San Juanita Zepeda

Surrounded by love and the comfort of her home, San Juanita Zepeda was called to her Savior's loving arms on Sunday, February 2, 2019, in Austin Texas after her valiant fight with Kidney disease. Her strong will to live, unwavering faith in God, and the love and prayers of family, friends, and many supporters carried her through 2 years without dialysis.

San Juanita was born on June 24, 1937 in Corpus Christi, Texas to Rosa and Eugenio Garcia, the youngest of 5 siblings – with 3 sisters and 1 brother.  Her father passed away when she was 3 years old; being raised by a single parent in the 1930's instilled strength and a determination that carried her throughout her life. She often reminisced of her simple childhood playing in creeks and farm land, riding horses and shooting at cans with her brother's sling shot; and also of the family outings as a young lady into town or fun spent on the beach with her sisters.  

After meeting the love of her life Jose Zepeda in 1955, the couple married and moved to Three Rivers, Texas, where they started their family. Married for over 35 years, San Juanita & Jose raised their 7 dear children, Richard, Joe Jr., Rosemary, David, Rudy, Jesse John, and Frances Elizabeth, a journey that began in South Texas, led to the Panhandle, where she became a widow, and finally, ending in Austin. Her children were her “pollitos” her pride & joy.  As they came of age, all 5 sons volunteered to serve their country- 1 Marine & 4 Army soldiers. One daughter became a teacher and the other a woman with her own business career.

Possessing a true servant's heart, San Juanita faithfully cared for family and friends- from butchering & cooking whole animals on the farm to preparing delicious cooking/baking from scratch.  As her children grew, she knew working outside the home would bring in needed income, and she did whatever it took, including working in the produce sheds in Hereford, to opening and operating a small coffee shop, where she was known for her delicious homemade tamales.  Families often had to work together to make ends meet and ours was no exception. As migrant workers, we worked through Texas, Arizona, Wyoming, California, & as far north as Washington state. This included marching in the Huelgas of the 1970's with Cesar Chavez in California to fight for better living conditions and wages for migrant workers.

A loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother – a woman of faith and the heart of the Zepeda family, San Juanita shaped her family’s spirituality by her tireless Christian example.

Before her illness, San Juanita was an energetic walker, she loved to dance, listen to Tejano and country music, working in the yard, camping, anything out of doors with her family  -  She also loved a good margarita or a Tom Collins when the mood hit her.  As her illness and age progressed she loved to watch her Westerns on TV eating popcorn & pickles with a coke, or watching the numerous birds that flocked to her birdbath and flowers in her front yard (and a pesky squirrel).


San Juanita  would often start up conversations easily even with total strangers, offering  a kind word and some advice along with an old Mexican  saying with a contagious smile and an entertaining sense of humor.  She taught her children that all the really good things in life are earned not given to you.


Throughout her life, she maintained a passion for life and love for her “pollitos:, who even now are being changed by her witness of her faith in God. Her gift of joy, shown through her constant smiling, laughter, and joking, will never be forgotten. She will live on in our hearts, minds, thoughts, prayers, and laughs forever.


She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 37 years, Jose Zepeda; parents, Eugene and Rosa Garcia; siblings, Dominga Acuna (Romaldo), Maria Jesusa Gomez (Juan), Maria Martines (Andres), and Eugene Garcia, Jr. (Janie).


She is survived by her children, Richard DeLaCruz (Olga), Joe Zepeda, Jr., RoseMary Swaim, David Zepeda, Rudy Zepeda, Jessie John Zepeda and Frances Elizabeth Zepeda; grandchildren, Richard DeLaCruz, Jr., Ronnie DeLaCruz., Amy DeLaCruz, Samantha Swaim, Sarah Swaim, Ashleigh Swaim, Zachary Swaim, and Cosima Margarita Zepeda; 7 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren, and numerous other loving family and friends.

Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m., Friday, February 8, 2019 with Recitation of the Holy Rosary held at 7:00 p.m., Mission Funeral Home – South Side, 6204 South 1st St., Austin, Texas 78745.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 9, 2019. Interment will follow at Assumption Cemetery.


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