Joseph David Zamora, Born Oct 26 1948 Denver Colorado. The 3rd. youngest of a total of 7 siblings. Margaret, Woody, Helen, Terry, Himself, Bobby and Geri, 3 surviving altogether from mother, Mary Maestas. Survived by Katalina Montero- Mother to his daughter Rikki Montero. First wife of 26 yrs. Kay Dawn Fisher -Mother of Andrew David Zamora (Deanna) and Matthew Paul Zamora (Geisha Rosado) . 3 grandchildren: Meena Devi Montero Singh, Christian Zamora and Cassandra Zamora
Joseph worked since the very young age of 5 alongside siblings both older and younger to earning a living .From field work to hunting deer, rabbits and other game. Hunting was a joy to him as he frequented the mountains of Colorado with siblings, no matter the weather.
Growing up in the part of Denver known as “5 points” he first birthed his skillful art of reading people and planning ahead. Origins of his infamous Strategic persona developed first as a survival skill in the streets of hard life.
Soon thereafter, joined the US Air Force and perhaps for the first time, Joe was able to seek his soul yearnings a bit more. Who would have known he was a daredevil at heart and yes he became an Air force pararescue. From what I recollect from early stories told, He had 7 successful jumps until his knees could take no more. The grounding of his thrill seeking turned into a positive as it disciplined him to learning his first trades as Civil Engineer. A whole new Joe was reinvented.
Discharged honorably from the US Air Force Dec 15 1970. 3 months later married Kay Dawn Falk, Feb 20 1971 my Mother whom also happened to be his “best bud’s” sister, now my Uncle, John Falk… also Air Force.
At this time Joseph began his apprenticeship at International Harvester, Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first son, Andrew David Zamora was born June 8 1972, then followed the birth of Matthew Paul Zamora Oct 22 1974. Budget cuts at International Harvester with a helping of strained life in conservative Indiana inevitably forced a move to Florida in middle of a record breaking winter blizzard, 1981. we safely found refuge at my grandparents’ home in Chiefland, FL. Andy and I attended local schools, as our Mother Kay aided in our financial needs with garage sales and flea marketing .Joseph traveled from Chiefland to Tampa for Industry work while we lived there. grueling daily travel time of two hours each day forth and two hours back 5 days a week for 5 months to support us, let alone the actual 9 hour s a day plus of working. Joseph persisted to do any and all to provide for us. Most of the time we only saw Dad on weekend’s .it took months but they made it happen somehow. A few times even Andy and I helped by dumpster diving at storage units to find anything that could be resold.it was a team effort through and through.
Eventually he landed a job at Martin Marietta in Orlando where we moved in to 1982. Joseph, once again reinvented, sought out the title of Millwright where he mastered 4 of the trades at Martin. But of course he didn’t stop there, why not throw in defense contractor for our nation for Patriot missiles, TADS PNVS for Apache helicopters and Hellfire missiles. But why stop there he thought and became Chairman of the Bargaining Committee for the United Auto Workers and negotiated Pay contracts for his fellow brother and sister workers. That was a nearly 24/7 job as I sat in my room hearing my father be the crusader for their rights and pay on our kitchen phone after long hours doing the same at the Union hall… and probably heard a lot more than Mom wanted me to at that age, hahaha. He made Hoffa at times sound like Mr. Rogers in comparison. Fierce negotiations indeed!!!!
In the interim Andy and I grew, went to school and he, along with our mother, Kay, was the Cub Scout leaders of our pack in Orlando, pack 177. They both stayed driven and tireless with 100% love driven passion. Fundraisers, camping, activities, family meetings/potlucks were our common “free time”. They made awards and plaques too. Routed, sanded, stained, and embossed planks of plywood with their own hands to save the Pack money, built competitive canals to race our handmade Regatta boats. They were just as much a Mother and Father to the whole pack, as they were to us two. Damn, I was lucky. He didn’t stop there-- 1 summer in his so called “off time” ,like he ever had any, he repainted all the schools Bike racks. To show appreciation to the Principal for allowing us so much use of the campus... perhaps…… and probably to win some favor for my ornery lil monkey ass from time to time. What can I say, I had his thrill seeking side too I guess. Yet Andy was an honorary school patrolmen. We both had “Dad” in us in some way or another.
