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Dayrit, UP chemistry professor, dies at 96.

MANILA -- Former University of the Philippines chemistry professor Nieves Portugal Dayrit died on April 20. She was 96.

Her body lies in state at the Ascension Chapel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish beside Claret School in UP Village, Quezon City.

Nieves, or Eveng to her friends, was the quintessential modern woman effectively combining her roles as wife, mother, teacher, researcher and community servant.

Born in General Trias, Cavite province, on Aug. 4, 1918 to Santos Portugal and Jacinta Camaclan, she was the eldest of four children. After graduating as the grade school valedictorian, she moved to Cabanatuan with her aunt Genoveva Sideco and her husband. At Nueva Ecija High School, she graduated salutatorian.

As an entrance scholar of UP Manila, she was one of only four girls out of 22 students who completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1939. After successfully passing the civil service exam, she landed a job at the Bureau of Animal Industry in Manila.

In 1946, she joined the UP Chemistry Department in Padre Faura and continued to teach in Diliman. In 1952, she married Fernando Dayrit of San Fernando, Pampanga, then a conchologist at the National Museum. In addition to raising five children and teaching full time, she completed a master's degree in chemistry in 1956.

Upon the family's move to UP Village in 1964, she and Fernando were among the first families who helped establish the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. As founder of the Altar Ladies Society, she was also president of the Catholic Women's League and was involved in catechism and premarital counseling.

She retired from the UP in 1978.

Nieves is survived by her children, Marissa, Paulito, Roger, Mariel and Marianne, and their spouses, and 10 grandchildren.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Apr 23, 2015
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