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Zona Onita Gilbreath

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Gilbreath, Zona Onita (Avis)
With heavy hearts we announce that Zona Onita (Avis) Gilbreath, known to all as "Nita", passed into the Lord's care on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at Providence Place in Glendale, Arizona. Nita was an Arizona native, born on May 20, 1932 to Frank M. and Doris Pullins Avis in Glendale, Arizona. Nita grew up on the Avis family homestead north of New River and attended school in Glendale, graduating from Glendale High School in 1950. After graduation, Nita worked as a clerk at the Woolworths Department Store in Glendale and it was during this time that she met the love of her life, Bob Gilbreath, a U.S. Airman recently returned from the Korean War. Bob and Nita married in 1955 and settled in Glendale. Nita worked for the local Mountain Bell Telephone Office and Bob joined the Glendale Fire Department, working his way from Fireman to Assistant Chief during his 21 years there. They had two children, son Hal and daughter Leann. Bob and Nita were very active in their community and particulary with their church, the First Christian Church of Glendale, where Nita often sang solos at church services, led the church choir, and taught Sunday School while Bob served as a church deacon. Nita also made time to serve as Cub Scout Den Mother, Church Camp Counselor and was an active member of the Glendale Fire Department Womens Auxiliary for many years. Bob and Nita retired from city life and moved to Texas in 1981, then spent the next 10 years sampling various climes before returning to Glendale in 1990. They eventually settled in Sun City where they lived until their recent move to the Glencroft Retirement Community in 2014. Nita's greatest gifts were her unfailing love and dedication to her family, her thoughtfulness and compassion for others in need and her steadfast dedication to her faith. Nita is survived by her loving husband and soulmate for 60+ years, Bob Gilbreath, son Hal and wife Laura, daughter Leann, grandson Joshua Sheffield and wife Sharon, great-granddaughter Gabriella Sheffield and extended family and friends. Our family is extremely thankful to the wonderful folks at Glencroft and the kind and caring staff at Joshua Tree for giving Nita the best possible loving care during her stay there. To honor her wishes, no funeral services will be held.

Published in The Arizona Republic from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13, 2015
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