Cover photo for Bella Mercado Lao's Obituary
Bella Mercado Lao Profile Photo

Bella Mercado Lao

June 2, 1932 — January 16, 2024

Bella Mercado Lao

June 2, 1932 — January 16, 2024

Bella Mercado Lao died at the age of  91 in Pasadena, California on January 16, 2024, after 5 days of sudden congestive heart failure complications. Though the timing was sudden, Bella was surrounded by comfort care nurses and family trying to ease the pain of her suffering. Despite the great pain she was experiencing, Bella was able to pass peacefully without visible anguish. Born on June 2, 1932, in Pampanga, Philippines with two brothers and two sisters. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Education, where she then went on to be a home economics teacher for over 50 years. After she arrived in the United States in 1977, she worked as a banker until her retirement.

Bella was active in giving money to charities and political causes throughout her life, and spent much of her time keeping up with current events on the news. She greatly enjoyed the pleasure of eating food with company and savoring her favorite sweet dishes, and did not hesitate to offer up her own money and belongings when it could benefit those close to her. Bella made certain to give her grandchildren at least $5 from her wallet whenever they came over to visit, always making sure they were provided for. Bella is survived by one sister, her daughter, Michelle Cupp, and her husband Eugene Cupp, as well as three grandchildren.

A private service was held on February 17, 2024, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.

Her life can be summarized as Generous, Carefree, and Attentive. Here is a poem that aligns with Bella's zest for the simple joy of living by Mary Oliver, that no matter where she was in life, Bella thought outside herself and enjoyed what life had to offer:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--over and over announcing your place in the family of things.


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