The Lord has called Zifa Z. Esparza to her eternal resting place where she will join her husband Dionicio, her brothers Saul and Joe, and her mother and father Severa and Jose Pedro Zayas. Zifa was born in Brownsville, Texas on June 15, 1932 and passed away peacefully surrounded by her children on August 21, 2023.
She is survived by her seven children, Wilma (Joe Cardenas), Elsa Esparza-Hamilton, Sandra (Rick Guerrero), Zifa “Dolly” Esparza, Jose Dionicio “JD” Esparza, Denise (Robert Fletcher), and Karin (Vincent Trevino), grandchildren Andrea Gonzalez, Desiree Nelson (Greg), Dennis Hamilton (Carrie), Charlie Hamilton, Anton Guerrero, Zifa Gidora (Danny), Angela Burdick (Justin), Natalie Pazera (Joe), Megan, Vincent II, Karin Trevino, and great grandchildren, Miranda and Savanna Gonzalez, Jamison and Cameron Nelson, Roman and Coralize Gidora, and Fletcher Pazera as well as many nieces and nephews.
Zifa was a life-long parishioner of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church in the community of El Ranchito, TX where she resided upon marrying Dionicio “Nicho.” As parents of seven children, Zifa and Nicho were living examples of civility, generosity, humility, and kindness. Throughout her years at El Ranchito, Zifa spent countless hours humbly serving her community and church in multiple ministries.
During her early years of marriage, Zifa pursued her education earning an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. To be near her young children, Zifa taught at La Paloma Elementary School. When they became school aged, she transferred to Clearwater Elementary in Brownsville ISD, to be near their schools. Early in her professional career, she continued her education attending night classes at Pan American University in Edinburg, receiving her Masters in Special Education. She retired after 30 years in public education. Through example, she showed her children and those of her community the value of acquiring a formal education while navigating through life’s obstacles.
Upon retirement, Zifa served the community of St. Ignatius Catholic Church through multiple ministries. Together with Nicho, she also served the community of El Ranchito, often opening her door to anyone seeking employment and comfort. Most recently she was a member of the Rancho Viejo Retired School Employee Association, assisting with scholarship reviews for graduating seniors.
Zifa’s enthusiasm for learning continued through years of travel exploration, a passion she passed on to her children. With them in tow, she and Nicho took road trips across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. After retiring, her travels continued. She visited China, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, many European countries, Russia, Central and South America and a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during a Jubilee year. Friends traveling with Zifa teased her about reading every historical marker and museum placard along the way.
A catholic rosary service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on August 25, 2023 at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, 1400 W. U.S. Hwy 77 in San Benito. A funeral mass will take place at 10:00 a.m. on August 26, 2023 at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church, 24380 U.S. Hwy 281 in El Ranchito followed by internment at the family’s private cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Zifa Esparza to St. Ignatius Catholic Church, 24380 U.S Hwy 281, San Benito, TX. 956-399-2022.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Delta Funeral Directors, family owned and operated, of Brownsville, TX in collaborations with Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home of San Benito, TX.
St. Ignatuis Catholic Church
24380 U.S. Hwy 281, San Benito TX 78586