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Hoa Thi Custer 71, of Westmont, passed away peacefully on March 2, 2023. Survived by her loving husband, John Custer, her daughter Leyla Coker (Walter), grandchildren Claire, Grady, and Watts. Survived by sister, Jackie Thi Phan (Chac), brother, Thiet Van Phan, brother-in-law Byron Custer III (Lana) and sister-in-law, Joan Rush. Also survived by numerous nephews and nieces.
Preceded in death by sister, Xe Thi Phan and brothers, Binh Van Phan and Cung Van Phan.
Born in An Hoa, Vietnam on March 1, 1952, Hoa worked for the US Army as an administrator/interpreter where she met her future husband in 1969. They had a storybook romance and were married in Saigon in 1970. Upon her arrival in the US, Hoa wanted to go to school and get a job. Although she graduated high school in Vietnam, she went back to school and got her US high school diploma. She got her first job as a waitress (at the former Dairy Dell) and later became a short-order cook. This was followed by a job at the former Bestform garment factory where she became a very skilled seamstress. In the evening, she studied so she could become a US citizen. She proudly fulfilled this dream in 1974.
All this time she was saving the money she earned so she could go back to Vietnam to visit her family, whom she loved dearly. In late 1974, she went back to Vietnam and got to visit with her mom, dad, and family. As things turned out, it would be the last time she would ever see her mom and dad. Hoa's proudest moment in life was when she became a full-time mom. She was a very caring and diligent mother, nurturing and caring for her daughter every step of the way.
In 1977, Vietnamese refugees began coming to America. Hoa became very involved, and for several years, worked with Catholic Charities to help these families resettle and transition to life in America. In 1987, Hoa began a brand-new career as a real estate agent and broker. It was the perfect fit as she loved working with people and was a skilled negotiator. She was very successful and enjoyed her work as a realtor/broker until 2014. During these years, she became a grandma, and she loved spending time with her grandkids.
She enjoyed the many freedoms this country offered that were previously unavailable to her. She learned how to swim, play tennis, racquetball, and golf. She also liked to go hiking and camping. She enjoyed life to the fullest and made many friends along the way. We would like to thank family and friends for their ongoing support and prayers during Hoa's lengthy illness. A special thanks to Joan Rush for her support and also to Cambridge-Ebensburg Senior Living Facility for the excellent care they provided while Hoa was there. We would also like to extend a special thanks to Pastor Ben Nti (Westmont Presbyterian Church) for his many blessings and prayers, and for leading us in the singing of a song that Hoa liked, called "Jesus Loves Me." Upon hearing it, Hoa shed a tear of joy. We pray that she is with our Lord and Savior now.
Family and friends will be received from 3-7 PM on Monday, March 6, 2023 at the Frank Duca Funeral Home, Westmont Chapel, 1622 Menoher Blvd. Johnstown PA 15905. A Funeral Service will be held to celebrate Hoa's life at 11:00 AM Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at the Westmont Presbyterian Church, Pastor Ben Nti. Interment to follow at Grandview Cemetery, Westmont, PA.
If you wish, memorial contributions can be made to the Westmont Presbyterian Church at 601 Luzerne St., Johnstown, PA 15905.