year I met and was saved by Doctor Cukingnan. “I saw Doctor Cukingnan almost daily. He would stop by and see how I was doing. During our prior meetings he wore a suit or sport coat. In the hospital he was wearing his surgical greens. One thing that really stuck in my mind was how good he looked in the surgical outfit. He is kind of slim, not skinny, and standing there looked like the perfect surgeon. He just looked the part. He was just exuding confidence. Making you feel that that’s a surgeon, he’s the one I want operating on me. It’s hard to explain but if you had to pick how a surgeon should look, he was it. Real Time-Life cover material. The other thing I noticed in intensive care, he always stopped and talked to the nurses and staff when he came in. Other doctors just came in, grabbed a chart, did their rounds and returned the chart. Doctor Cukingnan seemed to go out of his way to chat with the staff. And it wasn’t medical things they were talking about. You could tell by the way they were so relaxed and smiling. I can see why he is the most popular doctor there. I really like him too. A real regular guy. He is very friendly towards us and we keep thinking how could he be such a top surgeon. No superiority attitude, just a regular guy.” In closing I would like to say, thank you Doctor Cukingnan. Thank you for being there when I needed you. Thank you for saving my life. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for everything.

  2. Ray was a sincere honorable friend.We shared lots of good times, fishing in the waters of Alaska& Mexico and horse back riding in the mountains& valleys of California.It was always lots of fun. Ray was a loving family man, proud of his children& their achivements& always making sure everbody is there to share that big Sunday dinner Ramon was an excellent surgeon. After he& his associate arrived in the South-Bay area,he promptly started one of the best heart- surgery programs in the country.He saved so many lives& he indeed was the surgeons’ surgeon. My condolences to the family& to myself!…I am going to miss him dearly. Michael

  3. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to everyone in the family as you endure the pain and sorrow of losing someone so dear and special in your lives. Ray was a kind and gentle man and he made the world a better place for having been here. May your broken hearts heal and the wonderful memories of times spent together be a source of lasting comfort. With love and deepest regrets, Barbara and Gene Gardner

  4. I was a rookie nurse working at Centinela Hospital in the 1980’s when I met Dr. Cukingnan. He treated me and my fellow nurses with tremendous respect. Twenty years later, with great sadness, I helped take care of Dr. Cukingnan in the out-patient setting. He shared with me the great pride he had in his children. I will remember his warm smile…. I send my heartfelt condolences. Donna Miodovski

  5. I was deeply saddened to read that Dr. Cukingnan had passed away. Our mother, who passed away in 1997 was one of Dr. Cukingnan’s patients. Our entire family adored Dr. Cukingnan as did our mother. He was such a wonderful doctor/fantastic surgeon, and full of compassion. We always teased the doctor about his great looking cowboy boots he’d wear. My siblings and I send our heartfelt condolences to the Cukingnan Family. Sincerely, The Fawley Family

  6. Dear Dr. Cukingnan’s Family, We want you to know how much we appreciate what Dr. Cukingnan did for Bill. His successful mitral valve repair in 2004 saved Bill’s life. He is again an active, vital man, enjoying his family (especially the grandkids) and life in general. In the brief time we spent with him he made us feel quite comfortable and informed. We are holding you in our prayers.

  7. I was deeply saddened when I read of Dr. Cukingnan’s passing. Seven years ago he saved my wife’s life by doing two emergency heart valve replacements within a ten day period. He was a great surgeon and a very compassionate man. My condolences to his family.

  8. I will miss my good friend, partner in cooking,wines tasting and skiing. He is a honorable man that better the life of many humans. you will be deeply missed and hope to see you one day

  9. I am sorry for your loss and know that though Dr.C’s life was far to short, his love and skill as a surgeon extended the lives of so many. I will be forever grateful for his fine work for my friend Walter Kitagawa and the humor he shared with his patients and staff. God has a new angel. I wll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Our most heartfelt condolences to your family. Dr. Cukingnan saved my husbands life as I am sure he did many. He was a wonderful, kind and gentle man and we will remember him always. You are in our prayers.

  11. I first met Dr. Cukingnan when I was an LVN at Centinela Hospital Medical Center. I was looking at him and he noticed me and said” Yes, I am Filipino and not Japanese”. Whenever we see him at the hallways of DOU he is always smiling. Then I had the chance of seeing him again at Torrance Memorial. He was a little Gray in the hair but he still have that voice that sets him apart from the rest. My heart and thoughts are with you at this very sad time. We need to rejoice because he had touched many lives and made a big difference.

  12. I was with Ray at N.Y.U. He was hard to keep up with in surgery. He married one of Bellevue’s finest nurses. He will be missed by the profession.

  13. My deepest sorrow for the loss of such a remarkable man. Dr. Cukingnan repaired my heart last year and can honestly say he really touched my heart. What a wonderful doctor and man. I am truly happy to have known him and I am very sad to have heard the news of his passing. Rest in peace Dr. Cukingnan.

  14. Very late on a Saturday night fifteen years ago, Dr. Cukingnan applied his genius and saved the life of my husband–my children’s father. We remain forever grateful. May God’s comfort and blessings be with the Cukingnan family.

  15. Dear Marietta and family, We were very sorry to hear about your loss. We have thought of you often through the years and hope you are well. Please accept are sincere condolences. With love, Robert and Ann Kubota (Alissa’s Parents)

  16. To the Cukingnan Family: I am writing this note to express my deepest condolences on the death of Ray. I have known Ray for 25 years and have held him in the highest regard as a person and physician. Ray was “the doctor’s doctor”. He was dedicated and thoughtful of his patients, the hospital staff, and his fellow physicians. As the former Chief of Staff of Little Compny of Mary Hospital I always thought of Ray as one of the best physicians in the community. He always put himself second to all those he dealt with even though he was first. Ray never complained about the hours he worked because he always worked for the betterment of others. Ray will be deeply missed by his colleagues, patients, and his family. Because of Ray the world is a better place to be. I hope you can find solace in his accomplishments and dedication. He will always be cherished and remembered. God bless you Ray, with love and remembrance, Robert Faries M.D.

  17. My father, was a great man… The greatest father I could ever ask for… He dedicated his life to saving people even when they didn’t have the money to pay for the medical costs. It was never a problem; he grew up in an impoverished country under the control of the Japanese during WWII (Philippines). He as a child endured the tragedies that most Americans have not witnessed and I hope that in the future, his experiences will reflect on my decisions as an individual and as an American for my children. He gave me the choice he was never granted as an individual. The choice that many Americans, before us have sacrificed to preserve… We need more people like him on this earth. I embrace the freedoms that have been given to me and fight for them until the very end. I believe we can learn a lot from those who not care of fighting, but of saving. What is more human in us than to help those in need?… We need more people like him… My father is amazing…. More amazing than I thought…

  18. I had the privilege of knowing Dr. Cukingnan, since I had been in practice in Torrance since 1960. Aside from saving many lives of our patients over the years, he saved the life of my closest friend, Dr, Masashi Uriu 3 years ago. I shall never forget that! We shared a common interest in fishing, USC Trojan (my alma mater) football games, fancy boots and belt buckles. I shall never forget him and his skills!

  19. I had the honor of knowing Dr. Cukingnan for 20 years. Always smiling, the best demeanor and his patients truly LOVED him as well as the staff. When I first started at Torrance Memorial I thought he was so cool because he always had it together. Always confident, happy ,pleasant and he never changed. He was never one of those surgeons the nurses had to “fear”. The community loses such a wonderful person, surgeon and friend. My deepest condolonces to the Cukingnan family.

  20. I have been a patient for quite some time. I am 90 years old, he was the kindest and best Dr. It was a pleasure to go to the doctor’s office for my appointments. He was so jolly and made me smile. My deepest sympathy goes out to your family.


  22. We grieve the passing away of our beloved brother / uncle.. We love him very much and will miss him…. Albert & Lily; Aileen,James & Chloe, Jhan & Andrea and Jay

  23. Dear Bernadette and family- I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Cukingnan was a wonderful surgeon and he touched so many lives through his practice of medicine. May your memories of the good times heal your hearts. Pam Pickering

  24. Bernadette and family, Sharing in your sorrow… Although words cannot begin to ease the sorrow of your loss. Please know that you are in the prayers of so many who cares. It is hard knowing that I have lost a brother whom I know that I could always count on. Our deepest condolence, Burke, Erlinda and kids (Johann and Jherald) Gotauco

  25. It is with great sadness that I recently learned of the passing of Ramon. My heartfelt sympathy to Bernadette and his children, extended family, and friends. It was a privilege working as a nurse practitioner with Ramon in the late seventies. I will always remember his great intellect, big heart, and wonderful sense of humor.

  26. I just received the sad news of the passing of my classmate and school seatmate, “Cookie”. Please accept my condolence and that of my family as well as that of the rest of our classmates. I will be posting his obituary in our class website wwww.ustmed67.org later today.

  27. Kookie and I were classmates – Class 67 UST. He was fun to be with and my memories of him will be treasured.

  28. I remember Kookie as I used to call him and have much fond memories of him. I have on many occasions talked to him during our medical school days.It is only this morning that I’ve learned of his untimely death. I like him, our class’67 loves him,he had help so many grateful for his deeds and goodness, therefore not everything in him have died. He’ll be sorely missed. To his family and love ones, please accept our condolences and deepest sympathy.

  29. To the family of Kookie, He was a dear classmate and friend from med school. We will cherish his precious smile and his outgoing personality. Too bad that we did not see him often during our reunions. We did not even know he was sick.May Gos bless his soul and May he rest in peace. May God give you all the courage and strength to face this big loss, sincerely, Rosie aniceto-Elazegui, MD UST Med class 67

  30. Expressing our condolence and sympathy to the family of Kookie . He was a friend and classmate from medical school in the Philippines. He will be very much remembered!

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook