Mrs. Clara M. Zamarripa, 85, passed away on December 21, 2018.
Clara was born in Gill, Colorado on February 27, 1933 to Salvador and Sarita (Griego) Esquibel. After graduating from Gill High School she moved to Florence, Colorado to live with her brother. It was here that she met Ben and they later married on October 4, 1954.
Clara and Ben lived in Pueblo, Greeley and Egnar, and eventually moved to Florence where they enjoyed a wonderful life filled with family activities and many good friends. Clara was a library clerk for Florence elementary and middle schools. Clara loved children and working at the school gave her the opportunity to help many kids in a variety of ways, including tutoring children struggling in English to read and write. She knew every child that spent time in the library – what they read, what was interesting to them and what was important to them. She could listen with complete attention as a child recounted, in excruciating detail, a television episode they had seen the night before.
While Ben was coaching the girls basketball team, Clara became the “unofficial” assistant coach, going on every bus trip, cleaning every locker room and every uniform and generally keeping the girls ready to play. Together they won two state championships!
After retirement Ben and Clara moved to Pueblo so she could babysit her grandchildren. She volunteered at Highland Park elementary, where her grandchildren attended, continuing on after they left for a total of twenty years. She found her calling working with children which she happily pursued throughout her life, whether it was at a school, babysitting friend’s children or bringing up her own grandchildren. She had the rare ability to take the time to see each child for who they really were, and they flourished under her loving care.
She also enjoyed flower gardening, reading, playing video poker in Cripple Creek (she loved to hit a royal flush) – and cleaning. She cleaned her house, her children’s houses… if she passed by something, she left it neat and orderly behind her. She had a ton of energy, and she spent it making her part of the world a little nicer for everyone in it.
Clara is survived by Ben, her husband of 64 years; children Mark (Sana), and Joan, of Pueblo; grandchildren Danny (Maria) Zamarripa and Jill Zamarripa; sisters Grace Lucio and Aurora Duran, both of Denver, and family friend Pam Massey.
She was preceded in death by her parents Salvador and Sarita Esquibel; her brothers Arthur Sanchez, Johnnie Sanchez, Tom Esquibel and John Esquibel; her sisters Beatrice Duran and Louise Sorley; and her infant daughter, Maryetta.