Cover photo for Ralph A. Zavala's Obituary
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1949 Ralph 2023

Ralph A. Zavala

July 13, 1949 — July 7, 2023

Ralph A Zavala, 73 of Hickman, Nebraska passed away peacefully at home on Friday, July 7, 2023, with Chris, his wife of 52 years, at his side.


Funeral services will be Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 10 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 408 W 11th St. Wood River, Nebraska 68883.


Visitation will be Tuesday, July 11, 2023, from 5pm to 7pm with Rosary to follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 408 W 11th St. Wood River, Nebraska 68883.


Burial with Military Honors will be Wednesday July 12th, 2023, at 4:30pm 3580 US-77 N, Cortland, Nebraska


Born July 13, 1949, to Louisa (Berumen) and Vincent Zavala, Ralph was one of 13 children and graduated from Wood River High School in 1968. Ralph was a member of the Wood River Track and Cross-Country teams and, in his senior year, set the still-standing record for the fastest 3200-meter race with a time of 9 minutes and 59 seconds.


On July 23, 1971, Ralph married the love of his life, Christina Aguilar. Together they raised their four sons, Rob, Tim, Rico and Michael and were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wood River, Nebraska.


In 1971 Ralph enlisted in the Army Reserves and was later employed at New Holland from 1972 through 2004. Following his retirement, he worked for Apfel Funeral Home for 10 years. During this time Ralph was also an active member on the Wood River School Board and volunteered by coaching baseball. In 2019 Ralph and Chris relocated to Hickman, Nebraska to be closer to their children and their eight grandchildren. They attended St. James Catholic Church in Cortland, Nebraska.


Ralph enjoyed spending time attending his grandchildren’s activities, following the New York Yankees, tending to his garden, and living his life to the fullest. He cherished his family and friends, was always willing to lend a helping hand to the community and took pride in preparing and sharing freshly made enchiladas and other homemade goods.


Ralph is survived by his wife, Chris; sons and daughters-in-law, Rob (Kelli), Tim (Kim), Rico (Angie) and Michael (Morgan); grandchildren Bailee, Mya, Carter, Kendall, Ella, Alex, Max and Madyn; brothers Vincent (Sharon), Frank (Nancy), Andy (Kathy), Dave (Rosie), Jim, Bob and Rick (Bobbi); sisters Mary (Giz) Valdez, Marty (Roger) Wooden, Josie (Tom) Ernstmeyer, Esther (Ron) Rickert and Patty (Mark) Moreno; brother-in-law Senator Ray (Sue) Aguilar; sisters-in-law Jan Jakubowski, Glenda Aguilar, and Deb Aguilar; and his many extended family members and friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Louisa and Vincent Zavala; father-in-law TJ Aguilar and Bonnie, mother-in-law Barbara Roberts and a brother-in-law Rich Aguilar.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family for a future memorial via Apfel Funeral Home.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph A. Zavala, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

St. Mary's Catholic Church

1108 Dodd Street, Wood River, NE 68883

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

mass of christian burial

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

St. Mary's Catholic Church

1108 Dodd Street, Wood River, NE 68883

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

St. James Catholic Cemetery

3340 U.S. 77, South Sioux City, NE 68776

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