WILMINGTON — Thomas Vinluan Edralin, age 89, died peacefully at his home in Wilmington, North Carolina, on August 2, 2021. Thomas was born on September 18, 1931, in Sarat, Ilocos Norte, Philippines to Agueda Vinluan and Miguel Edralin. He graduated from Far Eastern University, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. On July 16, 1955, he married Juanita Alanon in Manila, Philippines who was his life partner for 66 years. While living in Alabang Hills, Philippines, Thomas enjoyed playing and competing in racquetball. He passed on his love of the game to both his sons, and his youngest son, Edwin, played as his racquetball partner in several competitions.
Thomas and Juanita immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1977, and moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, where they have both lived since. Thomas worked as a United States immigration officer for their first few years in Wilmington. An entrepreneur at heart, he established several businesses, one of which was the first Filipino restaurant in Wilmington, Jade Vine. The restaurant was local favorite for the ten years it was open. Shortly thereafter, Thomas started a long career with Corning, Inc., where he was recognized through the years for his hard work, productivity, and dedication to the company, eventually retiring in 2001 after over twenty years of service.
Thomas is survived by his wife, Juanita, three children, Edward, Elizabeth, Edwin, five grandchildren, Missy, Christine, Adrienne, Ivan, Alex, and two great-grandchildren, Sophia, and Nicholas. His daughter, Elizabeth, remembers her father’s daily calls to check in on her. He enjoyed hearing about how his family was doing because it made him very proud and happy. Thomas spent his leisure time playing golf, tennis, and fishing. His grandchildren, Missy and Adrienne have fond memories of their Lolo (grandfather in Tagalog) taking them to play golf, tennis, and boardwalk fishing. Adrienne also remembers her grandfather taking her to the arcade where the winner would be treated to ice cream, which meant her Lolo would end up treating her to ice cream either way! Thomas and Juanita were both known foodies and they loved going to the local Wilmington restaurants where they enjoyed both the food and the people. Whenever family came to visit, the first thing on the agenda was always where to eat, and wherever Thomas and Juanita went, the staff would always be happy to see them, as they proudly introduced their family to everyone. Adrienne remembers that her Lolo would sit in front of her at the restaurant because he loved hearing her stories about work and places she traveled to. Thomas spent his quiet time reading Reader’s Digest, his favorite magazine, and he also enjoyed a good game of chess. One of Missy’s most beloved gifts from her Lolo was an annual subscription to Reader’s Digest from her middle school to high school years. Thomas loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His most cherished moments were being present for his grandchildren, Christine and Missy’s weddings, their college graduations, and celebrating his golden wedding anniversary.
Thomas will be deeply missed, but his memories will live on, as they are told by those who have known and loved him.
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