This is Emma Pagcaliwagan's first Veterans' Day without her Joe.
Jose "Joe" Pagcaliwagan, 81, of Liverpool, passed away in July. Emma is clinging to Joe's portrait at the Veterans' Day remembrance at the War Memorial in downtown Syracuse.
Although the Emma and Joe were born in the Philippines, they met in the United States. She was a rotary student living in the home of the Rotary's district governor George Goldstein.
The couple met while attending Syracuse University. Emma said Joe left the Phillipines for political reasons before he could finish 6th grade. He came to this country and served in the Navy during World War II, where he received several medals and honors including his name appearing on the Wall of Honor at the Oncenter as the first Filipino-American veteran on the wall.
He graduated from Colorado University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering with honors and attended MIT, Boston University, Syracuse University, Cornell University, NASA and receiving his Ph.D in Radar Studies Ballistic Missiles and Sonar and Nuclear Program through GE's ABC course.
Joe worked for General Electric for 34 years as an engineer, consultant and manager of radar studies. He was also a lecturer and professor of Radar Studies for GE. His clients included NASA, Boeing, McDonald Douglas, Raytheon, and Teledyne and Texas Instruments.
He contributed to the design of the Lithotripsy machine while at GE and contributed to the design of the Lunar Module as a consultant to NASA.
Joe was the first president of the Filipino Association in Syracuse (1959).
Emma received her Masters at SU in Education.
She said Joe was a good man, a good father, a good husband, a good provider, and most importantly her best friend. In essence Joe was her hero.