Virginia “Bibi” (Lobo) Somyak 62, of Austin, TX, left us on July 24, 2020 after a valiant battle with cancer. She was born in Havana, Cuba and after stops in Miami, New York, and Madrid moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. She met her husband Tom while attending Michigan State University. As Bibi loved to recall they moved to Austin in the summer of 1980 in a car with two cats and no A/C.
While living in Central Texas, Bibi worked tirelessly on the advancement of education and development amongst Hispanic youth across the US. She initially worked as a teacher, most memorably at First English Lutheran Child Development Center in Austin. Later she turned to working for non profit organizations dedicated to early childhood issues. She co-founded The National Latino Children’s Institute where she helped develop programs and public policy. More recently she was the Director of Programs of 123 Andrés. In addition, she served on boards at several organizations including Roy Lozano’s Ballet Folklorico, Latinitas, Las Comadres para las Americas, National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) and was a former president of Austin Association for the Education of Young Children (AAEYC).
She is survived by her husband of 37 years Thomas Somyak, son Andrew (Mary), mother Sylvia Martens Arnoldson (Skip), sisters Sylvia Madiol (James), Mariana Lobo, brother Eduardo Lobo (Cristina), uncle Mario Lobo, and aunt Virginia “Beba” Lobo. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews Adriana Madiol, James Norman, Philip Norman, Sarah Kopacko, Daniela Hazzard, Christopher Wood, Alexandra Lobo & Daniela Lobo. She is proceeded in death by her father H.J. Lobo (Trini), aunt Emi Arnoldson, aunt Nina Ruhling, and nephew Jason Somyak.
There will be a Rosary via Zoom at 7:30 PM CDT on July 27, 2020.
Bibi always found the joy in life. When it is safe to do so again a celebration of her life will be held. She requested that everyone who attends wear bright colors and tell a joke or share a joyful memory. The family will update her Facebook page and this site once plans are finalized hopefully in the spring of 2021.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in Bibi's name to Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklórico de Texas, or Latinitas Austin. Another way to honor Bibi’s memory is to ensure you are registered to vote.
The family would like to thank the numerous doctors and nurses who cared for her during the last 18 months.