Joe Unzueta passed away peacefully in San Mateo, CA on February 5, 2021, with his family by his side providing comfort, care and love.
Joe was born in Abadiano, Spain on November 24, 1931, to Leon and Donata Ortuzar Unzueta. He was the eldest of three siblings. His father Leon passed away suddenly in 1937 and Donata continued raising her family in the beautiful Basque region of Northern Spain until 1951. It was in 1951 that the family moved to Rosario, Argentina to join relatives that had immigrated there in prior years. Joe spent six years in Rosario during his early 20s working various jobs. Meanwhile, Joe corresponded with his Uncle Robert Unzueta in Colusa and made arrangements to come visit him in 1957. He always had a sense of adventure and made arrangements to come to the United States in hope of finding new opportunities. During Joe’s visit to Colusa, he met the love of his life and married Maria “Mary” Citino a year later. Joe and Mary made Colusa their home and created a beautiful life together.
Joe worked for the Colusa Unified School District as head custodian and bus driver for over thirty-two years. He loved attending the High School sporting events and supporting the local youth. Upon retiring in 1996, he and Mary spent more time at their cabin in Butte Meadows where they enjoyed entertaining friends and family. Joe loved trout fishing and sharing stories by the bonfire with loved ones in the evenings. He also enjoyed traveling to the Bay Area to spend time with Family and attend his granddaughter’s sporting events while she attended Junior High and High School.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Maria “Mary” Unzueta, beloved daughter Anna Paiva of San Mateo and granddaughter Cristina Paiva. His brother Ignacio Unzueta of Rosario, Argentina also survives him. His sister Begona Unzueta preceded him in death
Joe will be remembered for his kindness, joyful spirit and hearty laugh. He was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and valued family, faith, friends and good food. He will be deeply missed along with his wonderful sense of humor.
Viewing will be held at McNary Moore Chapel in Colusa on Thursday, February 25, 2021, from 5 pm to 7 pm with a Rosary Vigil to follow from 7 pm to 8 pm. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021, at 11 am at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church with burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colusa. A reception will be held at a later date when it is safe to gather to celebrate and honor his life.
The Unzueta family wishes to express their sincere thanks and appreciation to Suncrest Hospice for their care and support to the family. Additionally, loving care was provided by caregivers from Homecare Assistance of Palo Alto. The Unzueta family is grateful for the outpour of love and support received by friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Colusa RedHawk Athletic Foundation, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School or a charity of your choice in honor of Joe.
02/25/2021 • WPR #2021-0226