Arabella Roxas Carbonell
(b. 12-24-1964 d. 8-6-2021)
Arabella was born Christmas Eve of 1964 in Sampaloc Manila Philippines.
The first child of Joel and Lucita R. Carbonell, Arabella was 18 months old
when her parents immigrated to the US on August 19th, 1966.
Arabella passed on Friday afternoon, August 6, 2021, in her home with family.
She was 56 years old. It is not a secret that Arabella struggled in life. And while this
was difficult to know, it allowed her family to see her unmitigated strength, bravery,
and love. She faced the most challenges and yet was clearly the most optimistic and
kind of the family. Bella inspired courage, patience, joy, humility, and a fighting spirit.
Arabella loved literature, theater, and music. She did well in school and up until her
late teens, Bella achieved academic and athletic success. Whether in the voice of
Whitney Houston or in the writings of women triumphing over life-long difficulties:
Helen Keller, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott, Arabella shared her love for
the Humanities and Liberal Arts. Bella was a sports fan and admired Nadia Comaneci,
Martina Navratilova, and Serena Williams. Those who knew her in school may recall
her running the 600-yard dash and leaving all her classmates several strides behind!
Not to mention her in-depth knowledge and joy in watching the Chicago Bears, Cubs,
White Sox, & Bulls. Arabella’s father was a proud Chicago fan.
Despite all, Bella faced life without fear and was relentless in her pursuits. She was
intuitive and delighted in the simple joys. She loved walking barefoot in the water on
the beach. She loved traveling with her family throughout the US, by car, train, plane,
to the Philippines, and to France to participate in family events. She took pride in
being the eldest in her family. She celebrated family parties, meeting new people, and
eating authentic Filipino food. She cherished friendships. As a teen Arabella loved the
family dog, Bantai, a poodle-mix. Later in life, she adopted a poodle-mix named
Happiness. Bella took Happy everywhere with her. During their walks she would sing,
“My Happy, my Happiness”…
Throughout her life Arabella was the one to connect her family. She made the phone
calls to family, no matter how near or far. In the day, when no one was home,
Arabella left several messages on answering machines. Her siblings would learn that
she left tons of messages on landlines, cellphones, and voicemails over her lifetime.
She was in many ways her family’s anchor and she used her wit to connect to them.
Bella was a keen observer of life. Always interested in what was happening in
everyone’s lives, Arabella asked the questions others found uncomfortable to ask. Her
relentless spirit throughout the ups and downs of life endeared her family to her.
Those closest to her know that Arabella led her family to a better understanding of life!
These anxious thoughts of Arabella may only be completed in the words
she often used when it was time to part ways,
“See you soon, I will miss you. I Love You.”
Arabella is survived by her mother, Lucita,
her sisters; Claire and Meg, her brother Joel,
her nieces; Sandra Lucille, Brittany Joelle, Brooke Karielle, her nephew Maxim Joel,
and her great-nephew James.
A private celebration of life mass will be held at
St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, Riverside, California.
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