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Roxanna Zamot Raya

1943 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Roxanna Zamot Raya Obituary
December 4, 1943 - October 12, 2016 On Wednesday, October 12, 2016, Roxanna Zamot Raya - surrounded by her family and friends - passed peacefully from this life. She is survived by her husband, Renaldo; her children Jean-Paul, Julie, Anna and Catherine; her grandchildren Patrick, Mila, Salvador and Gael; and her siblings Sonia, Noel and Ingrid. She was born in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico on December 4, 1943, to Alejandra Cruz Perez and Don Mariano Zamot Del Valle, who precede her in death. Roxanna was raised in Compton, California and graduated from Centennial High School. In 1962 she returned with her family to Puerto Rico, where she worked in Hato Rey for the billing department of General Gases, the gas utility for Puerto Rico, St. Croix and Jamaica. She returned to Los Angeles in 1967 and worked as a loan officer at Beneficial Insurance downtown. It was during this year that she met Lincoln Heights native Renaldo, then an architectural draftsman with Albert C. Martin and Associates. They were married two years later on May 3 at Santa Marta Catholic Church in Vernon and honeymooned in Las Vegas. In 1976, the couple purchased their home in El Sereno, where all four kids were raised and where Roxanna lived with Renaldo until her death. For decades, Roxanna worked from home as a dressmaker, creating gowns for weddings, proms and christenings, among other major life events, but her favorite was to make costumes. Her handiwork was worn to presidential inaugural balls, the weddings of rock bands, school and local theatre musical productions and too many Halloween costume parades to count. Ever proud of her heritage, she loved to put the Puerto Rican flag on everything. She even made one of her famous Puerto Rican flag wallets for Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, who carried it in his back pocket. She also was an excellent cook and baker, having taken classes in her spare time at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Thanksgiving dinners at her home were a hot ticket amongst her extended family and friends. And after a few cake decorating lessons, Roxanna started making multi-tiered wedding cakes on the side. She was a queen of the soft arts - her social media handle was CraftQueenRox - and when her sewing projects slowed down, she spent more of her time making paper crafts, such as intricate cards, papel picado and castles and rocket ships for her grandchildren. She was a mother not only to her children and grandchildren, but also to an extended family that included nieces, nephews and friends, opening her heart and home to anyone who needed her help, inspiration or compassion. Roxanna was a friend to anyone who met her - her magnetism was undeniable - and her social network was vast, extending past her circle of intimate friends to the communities at the schools attended by her children and grandchildren, friends of friends, friends of her children, people she'd meet at the sewing and craft stores she loved to frequent, even the nurses, doctors, caretakers and patients at Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group, where she was a patient for over 12 years. Since her passing, the outpouring of remembrances has commended Roxanna for her limitless creativity, biting sense of humor, culinary skills, and, most of all, her selflessness, empathy and generosity. She often liked to say, "I have cancer but cancer doesn't have me." And while it was the disease that ultimately took her life, it did nothing to diminish the light she continues to bring to so many lives. Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 22 at Holy Family Catholic Church at 1501 Fremont Avenue in South Pasadena. Monsignor Clement Connolly will preside. Following the funeral mass, Roxanna will be interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 16, 2016
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