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Obdulia Huijon Zavala, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, left this world on
November 17, 2023, at the age of 88 in Napa, California. She was born on August 30, 1935, in
San Diego de Alcala, Guanajuato, Mexico a small pueblo where she grew up with her parents.
Rafael and Lorenza and her seven siblings. She married Luis Zavala in 1961 and together they
raised six sons, who gave them many grandchildren. Obdulia was a kind, generous and faithful.
woman who loved her family, her church, and her community. She enjoyed raising her family,
working at the State Hospital in Napa, practicing her faith, and singing in the church choir. She
was always ready to help others in need. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her. She
was preceded in death by her son Ricardo, her parents, her sisters Estela and Ernestina, and her
brother Leopoldo. She is survived by her husband Luis, her sons Jose Luis (Eva), Roberto (Mary
Ann), Fernando (Audrey), Raul Rafael (Lori), Miguel, her sisters Rosa and Irma, her brothers
Heriberto and Rafael and many grandchildren, relatives, and friends.
Obdulia grew up in San Diego de Alcala across the town’s square and next to the local school. In
1945 at the age of 10, Obdulia went to Primeria de San Diego for four years along with a boy
named Luis Zavala. Luis went on to attend Secundaria and subsequently immigrated to the
United States on his own during the late 1950’s. Upon returning to Mexico, Luis courted Obdulia
and were later engaged in January 1960. On January 30, 1961, Obdulia and Luis were married in
the wee hours of 5:00 am.
Jose Luis and Roberto were born in Acambaro, Guanajuato, Mexico. In 1965 the young family
immigrated to the United States and moved to Sebastopol, California where Luis was employed
at an apple farm. Fernando and Raul Rafael were born shortly thereafter in Sebastopol and
Santa Rosa, California respectively. The family then moved to Saint Helena, California in 1967
and then to Napa, California in July 1969 where Miguel and Ricardo were born. In the mid
1980’s at Obdulia’s urging, she, along with Luis, Jose Luis, and Roberto, became US citizens. This
was a proud moment since their arrival to the US.
In 1979, Obdulia began working at the State Hospital in Napa. During the 1990s, Obdulia then
went to work at the Veterans Home in Yountville, California and retired in 2000. She enjoyed the
many friendships she made at work and spoke of them fondly.
Obdulia’s devotion to Catholicism was of greatest importance, and her traditions and customs
of her ancestors and indigenous heritage were beautiful and virtuous. In connection with St.
John the Baptist Catholic Church (St. John’s), she fully expressed her love of her religion and was
committed to raising her children with good morals and values. Her sons even became altar
servers at St. John’s which offered them a special chance to become involved in the Church by
assisting the priest during Mass.
During Mass, Obdulia participated as a Eucharistic minister assisting in the distribution of the
Holy Communion. She was entrusted with an important task and represented herself as an
exemplary model of Christian living in faith and conduct. She also went to the homes and
hospitals of parishioners who were unable to attend Mass and provide them the Holy
In addition to singing in the church choir, she sang in St. John’s Annual “Our Lady of Guadalupe,”
which holds a special place in the religious life of Mexico and is one of the most popular
religious devotions. Her image has played an important role as a national symbol of Mexico and
is seen in almost every room in Obdulia’s home.
One of Obdulia’s hobbies included painting ceramics. One day she came home with several
painted ceramic plates, and on the back of them, they were each engraved with each of her
sons’ initials. They were kept in a special cabinet and were only used for Thanksgiving dinners.
Obdulia’s faith and character resembled that of “Mother Teresa,” a saint who attended to those
most in need. Her work at the State Hospital in Napa went well beyond her retirement for
several years because she felt it was her duty to continue spreading laughter and love to those
at the hospital. To the delight of staff and patients, she would bring music, candy, and create an
atmosphere of joy and happiness. Everyone smiled, danced, and graciously thanked her.
Furthermore, Obdulia took pleasure in shopping at the Sun Valley Mall in Concord and visiting
Chinatown in San Francisco. However, the homeless population saddened her, as such, she
would give money to any poor and/or disabled person. These are some examples of how she
lived her life through public service outside the church, treating all those in need as human
beings, providing them with compassion, empathy, and her heartfelt blessings.
Her spirit is ever-present, protecting her family, watching over them and all those she has loved
and cared for. That is the kind of person she was, and that is why her sons, her husband, and her
relatives love her so much.
Services for Obdulia:
December 14, 2023
Public Viewing, Noon to 2:00 pm
Tulocay Funeral Home, 411 Coombsville Road, Napa, California, 94559
Rosary 2:30 pm
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 960 Caymus Street, Napa, California, 94559
December 15, 2023
Mass Services 10:00 am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Burial and Reception following Mass services at Tulocay Funeral Home
Please address flower deliveries to The Tulocay Funeral Home.