The late Marlene Capinpin Stern.


A memorial tribute for the late Marlene Capinpin Stern, chairperson of the Connecticut chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), was held on Feb. 26 at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Stern passed away on Feb. 17 after battling pancreatic cancer for over seven months.

She was 52.

Born in Manila on Dec. 13, 1958, she finished nursing at Trinity College in Manila and immigrated to the United States in November 1984.

Stern first settled in Brooklyn, N.Y., and later held a career in real estate leading to the opening of her own company (Grand Estates) in 2003.

Married to Jeffrey Stern on Aug. 22, 1987, they have two children — Kenneth, who just graduated from Boston University; and Elizabeth, currently attending Northeastern University in Boston.

As NaFFAA Connecticut chair, Stern was instrumental in bringing together numerous Filipino-American associations and implementing youth leadership programs and camps to help young Fil-Ams learn more about Philippine culture and heritage, as well as strengthen their leadership skills.

A political advocate, she played a key role in helping pass the Filipino Veterans Act Bill, and helped register hundreds of Fil-Ams to vote and have their voices heard in the tri-state area.

Stern also held an active role in Overseas Filipinos For Good Governance, which helped elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to Philippine presidency.

She attended the presidential inauguration at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on June 30, 2010, during which she personally met P-Noy.

Stern also joined a medical mission to the Philippines in February 2010 as part of the team of doctors and nurses, who performed over 150 surgeries and provide medical assistance to some 1,500 patients over a five-day period.

She was also an author of the book “Looking Into the Mirror,” a story of hope and inspiration about how she came to the United States, survived breast cancer, raised a family and built a successful business career.

The book raised thousands of dollars, the entire profit of which went to the Breast Cancer Survival Center, of which she served as board member of its Fairfield County, Connecticut chapter.

Copies of the book are available by calling 203.325.4200.

All future proceeds of the book will go to support a new foundation being set up to honor Stern’s life and causes she supported.

The foundation is called Grand Life Foundation (

NaFFAA is reportedly creating a service award that will be known as the Marlene Stern Award for Excellence in Community Service.

Aside from her husband and children, Stern also left behind her parents, Federico and Teresa Capinpin, who are living in Stamford, Connecticut; two sisters, Marissa and Marivic, who live in Stamford; and Prince Albert, Canada, respectively.

Stern’s remains were cremated.

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