Martha Zarate

Martha Zarate (Gonzales)

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Martha Gonzales Zarate, aged 65, passed away in her home on the 4th day of May, 2021, surrounded by loved ones, after a courageous 2-year battle with cancer. Martha was born on the 3rd of September, 1955 in Houston, Texas to Jesusa Ortiz and Erasmo Gonzales and was the 5th of ten children. Martha endured a challenging childhood and married at the tender age of 14.

Together, with her then husband Conrado Zarate, they raised five beautiful daughters, Claudia, Monica, Marisa, Crystal, and Cristina. She became fluent in Spanish to better communicate with her new husband, who was a recent immigrant from Mexico.

Even as a teenage mother, Martha was determined that her children would be raised in the gospel of Jesus Christ. She was raised as member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a firm and enduring testimony of the Savior. Martha was called as Primary President of her branch as a young 17-year old. Since she hadn’t yet acquired a driver's license, she managed to find rides to church, even if it meant them taking the city bus to fulfill her calling. She was an avid student of the scriptures and spent many years as a Gospel Doctrine teacher. Martha also found great joy in genealogy work. She was meticulous in her research and documentation. She found thousands of names that needed their temple work done and found great joy sharing those names with her family.

Martha loved to learn. She earned her Associates Degree from the University of Houston in Social Science and was close to completing her Bachelor degree. She educated herself and had an avid interest in history, current affairs, and politics. Martha did everything she could to ensure her daughters had a good education. Although Martha lived most of her life in different areas of Houston, Texas, she spent two years living with her daughter Marisa and her family in Edmond Oklahoma, and her final four years near and with family in Utah. She worked many different jobs during her life, including being a teacher’s aid, secretary and Spanish translator at her daughters’ elementary school. She spent the bulk of her career as a
Research Coordinator at medical centers in Houston, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Martha had a strong, vibrant personality. She was intelligent, stubborn, faithful, resourceful, quick witted, with a sharp sense of humor. She was a loyal friend, with a deep desire to serve those around her, especially family members. Martha loved America and was fiercely patriotic. A highlight in her later years was being able to travel to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty in person. Her cooking skills were legendary and a favorite way for her to express her love was through her culinary abilities in the kitchen. She could make something out of nothing and left the crowd always wanting more. Martha loved travel, gardening, music of all kinds, history of civilizations and attending Music and the Spoken Word. Martha often found peace in nature and one of her favorite places to escape was the scenic surroundings of the Sundance Resort.

Most of all, Martha loved her family. She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings Rebecca, David, Elizabeth, Samuel, Daniel, and Saul. She is survived by her brothers Julian and Manuel, and her sister Rachel. She has left behind an awesome posterity who she loved deeply! Her daughters Claudia (Paul), Monica (Jody), Marisa (Antonio), Crystal (Omar), and Cristina (Kyle), 21 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren and one on the way, all of whom adored her and will miss her greatly. Through the gift of DNA technology, Martha had the opportunity to welcome additional siblings into her life, as well as meet her biological father. She was so grateful to have learned of these additional relatives and enjoyed the blessings of these new relationships.

She passed along the deeply held belief that “Families are Forever” to all of her children and grandchildren, and we look forward to that day when we will see her and be embraced in her arms once again.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. The viewing will be from 10:00-11:30 A.M. at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home located at 646 East 800 North, Orem, UT 84097. The funeral program will be from 1:00-3:00 P.M. at Eastlawn Memorial Cemetery, located at 4800 North 650 East Street, Provo, UT 84601. All are welcome to attend as we celebrate the life of our beautiful mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, teacher and friend. Due to limited chair availability, we recommend our family and friends to provide their own lawn chairs for the graveside service.

There's a go fund me link at the bottom of the obituary to help raise money toward's Martha's funeral expenses.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 | 10:00am - 11:30am
    Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 10:00am - 11:30am
    Walker Sanderson Funeral Home
    646 East 800 North
    Orem, UT 84097
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 | 1:00pm
    Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 1:00pm
    East Lawn Memorial Hills Cemetery
    4800 North 650 East


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Private Condolence

Christina Orme

Posted at 05:38pm
To Martha's family,
I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of Martha. I did not know her long, but had the privilege of working with her and getting to know her the short time she was working at the University of Utah. Martha, was so kind and always willing to step up and help those around her. I knew she had a deep love of her family every time she talked about them. She expressed how happy she was when she moved to Utah because that meant she could be closer to them and truly enjoyed the time she got to spend with them. My thoughts and prayers are with your family as you all mourn the loss of an amazing women. RIP Martha, Christina Orme

Rebecca Quiocho

Posted at 09:59pm
To Martha's beloved family,
Martha Z as I called her, was my "eternal sister" in Christ. We met shortly after Claudia was born. She had the most beautiful smile, sweetest spirit, full of so much faith and love for her family and friends. She understood the gospel principles of "Families are Forever" and the true "Plan of Happiness." She was a treasury to all who had the honor of knowing her during our journeys here on earth. My love and condolences to her 5 beautiful daughters and family. Like you, I will miss her so, but we will all see her again on the other side. "Till we meet again our dearest Martha!!!" Lots of love always, Rebecca Quiocho

Angie Moore

Posted at 04:23pm
Dear Monica and Family,
I had the pleasure to meet Martha through her daughter who shared her mom's journey. Instead of going through Monica, I became FB friends with Martha and we not only communicated through FB but we would PM. She was an amazing woman, so grateful for her life, her family and was always wrapped in faith and hope. Sending my love to all and know that she will always be with all of you. Look in the mirror,you might see her smile, her eyes, her laugh, her sense of humor, her faith, her love of family. She will always dwell in your hearts. Much Love, Angie

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