Oralia ‘Lala’ Zuniga Briggs
Oralia ‘Lala’ Zuniga Briggs
June 11, 1940-June 7, 2012
Oralia Zuniga Briggs “Lala” passed away on June 7, 2012, just four days before her 72nd birthday. She was born June 11. 1940, in Carlsbad, New Mexico to Anita Duarte Zuniga and Lorenzo Zuniga. She was the second of eight children.
Lala enjoyed every day that was given to her. Though she suffered through migraines her entire life, she chose to overcome this pain, with a quiet strength and a resolute spirit. She lived life with unparalleled integrity, compassion and kindness. Her well-being was enhanced through her love of exercise and her undying faith, worshiping at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Sonoma. She was an avid sports fan, with the San Francisco Giants being her favorite team. She loved cultural events, especially the San Francisco Ballet. She was also extremely active in her community, volunteering with Sister Cities, La Luz, Friends In Sonoma Helping, Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens, and St. Leo’s Catholic Church. She traveled the world, always finding new friends along her journeys. Lala deeply appreciated the loving, wonderful friendships she developed throughout her entire life. She studied her native language for pleasure and personal fulfillment, always an advocate for bilingual, early education.
Teaching physical education proved to be her calling and enduring passion. Her 50-year career began in Albuquerque, NM, then onto Daly City, San Rafael and finally in Sonoma, CA. In her later years, she was delighted to work with younger students and in special needs classrooms. Lala had a magical way with children, beautiful to behold. She will be remembered fondly for her firm but loving teaching style, creativity and belief that every child is an individual with extraordinary potential.
Lala is lovingly remembered by her only child, Celina Lynn Briggs, of Sonoma, CA, and Celina’s partner, Kevin Michael Walker. Lala is preceded in death by her brother, Eduardo Zuniga, of Taos, NM. She is survived by her other siblings, Lorenzo Zuniga Jr., Hortencia Zuniga Chavez, Ricardo Zuniga, of Albuquerque, NM, Ophelia Zuniga DuBois, of Amarillo, TX, Orcelia Zuniga Forbes, of Portland, OR, and Orlando Zuniga, of Anchorage, AK. She also has a large, loving, extended family, in Denver, CO and in Birmingham, AL. Lala shared special bond with the Castro family, of Greenbrae, Fairfield, and Concord, CA.
A memorial service will be held Friday, June 22, 2012, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church at 11 a.m. The address is 601 West Agua Caliente Road, Sonoma, CA.
Following the Memorial Service, a reception will be held at Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens in Glen Ellen, CA.
The family respectfully requests, that Memorial Donations in Lala’s name, be sent to the K.I.N.D. Fund, a US UNICEF program (Kids In Need of Desks), or locally, Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens.