May 14, 1924 - September 9, 2018
Muang Sio Saechao
11:00 am Monday September 17, 2018
Chapel of Omega Funeral & Cremation Service
223 SE 122nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97233
September 17, 2018 at Brainard Cemetery, Portland, Oregon following the service
At least 95 years ago, a woman by the name of Muang Sio was born in a small highland village in Laos. Her family was poor and many times there was barely enough food to eat. Fortunately, she married into the more wealthy family of a husband that was a shaman and blacksmith. She cooked, embroidered, and farmed as many of the women did in her village. Life was not easy. Muang Sio had twelve children of which nine lived to adulthood. Her husband died when her youngest child was only five, leaving her to manage the family, and provide for those still in the home. Muang Sio controlled all the finances, and had to handle the bride price negotiations for her sons while they were off in the war. This was not traditionally done by a woman but she managed well.
At the end of the war, the communists took over her village. She and her adult children feared for their lives because of their involvement with the CIA supported resistance. They planned their escape over a year’s time; she and her seven year old daughter went first. Her other children, and their families followed separately. After crossing the Mekong River, they all managed to reach the Thailand refugee camp, and after five years there, Muang Sio and her youngest daughter, arrived in the US, speaking no English and knowing nothing about this country.
In the forthcoming years, Muang Sio’s youngest daughter married and she moved in with the new family. She managed the couple’s home, while they worked, and helped raise their four children. Muang Sio made them breakfasts, walked them to and from school, and tried to teach them her language. As time passed, she learned enough English to obtain US citizenship at about 80 years of age.
In February of 2013, Muang Sio suffered a massive stroke that left her completely paralyzed on one side, and unable to swallow. She was unconscious for days. Hospital staff wanted life support removed but the family refused, and she recovered. She never regained her movement, and as time passed, she lost her ability to speak and dementia took her mind. Muang Sio’s strong spirit kept her alive; the love and care by her daughter’s family, and her other children kept her comfortable until she passed early Sunday, September 9, 2018.
Muang Sio is survived by nine children, and numerous grandchildren; great grandchildren; and great, great grandchildren. She has left an amazing legacy
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