Ngem Lilananh, formerly of Aberdeen, passed away Sunday, May 12, 2013, in Alaska. She was born in Laos in the early 1920s. Ngen later married Sa Lilahanh who was a Laotian soldier. They had a son and a daughter. The family lived in Pakse, Laos until their daughter’s death during the Vietnam war. At that time Sa and Ngem fled from Laos with their daughter’s three young children, and found safety in a refugee camp in Thailand. With the help of Lutheran World Relief and Our Saviours Lutheran Church, the family came to Aberdeen in 1980.
Ngem is survived by her husband who presently lives in Alaska as well as her three grandchildren and their families, Tim Lilananh (Tae) of Kent, Sue (Robert) Register of Katy, Texas, and Tommy (Kelsey) Lilananh of Cosmopolis; great-grandchildren, Taylor Lilananh; Azia, Tai, M’lin, and Robert Register; and Keegan, Kylee, and Konor Lilananh. The grandchildren are extremely thankful for the sacrifice their grandparents made. According to them, “Ngem was the only mother we ever knew. If it weren’t for her and Grandpa, we wouldn’t be alive today. We know God chose Grandma to be in Heaven first. We will be reunited one day. The family is also thankful for the Gary Anderson family for the help and support they have given us over the years.”