Gilbert Jesse Zaragoza

February 5, 2031 - May 24, 2024

Gilbert Jesse Zaragoza

Gilbert Jesse Zaragoza, 93, was called to his eternal home to be with our Lord on May 24, 2024. He was born in 1931 in Woodland, CA to Facundo and Ramona Zaragoza. Gil is survived by his wife Helen of 68 years with whom he raised their family in Rancho Cordova; and his daughters Kathleen Lummen (Bob) of Roseville, Karen Del Real (Rudy Jr.) of Sacramento and Elizabeth Acevedo of Orangevale; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings Celia Ramirez (Adrian), Rosie Ramirez (Fred), Jose Zaragoza (Dolores), sister-in-law Connie Zaragoza, and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins. Gil is preceded in death by his parents, siblings Bertha Mata (Ted), Eulalio Zaragoza, Clara Rios, David Zaragoza, Lucy Garcia (Gene), and Jess Zaragoza.

He attended Beamer School and graduated from Woodland High School in 1950, elected as senior class president. He was known for his basketball and academic skills receiving the Jay C. Horn Award for athletic excellence and earning a full academic scholarship to St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He played basketball during his four years at St. Mary’s and was captain of the team his senior year. Years later, Gil was inducted in the Woodland Sports Hall of Fame and Sacramento Mexican American Hall of Fame for basketball, and in the Mexican American Golf Association for golf.

Gil served in the U.S. Army, and became a member of the American Legion, serving in several roles of the George W. Manhart Post 391.
After 35 years he retired from Aerojet General Corporation as a Business Manager. He enjoyed his work and colleagues, participating on various sports teams while at Aerojet. He and his colleagues were able to realize the fruits of their labor when the plant closed temporarily to witness (on TV) the successful Apollo mission to the moon.

Gil’s early retirement years included volunteering for Loaves and Fishes, traveling, working for the U.S. Census Bureau as a bi-lingual enumerator, participating in Sons in Retirement, and playing lots of golf with multiple local golf organizations, to include the Mexican American Golf Association. During his later retirement years, he continued playing golf, volunteered for Latino Junior Golf Association for 25 years, and enjoyed spending time with grandkids and watching them play golf. Throughout his life he enjoyed music (self-taught guitar playing or listening to his twin brothers), watching his favorite teams the SF 49ers, Sacramento Kings, New York/SF Giants, and spending time with his many friends.

Gil really appreciated a good sense of humor and was much admired, beloved, and provided a positive role model to all who knew him. He fiercely and unconditionally loved his family and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at St. Mary’s Cemetery and Funeral Center, 6509 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento, CA; viewing at 9 a.m., rosary at 9:30 a.m. with mass and graveside service immediately thereafter.

Viewing & Rosary

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
9:00 AM

St. Mary’s Funeral Center
6509 Fruitridge Rd
Sacramento, CA 95820

Mass

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
10:00 AM

St. Mary’s Funeral Center
6509 Fruitridge Rd
Sacramento, CA 95820

Committal service

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
11:00 AM

St. Mary’s Cemetery
6509 Fruitridge Rd
Sacramento, CA 95820