A Tribute to Dr. Arnulfo Sulit
by Dr. Manuel Pardo
August 2017

My friendship with Dr. Sulit extends over fifty years. Dr. Sulit is known to his closest friends as Noy or Nepo - remnants of his childhood nickname. To the younger generation he was Tito Noy or Uncle Noy, a traditional Filipino sign of respect to an elder.

In 1958, he came to Kansas City straight from the Philippines to the old St. Joseph Hospital on Linwood Boulevard to train in Internal Medicine. It was there that he met Shirley Gador, a lovely med tech who happened to hail from the same region in the Philippines. Love quickly blossomed and within a year they were married at the Redemptorist Church.

Losing no time, one son after another came until there were four boys, Andrew, Daniel, Christian, and Loreto. Soon he had 2 doctors, an Army Officer and a med tech. His leadership in the Filipino community quickly emerged leading the way to the formal organization of the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City as one of the original signers of the Constitution and By Laws in 1971.

He pushed for the newly formed organization to find a headquarters, so to speak, after spending a few years of meetings and parties in member's homes and apartment clubhouses. Fund raising from the meager membership fees was simply not enough to make a down payment on a property.

Major fund raising finally came about from the Fiesta Filipina at the Crown Center Square and running a concession stand at Arrowhead Stadium. One time when Dr. Sulit was at the concession stand selling hot dogs, one of his patients saw him and said, "Dr. Sulit, is practice so bad you have to earn extra money selling hot dogs?" After Dr. Sulit explained he was helping our association raise some money so we can have a place to meet, he was rewarded with a hefty tip.

When the time came for serious discussion to purchase a place we could call our own, some members would not support the idea saying we couldn't afford it. Even though the association had enough money for a down payment, a purchase was still not possible without a guarantor for the loan. Who would be brave enough to come forward but Dr. Sulit?

If not for Dr. Sulit, that Filipino Cultural Center in Overland Park could not have become a reality.

In his modesty, Dr. Sulit claimed no glory for this and many other contributions or the benefit of the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City. Event after event, you would see his and his wife's name as major benefactors.

The Filipino Community in Kansas City are truly grateful to Dr. Sulit for his vision, his commitment, his devotion, his courage, and most of all for his unending love and support for all the activities of the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City.

For all these, from all of us, we thank you, Dr. Sulit.