March 30, 1921- Nov. 27, 2012
Al A. Aquino, a 43-year San Mateo resident, died Nov. 27 at his home. He was 91 years old.
Al Aquino was born Armando Hector Da Silva Aquino in Shanghai in 1921 to Anna Joaquina d'Aranjo Silva and Ernesto Hector d'Aquino. His father passed away when he was a year old. Al, his brother Gus and his mother lived with an uncle, H.O. White.
As a young man, Al Aquino was a part of the Shanghai YMCA and served as a member of the social committee, managed sports teams, and was an elite member of the first swim team. He was also an avid ballroom dancer, and was known as a social butterfly who was well-liked.
He attended St. Francis Xavier's College and studied law at St. John's University, but had to leave when WWII
started in China. During the war Al worked at James Neil and Co. and the International Red Cross. After the war he worked for the American Armed Forces, and then for the William Hunt and Company as an agent for international airlines until the communist army occupied Shanghai in 1948 and forced the company's closure.
In 1951, he and his family left Shanghai because life was too difficult under Communist rule. Al moved to Hong Kong where he worked for the British Army for one year. From the early '50s to the early '60s, Al Aquino lived in Argentina and Brazil, working as an English teacher and an accountant for Pan American World Airways. He traveled extensively at this time and lived with various friends and family members.
Al moved to the United States in 1961 where he lived in San Francisco. He worked for many years for P&O Cruise Lines, and then in retail sales and tourism. In 1968 he married Maureen Chisholm, a nurse from North Battleford, Canada, in Millbrae, Calif. The newlyweds bought a house in San Mateo and had three children: Nicole, Andrea and Andrew.
He loved movies and music from the '30s and '40s, and was an ardent fan of local sports teams. You could often find him watching a Giants game while listening to the Warriors game on a handheld radio.
His true life's work was his family. He was most proud of his three children and seven grandchildren. He collected family pictures like sports fanatics collect baseball cards. At family gatherings he'd take rolls of pictures and cherished his many photo albums. He was instrumental in caring for his grandchildren. He referred to each as "my boy" or "my girl" and lit up whenever they walked into a room.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Maureen; his three children, Nicole, Andrea and Andrew; and his seven grandchildren, Christian, Jackie, Katie, William, Adeline, Henry and John.
Services will be held at St. Gregory's Church in San Mateo on Friday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the