Gokongwei matriarch Elizabeth dies at 85

John Gokongwei Jr. with his wife, Elizabeth. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Elizabeth Yu Gokongwei, wife of JG Summit Holdings founding chair John Gokongwei Jr., died on Saturday a week after her husband’s death. She was 85.

This was confirmed by her son Lance in a text message.


“Our mother, Elizabeth Yu Gokongwei, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 16, 2019, one week after the death of our father, John Gokongwei, Jr., her husband of 61 years,” the text message read.


Mrs. Gokongwei was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) where she focused her efforts on providing educational opportunities to underprivileged youth.

One of her pet projects, which was launched in 2012, was the awarding of high school scholarships at the St. Stephen’s High School to promising students.

In 2014, Mrs. Gokongwei published the coffee table book “My Angkong’s Noodles,” which documented the culinary heritage of Chinese Filipinos. She dedicated this compilation of heirloom recipes “to our immigrant grandmothers and great-grandmothers who had to work daily at the stove.” All profits from the book’s sale went to GBF’s scholarships and educational endowments.

Sources close to the family said Mrs. Gokongwei was tired from the five-week hospitalization of her husband, and subsequently suffered a stroke for which she was put on a ventilator. She had previously expressed her desire not to be aided by life support machines, another source said.

The couple are survived by their children Robina, Lance, Lisa, Faith, Hope and Marcia.


Details of the private wake details will be shared with friends and family.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: Elizabeth Gokongwei, John Gokongwei Jr., Lance Gokongwei
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