Obituary from the Seattle Times in 2011:
Originally published November 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm Updated May 17, 2017 at 10:43 am
Eudocia Tomas Pulido promised to take care of a 12-year-old girl, and ended up taking care of three generations of her family. (Alan Berner)
By Susan Kelleher
Seattle Times staff reporter
Editor’s note (May 17, 2017): This obituary, published in 2011, was written at the suggestion of and after an extensive interview with Alex Tizon, a former Seattle Times reporter. This week, a story in the June 2017 issue of The Atlantic written by Tizon, who died earlier this year, describes Eudocia Tomas Pulido as a slave and details her relationship with his family spanning decades. The Seattle Times is shocked at the newly revealed disparity in Tizon’s accounts of her life and will have more to say about the issue.
Eudocia Tomas Pulido loved a good wedding, the more royal the better.
But she never married. Never even dated.
Miss Pulido would live a different kind of love story, one marked by a devotion so rare that even those closest to her still struggle to comprehend it.
As a teenager in the Philippines, Miss Pulido was asked to care for a young girl whose mother had died. When a relative asked Miss Pulido to always look after the girl, she gave her word.
Miss Pulido not only raised that girl, but the girl’s children and their children — cooking, cleaning and caring for three generations that came to know her as “Lola,” grandmother in her native Tagalog tongue. She asked for nothing in return, said her grandson [sic], Alex Tizon, a former Seattle Times reporter, with whom she lived in Edmonds for nearly 12 years.
That’s one way of putting it.
Susan Kelleher, the obituary reporter who wrote up the interview with Tizon in 2011, has some things to say today in the Seattle Times:
Why the obituary for Eudocia Tomas Pulido didn’t tell the story of her life in slavery
Updated May 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm
Six years ago, I was assigned to write an obituary about a local woman who seemed to have lived an extraordinary life of devotion to family.
Eudocia Tomas Pulido’s life was, indeed, extraordinary, but not in the way it was presented in the pages of The Seattle Times.
Tuesday night, I read with horror and growing anger Alex Tizon’s account in The Atlantic magazine of Ms. Pulido’s life with three generations of his family, and his journey to come to terms with it.
Many of the details were familiar, as Tizon had shared them with me during a long interview following the death of a woman he knew as “Lola,” an honorific title in her native Tagalog that Tizon took to mean “grandmother.”
In retrospect, the obituary reads as a whitewash for a fundamental truth known only to Tizon and his family: Ms. Pulido was a slave.
Even typing those words makes me sick, as does knowing, as I do now, that I wrote about slavery as a love story.
By the way, what % of slaveowners in modern America are immigrants?