January 17, 1924 ~ November 7, 2014
Eumelia Ver Pretel - January 17, 1924 to November 7, 2014 Mother of Amalia Pretel-Gray, Val Pretel, Marie La Spina, Herbert 'Tito' Pretel, Michael Pretel, Elizabeth Pretel, and Joseph Pretel, leaving behind her children's spouses: Christopher Gray, Tom La Spina, Julie Freimuth, Leslie Dwight, Juan Carlos Carpio, Melania Castillo, her grandchildren: Daniel Gray, Ramsay Gray, Alessa Walle, Harrison and Miles Pretel, Camila and Indra Carpio, her nieces and nephews: Deborah Trance, Joseph Trance, Gabriel Trance, and their spouses: Glen Mordecai, Susan Johnson Trance, Angela Morrison Trance, and grand nephew: Spiro Trance and Jessica Whitcomb Trance. A teacher of English as a Second Language for 35 years at Flushing High School in NY, our mother celebrated the diversity of many ethnic cultures through the dance, food and songs of the high school students she taught with an annual International Festival. She was married to our father at the International House of Columbia University, appreciating then as she did up to her passing, the richness of many cultures and their folklore. We have been and will continue to be blessed by her keen dedication to singing and music, folklore and dance, poetry and literature, the theater, the arts and fellowship. She had a deep sense for prayer and choral singing which she did at both St. Nicholas of Tolentine School and Queens College in New York as well as St. Marguerite d'Youville in Lawrenceville, Georgia where she retired for the past 13 years. She sang in the Queens College Choral Society and traveled internationally with the Berkshire Choral Group for many years before moving to Georgia. She was born in Illocos Norte, in the Philippines, and studied at the University Santo Tomas in Manila, coming to the United States to study Journalism at Columbia University where she met her husband, Amarante Pretel. They raised seven children in Flushing, Queens, New York. She passed peacefully in her home, singing till the end..... Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I am in a thousand winds that blow. I am in the diamond glint on snow. I am of the sunlight on ripened grain and of the gentle autumn rain. When you wake in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifted rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night.