Godofredo "Fred" Paras Obituary
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Godofredo "Fred" Paras

November 2, 1952 - June 23, 2014
Obituary

FRED PARAS, 61 Washington, D.C. -- Noted Filipino floral designer Godofredo Wy Paras, well-known as Fred Paras, 61, of Falls Church, Virginia, passed away June 23, 2014 at a hospital here with his family and friends by his side. He suffered from subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and cardiac arrest. Born in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, Paras made metropolitan Washington, D.C. his home for almost 40 years. It was in the United States capital that he found pleasure in delighting his clients with his aesthetically-pleasing floral arrangements with their burst of colors and unique designs meant for those who sought his creative talent....
FRED PARAS, 61
Washington, D.C. -- Noted Filipino floral designer Godofredo Wy Paras, well-known as Fred Paras, 61, of Falls Church, Virginia, passed away June 23, 2014 at a hospital here with his family and friends by his side. He suffered from subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and cardiac arrest.
Born in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, Paras made metropolitan Washington, D.C. his home for almost 40 years. It was in the United States capital that he found pleasure in delighting his clients with his aesthetically-pleasing floral arrangements with their burst of colors and unique designs meant for those who sought his creative talent. Awe-struck by Paras' distinct floral creations were folks from all walks of life – from those celebrating milestones in their lives to those hoping to leave their mark in the nation's capital: among others, lobbyists, think-tanks, politicos, visiting Hollywood celebrities and ambassadors in various embassies, including those at the Philippine Embassy from the time of Philippine envoy to the U.S. Raul Ch. Rabe.
Humbly attributing his talent to his deep spirituality, Paras offered his breathtaking floral arrangements to Our Lady of Victory (OLOV) Catholic Church in the Potomac Palisades neighborhood of Washington, D.C. where he likewise delighted Sunday churchgoers with his promptly-prepared hot coffee and pastries. Paras' untiring service to the OLOV church made him, among others, a recipient of a recognition award presented by Archbishop Emeritus of Washington Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick during OLOV's 100th year celebration in 2009. "Such service fosters the life of the parish," noted Cardinal McCarrick who has since visited the Philippines to console those devastated by super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
Paras supported many Filipino-American community events, including Manila Mail's anniversary celebrations and annual Philippine Independence Day activities where he displayed his other skill: ballroom dancing. The Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc., comprising several Filipino-American associations in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, said in a statement, "Fred was a hardworking, tireless and helpful individual who sincerely cared about the Filipino community. He was there when you needed him." Also speaking to Manila Mail of Paras' unselfish nature was his nephew, Alipio Paras, Jr. (with wife Adel), recipient of a distinguished service award from the Embassy of Sweden in D.C.. "Uncle Fred imparted to me the virtue of patience, diligence and dedicated service when he painstakingly taught me his art of floral design," he recalled with a teary-eyed gaze on the way to the Foggy Bottom metro train station, moments after the brother of his late father, Alipio Paras, just died.
To help purchase flowers for his renowned floral arrangements of classy elegance, Paras was employed for some time by the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. and the Sans Rival Caterers owned by its chef, Paul Bakken who confided to Manila Mail, "When Fred passed, I lost my best friend" – a sentiment shared by many who knew the amiable but soft-spoken Fred Paras.
Paras leaves behind beloved wife Bella Paras and their only child, software engineer Frederick "Freddie" Paras (with his wife Gosia, a native of Poland and their son Daniel). Beaming with pride, Paras marveled at how his son grew up and earned his degree in Applied Discrete Mathematics and minor in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. Freddie now co-owns with his wife (also a software engineer, with an Information Technology degree from George Mason) Applied Intelligence Solutions, LLC, a software development company.
Paras also leaves his brothers Perfecto (with wife Paz), chairman of the Filipino Catholic Community of the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament parish in Chevy Chase, D.C.; Zoilo (in the Philippines); Felino (in Belgium where he is the Supreme Commander of the European-wide Knights of Rizal); Leonardo (with wife Irma); and Juanito (with wife Amy).
While Fred Paras was confined for a week at the George Washington University Hospital in D.C., prayers were offered by the faithful, including BLD's ME9, visiting Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Arguelles of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lipa (Batangas, Philippines); Emma C. de Guzman, co-founder of the La Pieta Prayer Group; Sister Josie Dichoso, founder of St. Martin de Porres Healing Ministry; and Fr. David Hugh Werning, pastor of OLOV Church.
Funeral arrangements for Fred Paras:
Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the National Funeral Home, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, Virginia 22042 : Viewing, 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm; Mass: 6:00 pm
Friday, June 27, 2014: at the National Funeral Home, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, Virginia 22042 : Viewing: 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm; Mass: 6:00 pm.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Our Lady of Victory Church, 4835 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Washington, DC 20007: Funeral Mass: 12 noon, followed by interment at 3:00 pm at National Funeral Home, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22042.
All attending said funeral services were asked to heed one of the last requests of Fred Paras: to wear white. (Angelyn Tugado-Marzan)

"Depend on Him at all times...before Him pour out the pain within. God, is a refuge for us. (Ps. 62:8) C Johnson"

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