At age 7, Teddy sacrificed his education to help his mother care for the family and work on the farm after his father's untimely death, and following his oldest brother Teodolfo's immigration to Hawaii as part of the first wave of "Sakadas."
When WWII ended, Teddy migrated to Hawaii to join his brother amongst the last of the Sakadas. With no formal education or English language skill, and very little beyond the clothes he was wearing, Teddy left the Philippines in search of the American dream aboard SS MAUNAWILI and arrived the island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, on March 16, 1946.
Teddy joined many other Filipino laborers in Hawaii's plantations and worked at the Waialua Sugar Plantation until his older brother encouraged Teddy to learn a trade, and he did, as a barber – a profession he practiced until just a few months prior to his death. His career as a barber included 40 years as the head barber at the now decommissioned Barbers Point Naval Air Station, previously known as Ewa Marine Corps Air Station. When he would return home from work, he would continue to serve customers at his own barber shop in Ewa Beach, where it stands today since it opened in Sep. 1961. A faded barber pole hangs below a weathered sign proclaiming "Teddy's Barber Shop,"– an iconic sign and facility that serviced the Ewa Beach community including military personnel for more than 60 years. Many of Teddy's customers became life-long friends who would continue to patronize his shop during return visits to Hawaii.
Teddy's legacy however, was not defined by his work; it was his devoted, faithful, and proud life as a U.S. Citizen realizing the American dream who, with his late wife Marina of 52 years, produced three children, who, in turn produced 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He and Marina were also foster parents for numerous teenagers through Easter Seals of Hawaii for more than 20 years. Teddy was a devoted parishioner at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church since the construction of the original church, and was a member of its Filipino Catholic Club. He was a member of the Sampaguita Association of Hawaii, Bannatiran Hawaii, and the Fil-International Social Affairs of Hawaii, where he and Marina enjoyed ballroom dancing at the organizations' social functions. Teddy was especially proud to be a "first generation" member of the Family Affair Organization (FAO) which consists of over 100 family members spread across the U.S. The FAO was established in 1982 to preserve the memory of its ancestors and the family's rich cultural history. Teddy sponsored and helped support numerous family members and other Filipino immigrants to establish new lives in America, including temporarily housing these families in his own home. Indeed, Teddy's lengthy life was characterized throughout by devotion to God, honesty, others before self, a tireless work ethic, a humble existence and great pride in being an American.
A remarkable man who led a fulfilling life, his legacy is assured through his family and friends who will never forget his kindness, generosity, and devotion to others. Teddy is survived by Florence, his second and loving wife of 13 years; and his beloved children Henry Tabios (Merle), Agnes Tauyan, and Elmer Tabios (Michele). He also lives on through his treasured grandchildren Cheryl Ann (BJ), Cesar, Jr. (Cheryl), Craig (Monica), Henry Jr (Cheryl), Brandon (Heather), Bryson, Bronson, Brianne, Kristin and Nikki; and great-grandchildren Anela, Julian, Zyan, Nalani, Shelby, Brayden, Liam and Braxton.
Due to the pandemic, private services will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church and Valley of the Temples.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased