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Lela Phyllis Zak


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Lela Phyllis Zak Obituary

5/18/28 - 11/5/17

Lela Phyllis Zak was born Felicitas Bravo on May 18, 1928, in a railroad worker camp near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Her brother Rudolph, a year and a half older, renamed her "Lela" and the name stuck. A native Spanish speaker, Lela loved to read and excelled in school. She worked at Miller's Department Store and the Klamath Falls Herald and News before meeting the love of her life, Frank Zak, at a dance in Klamath Falls.
 
After their marriage in 1951, Lela and Frank moved briefly to North Bend, Oregon, and then to Marysville, California, where they lived for the rest of their lives. They helped raise her nephew (the child of her sister, Angeline Cyrus) after he was orphaned by Angeline's and her husband's death in a small plane crash in 1950.
 
Lela and Frank welcomed two daughters, Aleta and Deanna, in 1958 and 1960. Lela enjoyed cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, and gardening, and she used these talents to create a beautiful home.
 
In 1968 Lela began selling Fuller Brush products door-to-door. She loved visiting with people and was a natural salesperson. In 1970, Lela took a job with the Marysville Joint Unified School District as a secretary and eventually worked her way up to the Superintendent's office. During this time she also lovingly and joyfully cared for her elderly mother, Maria Bravo, until her death in 1979.
 
A serious illness in 1988 forced Lela to retire from the school district, but she recovered and took up new pursuits including community education computer classes. Lela told everyone she met about her near-death experience and rehabilitation with the help and support of her beloved husband Frank. Lela's health was tested again in 2003 as she battled breast cancer, and once again her strong body and spirit prevailed.
 
Lela and Frank loved to sightsee and hike in California's beautiful parks and natural areas, remaining active until late in their lives. They enjoyed visiting with their three grandchildren, Paul, Robert, and Cynthia Misner. Lela was able to meet her great-grandsons, Cole and Dean Misner, soon after they were born.
 
Lela was a great activist and one of the Yuba-Sutter area's most dedicated volunteers. She rolled up her sleeves at countless Notre Dame School events in the 1960s and '70s, even using her sales skills in an effort to keep the school from closing late in the decade. As a member of St. Joseph's Church and Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court #640, Lela put her baking and candy making skills to work at church fall festivals, bake sales, and funeral receptions.
 
With Frank, Lela became a founding member of the Yuba Sutter Gleaners (now Yuba Sutter Food Bank) in the early 1980s. She served enthusiastically as Gleaners secretary. Lela was also longtime secretary of the Friends of the Packard Library of Yuba County, working at many book sales to support library programs.
 
During the last two years of her life at The Prestige Assisted Living Facility in Marysville, Lela received loving care from the staff. The family is very grateful for their work in making Lela as comfortable as possible and including her in many activities, especially bingo and chair exercise. Lela loved interacting with the pets of the other Prestige residents. Throughout her life, she always found time to pet a friendly dog or cat.
 
Lela is survived by her daughters Aleta Zak of Marysville and Deanna Misner of West Covina, California; her grandson Robert Misner and his wife Lani, her two great-grandsons, Cole and Dean Misner, all of Westminster, California; her granddaughter Cynthia Misner of Fontana, California; her nephews Eugene Cyrus of Chugiak, Alaska, Mark Bravo and his wife Rosanne of Riverside, California, and Roderick Bravo of Wichita, Kansas; and three great-nephews, Gabriel, Salvatore, and Vincenzo of Riverside, California. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Zak; her parents, Elutario and Maria Bravo; her sister, Angeline Cyrus; her brother, Rudolph Bravo; her nephew Gene's wife, Dorothy Cyrus; and her grandson, Paul Misner.
 
Friends and family are welcome to attend all memorial services for Lela. A viewing will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, November 13, 2017 at Lipp and Sullivan Funeral Directors, 629 D Street in Marysville, followed by a Vigil service which will include praying the Rosary at the Lipp and Sullivan chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph's Church, 702 C Street in Marysville. A reception in the front hall will follow immediately. The graveside service is set for Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Sierra View Memorial Park, 4900 Olive Avenue in Olivehurst.
 
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court #640, 223 8th Street, Marysville, California, 95901.
Published in Appeal Democrat from Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 2017
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