Ferdinand Marquez may have lived and died on the streets but he made enough money at one time to buy his sister a car, she said Saturday.
Marquez was beaten to death in late September off Tudor Road. Four men have been charged in connection with his death.
His younger sister, Maryann Creighton, 43, flew into Anchorage just after midnight on Friday to settle her brother's affairs. After breakfast at IHOP, she spent the rest of her Friday at the state medical examiner's office, the Anchorage Police Department and the mortuary, she said. It was there that she saw her brother's body.
She said if it hadn't been for those there to comfort her, she wouldn't have made it through the experience.
Creighton used Skype to video conference with her older sister, Raquel, 52, who is still in the Philippines where all three siblings were born, so they could say goodbye to him together, she said.
Marquez, 50, whom everyone called Jojo, was a small, sweet man who cherished his family, she said. He worked seasonally and didn't have a permanent place to live in Alaska. He traveled often to California for months at a time. When he made money, he was generous. In 2006, Marquez earned enough from processing fish to buy Creighton a car. A red Mazda RX-7.
"He works very hard for the money he gets," she said. "... He's not afraid to let go of money."
She said Marquez would send money to his 26-year-old son, BJ, who lives in the Philippines. Marquez's other son, Jonathan, 23, is stationed in Hawaii with the U.S. Navy.
Between times of fishing for a few months out of Naknek, Marquez would stay with Creighton and her children in Oakland.
She said it was always nice to have Marquez around the house because she travels often for her job and he was good with her children. Marquez would take his niece and nephew to Chuck E. Cheese's when he visited, she said.
The last time she saw her brother, he left sooner than she had expected for this last fishing season. She wasn't able to have a real goodbye with him because she was on a road trip with her kids.
When she got back from the trip, she talked to Marquez on the phone. He told her that he'd be back in California depending on what kind of work he got that season.
Marquez frequented the Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission. He had friends in town, she said. She knew little else about his life in Alaska.
Christine Marasigan, Joy Mapaye, E.J. David, Mariecris Gatlabayan and Gabriel Garcia, all members of Anchorage's Filipino community and part of the Alaskero Partnership Organizers, have been assisting Creighton during her visit. They were with her in a Hilton boardroom on Saturday where she was giving interviews about her brother. They said they never knew Marquez but they consider him a "kababayan," which translates as "countryman" in Tagalog.
Marasigan used airline miles to pay for Creighton's plane ticket. They made some calls around the Filipino community and are putting her up in the Hilton until she leaves Monday night. She's having dinners provided for her and will never have to eat alone while she is in town, they said.
On Friday, Marasigan said, she and Creighton were on their way to the police station when they stopped at a red light on Tudor Road. A man with a small frame wearing a backpack crossed the street. Creighton started to cry.
"She said, 'That's how I see my brother,' " Marasigan said. "He would have been walking just like that guy."
Those who wish to donate to the family can do so by making a check out to the Ferdinand Marquez Fund and depositing it at any Wells Fargo Bank. All excess funds will go to the Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission.
The Filipino Religious Traditions group will host a prayer service for the Marquez family at St. Benedict's Catholic Church, 8110 Jewel Lake Road, today after the regular 12:15 p.m. Sunday Mass.
By BENJAMIN S. BRASCH