Vanpen Nisaganilagul Cress, age 72, of Pulaski, Va. passed away at 4:30 a.m. , Friday April 26 at Roanoke Memorial Hospital from complications of a stroke. Pen was the oldest of nine children born to Lamai and Tip Nisaganilagul. She was born February 7, 1947 in Arranyaprated, Thailand. After graduating from school, Pen taught in Elementary School for two years. She left to work for the USA Corp of Engineers who were constructing roads and needed locals who could speak, read and/or write English. When they moved on, Pen went to work for the USAF as a waitress at the NCO Club. She met Stephen Mitchell Cress in 1970 and they were married in Bangkok, Thailand in 1971. Vanpen is survived by her husband of 47+ years and three sons: Aaron L. of N.C, John D. of Chicago, IL and Dallas Ian and his daughter, Natalie of Pulaski.
Vanpen was a long time resident of Pulaski and a member of Memorial Baptist Church. She was usually smiling and eager to help anyone in need. She was never a stranger for very long as she quickly learned all about her neighbors, co-workers and most everyone she met.
Vanpen loved to have a large garden and to raise flowers, herbs and spices with an abundance of lemon grass, garlic, onions and red peppers. She also loved to cook and eat and share. She loved to surprise people with fried rice and Kimjee.
Vanpen loved life and spending time with friends. She had a beautiful smile, an infectious laugh and loved to talk and tell stories which she made funnier with sound effects and explanations. Vanpen is missed.
A memorial service will be held at Memorial Baptist Church, 955 Peppers Ferry Rd., Pulaski, Va. on Thursday, May 16 with visitation from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. followed by a short service afterward lead by Pastor Mike Jones.
Memorial contributions can be made to either the food pantry; Pulaski Daily Bread, 980-1231, 408 N. Jefferson Ave., Pulaski or Refreshing Center, 980-8880, 1621 Bob White Blvd., Pulaski.