Jose Luis "Joe" Unzueta
1931 - 2021
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Joe Unzueta passed away peacefully in San Mateo, CA, on February 5, 2021, with his family by his side providing comfort, care and love.

Joe was born in Abadiano, Spain on November 24, 1931, to Leon and Donata Ortuzar Unzueta. He was the eldest of three siblings. His father Leon passed away suddenly in 1937 and Donata continued raising her family in the beautiful Basque region of Northern Spain until 1951. It was in 1951 that the family moved to Rosario, Argentina to join relatives that had immigrated there in prior years. Joe spent six years in Rosario during his early 20s working various jobs. Meanwhile, Joe corresponded with his Uncle Robert Unzueta in Colusa and made arrangements to come visit him in 1957. He always had a sense of adventure and made arrangements to come to the United States in hope of finding new opportunities. During Joe's visit to Colusa, he met the love of his life and married Maria "Mary" Citino a year later. Joe and Mary made Colusa their home and created a beautiful life together.

Joe worked for the Colusa Unified School District as head custodian and bus driver for over thirty-two years. He loved attending the High School sporting events and supporting the local youth. Upon retiring in 1996, he and Mary spent more time at their cabin in Butte Meadows where they enjoyed entertaining friends and family. Joe loved trout fishing and sharing stories by the bonfire with loved ones in the evenings. He also enjoyed traveling to the Bay Area to spend time with Family and attend his granddaughter's sporting events while she attended Junior High and High School.

Joe is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Maria "Mary" Unzueta, beloved daughter Anna Paiva of San Mateo and granddaughter Cristina Paiva. His brother Ignacio Unzueta of Rosario, Argentina also survives him. His sister Begona Unzueta preceded him in death

Joe will be remembered for his kindness, joyful spirit and hearty laugh. He was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and valued family, faith, friends and good food. He will be deeply missed along with his wonderful sense of humor.

Viewing will be held at McNary Moore Chapel in Colusa on Thursday, February 25, 2021, from 5 pm to 7 pm with a Rosary Vigil to follow from 7 pm to 8 pm. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021, at 11 am at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church with burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colusa. A reception will be held at a later date when it is safe to gather to celebrate and honor his life.

The Unzueta family wishes to express their sincere thanks and appreciation to Suncrest Hospice for their care and support to the family. Additionally, loving care was provided by caregivers from Homecare Assistance of Palo Alto. The Unzueta family is grateful for the outpour of love and support received by friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Colusa RedHawk Athletic Foundation, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School or a charity of your choice in honor of Joe.
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Published in Appeal Democrat from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
FEB
25
Viewing
05:00 - 07:00 PM
McNary Moore Chapel
FEB
25
Rosary
07:00 - 08:00 PM
McNary Moore Chapel
FEB
26
Funeral Mass
11:00 AM
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
FEB
26
Burial
Holy Cross Cemetery
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Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
February 25, 2021
Whenever I think of Joe, I smile. I clearly remember him driving up to our bus stop on Brown Road in the big long yellow "banana" bus. I was always very short. When I was in elementary school, Joe would unbuckle his seat belt, get out of his seat, come down the steps, and lift me up onto the bus saying, "there you go, punkin'" I also remember everyone being so happy when Joe was our bus driver on field trips! Thank you, Joe, for your kindness, great sense of humor, laughter, and friendship. The Olivares family is blessed to have had you in our lives. Sending love and light to Mary, Anna, and the rest of the Unzueta family.
Juanita Olivares Franklin
Friend
February 24, 2021
My prayers and thoughts are with Maria, Anna, and the family. We were so blessed to know Joe and have him as a part of our lives in Colusa...such fond memories of time together at Butte Meadows.
Diane Martinez Surita
Friend
February 23, 2021
Que descances en paz Joe!
Us 7 Olivares children on Brown Rd were so blessed to of had you as our friend and bus driver.
Always so kind to everyone.
You always amazed me how your lookes never changed, but you would say mija but I'm getting old in the inside. I hurt!
Well Joe you are in a better place now, with no more pain❤
Maria estamos contigo!



Rebecca Leon
Friend
February 23, 2021
Sending hugs and warm thoughts to Nonna, Anna and Cristina for your loss. He always seemed so happy visiting San Mateo to be with his family and I will remember his warm smile. Lots of love, Abbie
Abbie Francel
Friend
February 22, 2021
Our love and support to Mr. Unzueta's wife Mary and extended family. We are very fortunate to be dear friends with his wonderful daughter Anna and granddaughter Cristina. We know how very much they love him and what a beautiful family they are.
Linda Grantham
Friend
February 22, 2021
Eternal Friendship Remembrance Bouquet - VASE INCLUDED
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Love Linda, Steve, Abbie, Mike
February 21, 2021
Our prayers and thoughts go out to Mary, Anna and Cristina for the loss of Joe. We will focus on his laugh and how he always made us feel so valued. Remember all the happy memories of your dad! Everyone knows how loving you are Anna and how much you value family. We are sending hugs to each of you and pray for your strength. Rest In Peace Joe.
Ti amo, Maria and John Vincent
Maria Vincent
Friend
February 20, 2021
I’ve known Joe, Mary and Anna my entire life. Joe was a wonderful friend, who always had a big smile and big heart. Rest In Peace.
John Echarte
Friend
February 20, 2021
Over his three decades at the Colusa school district, Joe had amassed thousands of us kids as his " best friend" and he was a caring soul to each one of us growing up.
"Joe was a teacher of life and laughter mixed together" and he's left us
with wonderful bus trip memories to the Sacramento Zoo and countless fun road trips all over California.
What a gift the Lord gave our childhood in Joe.
LARRY M. GARRISON
CHS CLASS OF 1977
LARRY M. GARRISON
Student
February 19, 2021
Joe, Joe, that is what I used to call you. Your smile and warmth always brought a smile to my face. I hope you realize how many life’s you impacted. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Kerri Meyers
Kerri Meyers
Student
February 19, 2021
We lost a beautiful person--no more suffering. I will miss him and his cute sense of humor.
Florence Bulatovich
Friend
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