For 101 years, Philippines native Delia Roca laughed through the mayhem.

"She was always happy," said her oldest child, Daisy Roca, 81.

"Just smiling and positive all the time," said youngest daughter Nina Roca Pelach, 63.

Delia's joyful nature wouldn't be shaken. Not when her own mother died when Delia was 7 and not when she was widowed at 40 with six kids in tow. Roca died June 23 just hours after shopping, lunching at Applebee's and walking in her Robbinsdale neighborhood.

Delia, who outlived 11 siblings and three of her children, will be buried with her husband in the Philippines next year.

As the 11th of 12 children, Roca grew up outside Manila under the watchful eye of siblings who raised her so their father could continue his work as an architect/builder. She finished seventh grade and then worked in her brother's medical clinic. There she met Cecilio, an engineer and her brother's patient. They married when she was 18 and lived in a large house in Manila, raising six children with the help of two maids, a nanny, a chauffeur and a houseboy.

But comfort abandoned her in 1963, when Cecilio died of a heart attack at 48.

Delia sold the Manilla house and returned to her childhood village Laguna. Gone were the maids and private schools for her kids. She turned to church and rosary beads. "Whenever she was having a hard time, I could hear her just talking to God," Nina said. "Her faith just got her through. She always stayed positive though all that. She had kids to feed."

"Be humble," she counseled her children, even after their hair turned silver. "She always said 'You can have a lot of fortune and then you can lose it. So don't be judgmental. Always be kind. You don't know what people are going through in life,' " Nina recalled.

By 1969 Daisy was a teacher and an accountant who left the Philippines for Minnesota. Delia followed in 1974. They shared an apartment in Minneapolis, where Delia became hooked on People magazine and TV game shows as she tried to become accustomed to the cold.

"Every piece of clothing was triple," Nina said.

Delia, an expert seamstress and embroiderer, soon found a job sewing bags and hats at the former Minnesota Specialty in Minneapolis. She also babysat, saving enough so her youngest children, Nina, Cecilia and Cecilio, could immigrate to Golden Valley, where she settled for 30 years until moving to Robbinsdale 11 years ago.

Delia kept her Philippines roots close, cooking traditional chicken adobo, saucy pork menudo and cassava cake. "Nanay, which means 'mother' in Tagalo, liked to feed people," Daisy said. "You do not go home hungry from the Roca household. When she was growing up she told me that eating together was a big deal with her family. All 12 kids sat and ate together."

Along with her children Nina, Cecilio (also known as "June," for Junior) and Daisy, Roca's survivors include four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Services have been held.