Lumi R. - Renaissance Village Murrieta Resident
She’s known to family and friends as Lumi, but she was born Iluminada during the 1930s in the Philippines. Lumi is the firstborn among her two brothers and three sisters. As the eldest daughter, she enjoyed playing and creating adventures with her younger siblings. Lumi was a mischievous child, and her attempt to see what nuns wear under their habits got her sent to the principal’s office. After she didn’t come home, her mother came to collect her with an umbrella in tow, threatening that she would break all the windows if they didn’t release her daughter. A memory that still makes her laugh today.
The Philippines & Japan
However, in 1943, just after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the Japanese also declared war on the Philippines. During this time, her father, a former orchestra leader, joined the United States Army to help the American troops regain control of the Philippines. She and her mother, along with her younger siblings, found themselves living at internment camps. Lumi helped her mother take care of the children until the war ended in 1945.
Thankfully, Lumi and all of her family survived the atrocities of war. But then, life in the Philippines was much different, which caused her father and mother to seek citizenship in the United States. Lumi decided to stay in the Philippines to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management for Finance and Banking at the University of the East.
Coming to the United States
After graduation, Lumi and her grandmother made arrangements to reunite with their family in the United States. However, her grandmother was
deemed too old to leave, and Lumi had to leave her behind. Unfortunately, they never saw her again. In 1953 Lumi reunited with her family and lived at her uncle’s ranch in Garden Grove, California. Her uncle owned a few acres of strawberry fields, and she worked various jobs on the ranch.
Marriage, Kids, and Moving On
Lumi began working in the accounting department at the Costa Mesa Water District. She soon after met a man named Raymond, who was also from the Philippines. Raymond worked as a chef at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, California. Lumi and Raymond got married in 1955 in Orange County. They have three daughters, Rosalind, Rebecca, and Roxie, who grew up in Huntington Beach, California. However, after 20 years of marriage, Raymond and Lumi decided to divorce.
Life went on for Lumi. She studied and received a certificate in purchasing. Lumi worked hard to become a purchasing manager at several companies. These companies include Xerox Corporation, Apple Computers, Northrop, and Raytheon.
A Love of Family
Her three daughters also went to college, married, and started families of their own. Lumi is a grandmother to seven grandchildren, three of which are triplets. In addition, she also has six great-grandchildren, which includes two sets of twins. Multiple births run in her family, starting with her mother, who has a twin brother, and they also have two younger brothers that are also twins.
Many of Lumi’s family members have also served in the military. In addition to her father’s service to the
U.S. Army during World War II, her brothers Tony and Milo served in the U.S. Airforce during the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. Her grandson, Jason, also served in the U.S. Army for six years, and her granddaughter, Brittany, served in the U.S. Airforce for 20 years before retiring in March 2020 as Master Sergeant.
A Need for Speed
Over the years, Lumi enjoyed gardening and reading. She especially enjoys reading books by John Grisham, and she had an expansive library of his books, which she graciously donated to Renaissance Village Murrieta when she moved in. Lumi also loves watching NASCAR, and her favorite racer is Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88. She always drove sports cars like the 1982 Datsun 280ZX and 1998 Acura Integra. She gave both cars to her grandchildren when she stopped driving at 86 years old. Lumi also loved playing the stock market. She invested in a lot of stocks and commodities and also bought real estate.
Traveling & Volunteering
Lumi traveled throughout the United States for work, but she also traveled to Mexico several times and went parasailing. She also visited Alaska and Canada, where she attended the 1986 World Expo in Vancouver, which was also the last one in North America. Lumi also traveled to Europe for a Holy Pilgrimage through Portugal, France, and Italy, where she visited Vatican City, Rome and met Pope John Paul II.
She retired from Raytheon in 1996, but she stayed busy by volunteering her time at Menifee Hospital and became the volunteer chairperson for two years. Lumi also donated her time for the American Red Cross, and she read to children of all ages at the local schools in the Menifee School District.
Life at Renaissance Villages
After selling her home, Lumi moved to Renaissance Village Murrieta in April of 2017. She was the 17th person to call our community home. Lumi enjoys participating in the many activities provided. Some of those that stand out are the annual Valentine’s Day dance with local church groups and the Gone with the Wind event she helped with setting up.
Lumi traveled throughout the United States for work, but she also traveled to Mexico several times and went parasailing. She also visited Alaska and Canada, where she attended the 1986 World Expo in Vancouver, which was also the last one in North America. She also traveled to Europe for a Holy Pilgrimage through Portugal, France, and Italy, where she visited Vatican City, Rome and met Pope John Paul II.
Lumi retired from Raytheon in 1996, but she stayed busy by volunteering her time at Menifee Hospital and became the volunteer chairperson for two years. She also donated her time for the American Red Cross, and she read to children of all ages at the local schools in the Menifee School District.
Lumi also loves Halloween when everyone gets to dress up. The last couple of years, she’s dressed up as Peter Pan, a pirate, and Batman. She’s lived in the community for four years, and she likes to do her exercises and still reads a lot. Lumi also occasionally attends Bible studies.
She also enjoys the Catholic Mass and looks forward to when it can return to the community. Lumi thinks the staff is friendly and respectful, but she misses the staff members who no longer work at Renaissance Village because they’re like family. However, she looks forward to getting to know new staff members and seeing them become family too.
Lumi is always trying to get family members and friends to move to Renaissance Village Murrieta. She thinks the food is tasty and delicious, and the Dining Room makes her feel like she’s in a fancy restaurant for every meal. Lumi also loved that the staff treats her with respect. She likes that she can make some of her own choices and still feel independent. Lumi knows that she’s not as quick with her movements and doesn’t hear well, but she believes that she’s lived a good life. She looks forward to people understanding more about who she is and what she’s done and experienced in her wonderful years of life.