[VIDEO] Late navy officer’s warm hugs and playful kisses forever linger in grandmother’s heart

Rindung (left) and Tumbo sharing affectionate memories of their granddaughter Joanna when met at Kampung Engkeroh on April 24, 2024.

By Karen Bong and Wilfred Pilo

SERIAN, April 24: Warm embraces and playful kisses will forever linger as cherished memories for Rindung Milo, the grandmother of the late navy officer Joanna Felicia Rohna.

Rindung, 75, appeared fragile, overwhelmed by grief since the heart-wrenching news confirming Joanna’s tragic fate. She along with husband Tumbo Usen, 71, were waiting for their granddaughter’s remains to arrive at Joanna’s husband’s home in Kampung Engkeroh, Jalan Mongkos near Tebakang here, when met by DayakDaily.

Joanna was among 10 navy personnel who lost their lives in a crash involving two helicopters in Lumut, Perak on April 23.

Reflecting on her acceptance of the devastating news, Rindung softly expressed, “I ‘sayang’ (loved) her so deeply.”

Joanna, as her first granddaughter, had always been cherished and pampered. Since Joanna was a toddler, they shared affectionate kisses and tight hugs.

“She had a mischievous streak. Sometimes, when she was being naughty, she would pepper my left cheek, then the right, followed by a playful kiss on the forehead. These naughty antics of her will forever etched as my dearest memories,” Rindung told DayakDaily.

Despite Joanna’s decision to enlist in the navy after completing secondary school, Rindung never deterred her. Understanding Joanna’s aspiration to support their family in Kampung Sumpas Tampek, where she and her siblings were raised by their grandparents, Rindung supported her granddaughter’s dreams.

“From her first paycheck to her untimely demise, she dutifully sent money home, ensuring our well-being. She even purchased a car and left it in the kampung for us to use. Sometimes, she would assist with household repairs.

“She was remarkably considerate, always ensuring our comfort and welfare,” she fondly recalled.

Rindung also mentioned that her granddaughter had insisted on her providing care during Joanna’s pregnancy with her first child.

“She invited me to stay in Perak where she was based after joining the navy despite my health condition like hypertension (which requires scheduled check-ups and medication). She ensured my medical needs were tended to while she managed her own responsibilities,” she shared.

Joanna’s grandfather, Tumbo, remembered caring for her when she was just two years old when his wife fell ill and no one was around at that time.

“She was a well-behaved child, never fussing or causing trouble. She would go to bed on time, and I would prepare her milk, carefully testing the temperature on my hand,” the grandfather shared.

Families, friends and villagers gathering at Joanna’s husband home in Kampung Engkeroh, waiting for her remains to arrive on April 24, 2024.

Family members including Joanna’s four siblings, relatives, friends and villagers have gathered with heavy hearts awaiting her return in the village.

Joanna is expected to be laid to rest in Kampung Engkeroh’s Christian cemetery on April 25, at 9am.

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has announced that Joanna, alongside the other fallen heroes and heroines, will be accorded the final respects befitting naval tradition. — DayakDaily