12/12/2017 - Boise, Idaho, EEUU
Jose Luis "Joe" Zabala passed away December 2017 in Boise, Idaho.
Joe was born in Ispaster, Viscaya, Spain on January 31, 1929 to Justa Erquiaga and Justo Zabala. He immigrated to the U.S. in March, 1948 under a contract to herd sheep for Highland Livestock Company. After fulfilling his contract, he received a green card then became a U.S. citizen in 1959. He worked in construction and in lumber mills in California and Oregon and as an underground miner in Nevada.
In 1957 he bought a milk route and hauled milk from dairies in the Caldwell and Notus, Idaho area.
In 1960 he bought a dairy herd from one of his patrons and moved to a farm in Notus. He ran the dairy for seven years along with his milk route. He sold the dairy cows and started his business raising Holstein springer heifers which he continued until the farm was sold in 1999. In 1976 Joe bought a hay hauling truck, providing summer work for his sons and local high school kids, stacking thousands of hay bales a summer for eight years. Joe was self-reliant and enjoyed taking care of his business without seeking any attention. He very much enjoyed bargaining deals for feed and for cattle at the sale yards. He loved his years living in Notus.
He had a new home built in Meridian where he spent his retirement years working in his garden and spending many afternoons at the Basque Center in Boise playing Mus and Pinochle with his Basque friends. He was a member of Euzkaldunak for sixty years and played in the annual Mus tournament for fifty-six consecutive years, winning many times. He was also a member of Txoko Ona in Homedale and enjoyed their social activities.
Joe married Rita Astorquia in Gooding, Idaho on November 15, 1958. They raised two sons, Tom and John in Notus. The boys were active in sports and Joe looked forward to attending their games and other school activities. Joe loved his lifestyle, his family, and his friends. Joe loved Idaho and visited the Basque Country once with Rita in July, 1985 where he reconnected with many childhood friends.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, his sons Tom and John and grandchildren Jake, Joey, Anne, and Nikasio. As per his wishes there will be no rosary or funeral services.
The family would like to thank the staff at St. Luke's for the wonderful care given to Joe during his illness. In memory of Joe, donations may be made to Euzkaldunak, P.O. Box 2613, Boise, ID 83701. Agur Aitxitxa.
Remembrances may be left for the family on Joe's webpage at www.AccentFuneral.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home and Cremation, Meridian.
(published on Dec. 15, 2017 in Idaho Statesman, Legacy,com)