Funeral Date November 25, 2017
Visitation, Saturday, November 25, at Light of Hearts Villa from 9 – 10 A.M.
followed Mass of Christian Burial at 10 A.M.
Pedro B. Vallejo, MD “Pete” age 95, of Bedford Hts. Born on October 18, 1922 in Zamboanga, Philippines. He passed away peacefully on November 5, 2017 surrounded by his family. Preceded in death by his beloved wife Erlinda “Darling” Vallejo, RN (nee Garcia) of 65 years, parents Petronilo and Andrea, brothers General Benjamin and Petronilo Jr. Vallejo. Loving father of Peter (Ruth) Vallejo, Cindy (Trent, MD) Carlson, Lisa (Jerome, MD) Yokiel and Linda (E.J.) Korecky; cherished grandfather “Owo” of Andrea (Adam) Wead, Tony (Jen), Jeff, Jason Yokiel, Alex and Alyssa Korecky, Louis and Frankie Carlson; great-grandfather of Aria, Andrew and Emmett Yokiel, Samuel Wead; uncle to many nieces and nephews. Pete earned his medical degree from the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. He moved to the U.S. in 1951. Pete was a physician and surgeon on the staff at numerous hospitals in the greater Cleveland area, including St. Alexis Hospital where he served on the governing board. He was one of the “founding fathers” of PASO (Philippine American Society of Ohio) and APPO (Association of Philippine-American Physicians of Ohio). Pete was respectfully known as the “Godfather” of the Cleveland Philippine Community.
Pete was a decorated WWII veteran in the Philippine/American army, POW, survivor of the “Bataan Death March”. He was also one of the Filipino guerrilla soldiers who aided the U.S. Army Rangers in rescuing 513 American POW’s behind enemy lines at the Cabanatuan Japanese prison camp. The mission was known as “The Great Raid” known as the most successful rescue mission in U.S. history. He fought in Korea in the Army Combat Infantry, Special Forces Ranger Battalion. He retired from the military as a Colonel. After retiring from military service he was asked by the U.S. Military to assist in training troops in the art of guerrilla warfare in the 1960’s. For six decades Pete dedicated his efforts to attaining U.S. Veterans benefits promised to the Filipino soldiers who fought jointly with the U.S. troops during WWII. The U.S. rescinded their promise after the end of the war. He diligently wrote letters to congress, traveled to Washington, DC and explored every avenue to complete his mission. In 2016 Pete was finally awarded his VA benefits, his efforts were not in vain. This was a bitter sweet victory for him, as the number of surviving WWII Filipino/American soldiers are few. Pete was famous for his story telling, sense of humor and numerous pranks he would play as a child and an adult. He was a very kind and generous person. He was just one man, who through his dedication and perseverance directly and indirectly touched thousands of lives. The world is a better place because of the life that he lived.
CREMATION. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL WILL BE CELEBRATED SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25 AT LIGHT OF HEARTS VILLA, 283 UNION ST., BEDFORD, OH 44146 AT 10:00 A.M. Family will receive friends from 9:00 A.M. until time of Mass. Reception to follow. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Pete’s name to the Light of Hearts Villa or charity of your choice. (St. John Funeral Home of Bedford 440-232-1155)