Jose Maria Hiceta Porquez, age 77, of Monroe GA, died on October 21, 2017.
He was born in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, Philippines on October 14, 1940 to his late parents Amparo Hiceta Porquez and Pedro Porquez. As a medical practitioner and general surgeon for nearly 40 years, Dr. Porquez’s accomplishments are known to many. Porquez was a dedicated and devoted surgeon in his home community, a humanitarian who organized medical missions overseas benefitting hundreds, and a leader in the Filipino-American community in Georgia. Dr. Porquez also enlisted for a time in the U.S. Army Reserves holding the rank of Major working at Fort McPherson. Dr. Porquez’s U.S. medical career began in the 1960s when a desperate shortage of doctors (due to wartime conflicts) led to a massive U.S. recruitment effort in the Philippines. Filipino doctors were lauded for their excellent training and English-speaking abilities as the Philippines was a US colony for nearly 50 years. Porquez agreed that he would come to the U.S. only if he would receive his surgical residency and training at a Catholic hospital, a promise he made to his mother.
In 1966, Porquez came to Saint Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, where he soon met Erlinda Palanca Mosqueda who became his beloved wife of 49 years. The two shared the same province and hometown in the Philippines, though they never met until the St Thomas cafeteria. After attending a conference in Atlanta, it became clear that Dr. Porquez preferred the warmer Georgia climate to the blistery winters of the midwest and transferred to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta. There he quickly earned the title of Chief Resident. In short order, Monroe native Mrs. Betty Murray, impressed with Dr. Porquez’s comprehensive care of their housekeeper, persuaded him to visit Monroe and establish a practice there working at Walton County Medical Center. Dr. Porquez opened the doors of his practice to the city on November 18, 1974 and dedicated his life to the community and raising his family of four children. He remained lifelong friends with Ms. Betty until her passing. Dr. Porquez has been quoted saying he was “meant to be” in Monroe. After his training in the U.S. was completed, it was expected that Porquez take over the medical practice of another highly-regarded and successful General Surgeon, his Father-In-Law, Dr. Guardalino Mosqueda, in Iloilo City, Philippines. However, due to political strife and the imposition of Martial Law in the Philippines in 1972, Dr. Mosqueda encouraged the young family to remain in America until the political unrest subsided, yet no one realized Martial Law would reign for 9 years. Henceforth Monroe became the young family’s adopted hometown. Dr. Porquez quickly became a vital member of the community, which welcomed him with open arms.
As a physician at the Walton County Medical Center, he held many titles including Emergency Room physician, Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff. Dr. Porquez also worked in clinics for the City of Monroe, as well as, Walton EMC. Dr. Porquez was truly passionate about building and strengthening the Filipino community in Georgia. He was heavily involved in organizations such as the Filipino American Association of Greater Atlanta, the Filipino Association of Northeast Georgia, the Philippine American Medical Association of Georgia, a group that worked to gather and assist the Philippine medical community in the state and executed multiple medical missions to numerous impoverished and remote locations in the Philippines. With this organization he held the title of President twice, and through the relationships he built, co-founded the Philippine American Center of Georgia dedicated to building cultural awareness and unity with the communities where Filipinos work, live and serve. After his almost four decades of service, Dr. Porquez retired from his Monroe practice to be the primary caregiver to his beloved wife, Erlinda “Linda” who suffered a stroke in July 2013. Over the past year, Dr. Porquez and his wife returned to the Philippines to retire where he was formulating plans to honor his deceased parents by opening a free medical clinic for the poor local community in Victorias, Philippines. Dr. Porquez was an avid tennis player, loved to cook, travel, and was an avid car enthusiast. He was also passionate about supporting new talented doctors interested in working in Monroe, volunteering for community health and social functions, and most recently, embracing of his newest role as grandfather to Fiona and John Paul. Dr. Porquez is survived by his wife (Erlinda Porquez of Monroe); their four children (Jocelyn, Joel, Tanya, and Anthony); their spouses (Spencer, Anna, and Vincent); and two grandchildren (Fiona and John Paul).
For his many friends, family, and patients, viewings will be held at Meadows Funeral Home this Friday, October 27, 2017 (from 5:00pm to 8:00pm); and Saturday, October 28, 2017 (from 6:00pm to 8:00pm). A funeral mass and life celebration reception open to all will be held Sunday, October 29, 2017 (at 3pm) at St. Anna’s Catholic Church
Reposted courtesy of Meadows Funeral Home.