Obituary of Louis S. Crisostomo
Louis once said that he was “embedded in history.” And for 95 years he lived an extraordinary life devoted to Amy, his sweetheart and loving wife of 68 years, along with their seven children Louie, Arthur, Christine Hey, Edgar, Grace Olsen, Bernie, and Tony, 14 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, who all loved and adored their Dad, Grampa, and Great Grampa.
His amazing life began in 1924 in the Philippines, the youngest of nine children born to Miguel and Vicenta. As a child, and throughout his life, he was a joker. He was also a voracious reader, who would climb high up in his family’s backyard tree reading book after book while munching away on the tree’s fruit. He read Tom Sawyer, which added to his repertoire of pranks, but his reading also equipped him with a keen intellect and a tireless and razor sharp mind.
His 17th birthday was the day that lived in infamy: the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, during which the Philippines was invaded by Imperial Japan. War was hell, and anarchy and death reigned. But like many of his generation, the Greatest Generation, he fought for good and for freedom. At just 18, he became a spy, utilizing his mind as a weapon to learn the language and ways of the enemy. During one particularly dangerous three-day mission, he secretly smuggled maps of enemy positions to the forces commanded by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who used that vital intelligence to free 4,000 civilians, mostly Americans and Europeans, being held by Japan. For his service and valor, Louis was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States.
After the war, he resumed his education, graduating early from the University of Santo Tomas, and with a Master’s degree from Adamson University completed in just one year. Then Louis met Amy, and three years later they married on April 26, 1952. God blessed them with two daughters and five sons born from 1953 to 1964. Meanwhile, Louis was a successful chemist and business executive. However, despite their very comfortable life in the Philippines, Louis and Amy had the vision and the guts to immigrate to the United States, determined to provide their children a better life.
Louis then worked for several more years and lived with his family first in northeast Ohio, but eventually settling in Waukesha, where he retired in 1986. Louis and Amy shared a solemn pride in overcoming the very real challenges of adapting to American culture as immigrants, while raising all seven of their children to be college graduates.
Louis was fun, had the best sense of humor, and enjoyed his retirement: ballroom dancing with Amy; playing mahjong, chess, and card games with family and friends; traveling throughout the country and around the world; dining at his favorite Filipino, Chinese, and seafood restaurants; and helping raise his grandchildren of whom he was tremendously proud and who idolized him.
He was an avid gardener, and he relished the mental exercises of crossword puzzles and his favorite TV game shows, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. He was instantly recognizable with his enviable full head of black and later platinum hair, always looking so handsome and regal.
Throughout his life, Louis was profoundly devoted to his Catholic faith. He volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and was a longtime parishioner and Eucharistic minister at St. William Catholic Church.
Grateful for the abundant blessings God bestowed upon him, deeply loved by his family, and cherished by his many friends and neighbors, Louis painlessly and peacefully passed away on November 14 at his home in Pewaukee, but only after finishing a delicious dinner with the love of his life Amy nearby.
On December 4, a celebration of Louis’s life will take place at St. William Catholic Church, 440 N. Moreland Blvd., in Waukesha, with visitation at 11:00 a.m., a funeral mass at 1:00 p.m., and with military honors immediately afterwards.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Louis Crisostomo, please visit Tribute Store