Guillermo "Gil" J. Cruz, of St. Peters, MO, passed away Sunday, June 11, 2023, at the age of 86. Beloved husband of Ratanee “Kim” Cruz; devoted son of Vincente and Catarina Cruz; loving father of Marcangelo S. (Divinagracia “Grace”) Cruz, Jerry S. (Kimya) Cruz, and Wilhelm S. Cruz; precious grandfather of Caleb P. Cruz and Isabella P. Cruz; cherished brother-in-law of Ratanawdee “Gem” Saetang; dear uncle, friend, and brother to many in New Jersey and the Philippines. Gil was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Sarah.
Born the youngest of ten children, Gil was the son of a milkman who would graduate from high school third in his class and eventually be the first one in the family to graduate from university. He started working on refinery construction projects taking him to various countries in the Pan-Asian region. One of those projects fortuitously landed him in Thailand near the coastal town of Sriracha. There Gil met the love of his life, Kim, whom he often referred to as "Miss Sriracha." He wed the beauty queen and returned home to the Philippines to start a new life and family.
One of his projects presented an opportunity to work in a far-off land called “Chicago.” It was a big step for Gil, who was just starting a family with two boys. He was leaving his home, his parents, relatives, brothers and sisters and starting a new life in a strange new world with a different language and culture. But he and his family accepted the challenge and even added a third son and daughter Sarah, both Chicago born, before eventually relocating one final time to the quiet suburb of St. Charles, Missouri.
As is common with many cultures, Gil was always thinking of the family and relatives back home and how life can be a struggle. He regularly sent home money and “balikbayan boxes” of simple staples (shoes, clothes, soaps, etc…) to help relatives less fortunate than him. Through his gifts, he was able to pave the way for many more siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews to also attend and graduate from college and to provide more opportunities for families back home.
In his spare time, Gil was an avid bowler. He enjoyed playing guitar as well as singing and dancing to his favorite tunes. Gil was known for his talented ability to roast lechon for special occasions in his and his loved one's lives.
Gil eventually retired from Monsanto and his travelling days came to an end. With his wife, Kim, they raised three sons, Marc, Jerry, and Wil, and two grandchildren, Caleb and Isabella. Along with Kim’s sister, Gem, all lived nearby allowing him to enjoy his retirement among family and friends.
Gil was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Memorials may be made in Gil’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.