Pilar Ligaya Ayala, 77, was called home by our Lord on Thursday, December 30, 2021. She passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her husband, daughter, son-in law and a beloved friend.
Born Pilar Cayanan on May, 12 1944 in Manila Philippines, Pilar was the youngest daughter of the late Teodoro, a firefighter and Pilar Rosalde, a humble homemaker with a rare wisdom and uncommon depth of spirit.
Pilar was born at the end of Japan’s occupation in the Philippines during World War II. Following the end of the war in 1945, Pilar’s mother had her name officially changed to Pilar Ligaya Cayanan. In Tagalog, Ligaya means happiness. The name change would signify the joy and healing Pilar’s birth brought to her family during a period of national conflict and unrest. This legacy would define much of Pilar’s life.
In 1981, Pilar left the Philippines and was married in Oslo, Norway to Hector Luis Ayala-Rodriguez. They were pen pals for two years before finally being wed. In August of 1983 their only child, Jeshannah, was born. Hector’s job as a soldier with the United States Army would continue to take Pilar and her radiant light all over the world.
Pilar was a teacher at heart and loved to mentor and inspire youth of all ages. Before leaving the Philippines she completed her bachelor’s degree in education and taught high school for two years. While in Norway, Pilar started a nursery at her local church and when her family moved to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, she obtained licensing for an in-home daycare. She continued to work in the area of child development, caring for children between infant and pre-K until she retired in 2014.
Upon retirement Pilar was finally able to dedicate herself to what her loved ones believe was her true calling, serving the Lord. She was an active member of Fayetteville’s Filipino community and coordinated the monthly Filipino mass at St. Ann Catholic Church. She was also a member of Saint Michael the Archangel auxiliary chapter of Columbiettes on Fort Bragg. In addition, she was a Rally Captain for the America Needs Fatima public square rosary crusade, a campaign she organized annually in October to honor the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.
Pilar is survived by her immediate family but also by every person whose life was touched by her beautiful spirit.
A viewing will be held at Saint Anne Catholic Church on Sunday, January 9, 2022 from 2PM to 3PM. A funeral mass for close loved ones will follow and will be live streamed via Facebook. Due to the trend of rising COVID exposures, the family is asking all those who attend to adhere to all precautionary protocols. In doing so, we echo Pilar’s wishes to protect the safety and well-being of her beloved community at all costs. An additional hour for viewing will be held after mass from 4PM to 5PM. In lieu of a visitation the family is currently planning a Celebration of Life in May during Pilar’s birthday month. Her body will be laid to rest at 12PM at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery.