Epigmenio Zavala, 78, of Mabton passed away Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008, at his home in Mabton, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born March 24, 1930 in Andice, Texas to Juan and Maria Zavala. He received his education in Texas.

On Sept. 26, 1947, he married Rosa Palomarez in Zillah. In September 2007, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

He worked in the hop industry most of his life at the Yakima Chief Ranch and many years for the David A. Strausz Hop Ranch. He retired in 1998. He was a lifelong member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Mabton.

In his early years he worked with his parents, brothers and sisters picking cotton in Lubbock, Texas. His family first came to Washington state in 1946. Later, he and his wife, Rosa, settled, raised their children and made Mabton their home.

He enjoyed gardening, rock collecting, watching baseball, following national politics and dancing. He always enjoyed taking his wife, daughters, daughters-in-law, granddaughters and sisters for a spin on the dance floor. He was also very proud of his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. He was a hard worker with an exemplary work ethic and a good provider for his family. After retirement, he spent countless hours working in his garden and going for walks, always preferring to be outdoors.

He had great admiration for his parents and the upbringing they provided for him and his brothers and sisters, always conveying to his own children, the value of hard work and good manners, as his parents did for him. He also emphasized the importance of education. He lived his life knowing right from wrong and best from acceptable and emphasized that we always choose "right" and "best".

Dad had an infectious smile that could light up a room. He will forever be in our hearts and he will be missed dearly by his entire family. We love you Dad!

He is survived by his wife, Rosa Zavala of Mabton; his children, Daniel Zavala (Sue) of Gladstone, Ore., Celia Garza (Lupe), Martha Gutierrez (Oscar), Fred Zavala (Vera), Ismael Zavala (Carol), Susan Zavala (Daniel), Art Zavala (Vickie), Jim Zavala and Michael Zavala (Rachel) all of Mabton, Rudy Zavala (Mary) of Lake Stevens, John Zavala (Sharon) of Richland, Maria Alicia "Licha" Ramos of Yakima, Clyde Zavala of Sunnyside and Beatrice Hanley (Richard) of Vancouver; 49 grandchildren; 82 great-grandchildren; four sisters, Irma Kirpes of Edinburg, Texas, Agapita Hunsaker of Portland, Ore., Feliciana Cerna of San Antonio, Texas and Eusevia "Cheva" Cerrillo of Mabton; and two brothers, Conrado Zavala of Moses Lake and Juan Zavala of Pasco.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Rolando Zavala (infant) and Patricio Zavala; two grandsons; one granddaughter; seven brothers; and one sister.

Viewing and visitation will be held today, Aug. 27, 2008, from 4 to 8 p.m., with a Rosary to be recited at 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008, at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grandview, with burial to follow at Mabton Cemetery in Mabton.

Those wishing to sign Epigmenio's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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