Evangelina was born on December 31, 1928 to Elvira and Jose Maria Garcia in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She passed away on April 26, 2019, in Whittier, California, at the age of 90.
Though born in Pennsylvania, Evangelina grew up and went to school in Mexico City. Being one of the oldest, at a very young age, she had to quit school and work to help support the family.
Evangelina met her husband to be at a union meeting. They dated for a while but separated shortly afterwards. They parted and both went on to live their separate lives. A few years later they met again while riding the same bus. Dad was assisting a woman with her child, so mom thought they were his wife and child. As it turned out, the woman was not his wife. They reunited and were together for the next 69 years.
Evangelinas first job was ironing in a factory; she then went on to work as a seamstress. The last job she held was as a housekeeper in a hospital. She worked very hard to save money to afford to bring her children to the United States. Because she was born in Pennsylvania, she was able to work in the United States while her family lived in Mexico. It was difficult for her to leave her children behind and would often travel in the weekends to visit the family. Those times were very hard on her but she endured and prevailed. She and her husband Miguel succeeded in bringing the entire family to the US.
Raising 8 children did not allow her a lot of time for hobbies. Her purpose in life was the upbringing of her children. She did however, loved to dance, sing and listened to music.
On the weekends the radio or a record would be playing while the children and she did the weekend chores and housework. She also liked to play dominoes with family and friends.
When her husband retired, they would go to the Y or the local senior center to swim, do some light exercises and socialize with other seniors. When her health started to fail and had physical limitations, she would exercise her mind by doing word puzzles.
She loved her children dearly and would often let us know she prayed God to keep all her children safe. She read the rosary every morning until she started to have sight limitations.
Her legacy is her family. She is survived by:
Sons: Mario and wife Sandra, Mike and wife Pauline, Gonzalo and wife Pennie, and Joe. Daughters: Rose Lawrence, Carmen and husband Danny, Eva and husband Rafael, and daughter in-law, Cris Zavaleta.
Grandchildren: Mario and wife Rosalinda, Erik and wife Susan, Anthony and wife Cecilia, Ernie and wife Amber, Tommy and wife Cecilia, Caryn, Chad and wife Juliette, Christina, Ryan, Noelle and Jessie.
Great grandchildren: Andrew, Andy, Madison, Troy, Brianna, Leia, Anthony, Michael, Hayden, Andrew, Luke, Gaby.
Evangelina was preceded in death by her loving husband, Miguel Zavaleta; son, Henry "Hank" Zavaleta; son-in-law, Meade Lawrence; and grandson, Michael Zavaleta.