Community volunteer Dora Zavala dies at 59

Dora Zavala. Courtesy of the Zavala family.

A beloved longtime community volunteer, Dora Zavala, of Stevenson Ranch, died Friday, July 9.  

Born in Barstow on Aug. 12, 1962, Zavala moved to Orange County after graduating high school and getting married.  

In 1998, Zavala moved to Stevenson Ranch, where she raised her two daughters, Nicole and Noelle. 

“She was a single mom. She always wanted to give back to single moms and help women (through) empowerment,” said Nicole Zavala. “She gave a lot back to the community.” 

Dora Zavala, 59, was a member of the Soroptimist of Greater Santa Clarita Valley for more than a decade, and a district director in Soroptimist International. “Dora was always a very positive person,” said fellow club member Pam Ingram. “She loved Soroptimist.” 

Zavala, who spent 35 years in the grocery industry, was also an active member of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and its Latino Business Alliance. 

“She was always active with the chamber, she was always active in the community, but her heart and soul (were with) Soroptimist and her family,” said Ingram. 

Nicole Zavala called her mom the “most amazing mom and the most amazing grandma.”  

“She spent a lot of time with us and the grandkids,” Nicole said. “They would always get their nails done, and (she would) take them to the pool.” 

Nicole was shocked by the community response she received to a Facebook post about her mom’s passing. 

“We knew that she’s amazing, but to see it and to read it and just see all the love that people had for her. It’s really incredible to us. We are super thankful of all of that,” she said. 

The cause of her death is unknown. The family announced that a memorial service will be held at Real Life Church, where Zavala was a parishioner for 20 years.  A date has not yet been announced. 

“She was first and foremost a believer of God and lived every day through God and his will,” Nicole said of her mom. 

Zavala is survived by her parents, Carlos and Sally Duran; close friend and father of her children, Tony Zavala; children, Nicole Zavala and her husband, Bryan Lewis, and Noelle Zavala; grandchildren, Makayla and Myah. 

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misidentified Pam Ingram. The story has been updated to reflect this correction.

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