During the high school years Andy and I continued to test Dad’s limits which seemed like none existent like only 2 teenage boys could. But we were Lil “Joe’s” in the making so what did he expect? More time than none he just found a way to laugh about it …..To himself only though…. after fierce mental games of crimes and punishment we endured. He was a Scorpio for damn sure! And yes it had and still has a lasting effect. Yet he became fatherly figures to many of Andy and my friends. He always made them welcome and included in everything possible. He enjoyed watching them all grew up with us. Even took in one of my friends, John Milam for 4 months and eventually helped him start life out on his own. John later became a police officer for Orlando Police Department as he dreamed to become. Thanks to both my parent’s compassion and support.
By this time, Andy and I both were enlisted in the US Navy and his jobs changed again during the defense budget cuts early to mid- 90’s. Changed course a little as many of his coworkers had to, and hired as a Crane operator and repairman at North American Cranes.
During 1997 when I had a duty station change from an Air Craft Carrier to Naval Air Station San Diego. Dad and I embarked on a cross country road trip from Virginia to San Diego. It was a trip that I’ll never forget, as we literally braved El Nino together 1 mile at a time as we also stopped periodically to visit family. My Brother, Andy in New Jersey. Extended family in Indiana, His sister Geri In Albuquerque, NM and his sister Margaret in Los Angeles. Most of the time we were in 1 vehicle but my truck couldn’t handle the snow and towing much longer thus we were separated after Indiana and only could keep a sense of each other by the barely visible taillights in the blizzards. But before that happened is when I was told I had another sibling. An older sister, Rikki Montero born 9/24/1971. After I settled in at San Diego, around early 1998 I eventually met up with Rikki in her home in Seattle when I had some leave time saved up. Called and talked with Andy about our sister prior to that as well, knowing Dad also had done the same.
Later, Joe was forced to move in with family in Denver to rehabilitate from his reoccurring heart issues. For about 3 yrs. he fought steadily back in the comfort and love of his sister’s home, Helen.
He pursued an HVAC license when he recovered. A year later also tried his hand at owning a restaurant in Apopka which he hoped his older brother Terry could have been a partner of. The stars just never aligned properly for that endeavor so he went back to HVAC and started his own business. Yet again he reinvented himself. Moved to Oak Hill to “retire” yet he used his skills as a conduit to pursue his true love of being a community leader, patriot and statesmen 1 person at a time. He created a proverbial garden for himself with new seeds to plant where he basked in pride yet labored humbly to help others; Just having someone smile back at him and being thankful was usually enough. He performed most air conditioning jobs through all Edgewater, New Smyrna, Oak Hill etc. Charging only for it at cost. Maybe enough to buy himself a nice lunch, if that. As silly as that may sound, that’s all he ever wanted in return this time, appreciation and comradery.... so yes it seemed again he reinvented himself. This time may have shocked him a bit too much though .boredom started to settle in. Eventually he remarried but was widowed in May 2016.
Boredom really was an enemy to him. Besides the crippling heath issues he dealt with for nearly 40 yrs. solid. Safe to assume as well a man as complex as he was had a few demons that he had trouble in conquering .to me his personality was fundamental yet so difficult to master and understand as the Periodic Table of Elements, as many loved ones that surrounded him experienced so many different combos from him. Most were as beneficial as copper, carbon and oxygen, some were extremely dangerous and explosive, and a few were so precious, existed only once for a brief moment and were never to be shared with world again. His humor throughout his life was a constant defining asset. Although it was often intended as a diffuser, a stealthy sermon or deadly strike lay cleverly cloaked, and yes he secretly reveled in it knowing he meant both to happen. The real bad thing? People actually liked or laughed when it happened most of the time, which just multiplied the glee experienced in his inner dancing devil. Dangerously intelligent is almost mocking and lackluster if used in describing Joseph David Zamora. 4 steps ahead with 1 backup plan and an escape route already in place. Like I mentioned before, he developed the art of strategy at a very young age.
His last years upon this earth he tried a more Ombudsman and Counsel style approach and friended many who just needed a break in life .truth be known he still needed that too despite the fact he was so successful and self-made. But being idle and content was a bullfight he never won or mastered and it tore him internally .perhaps the 5 yr. old him resurfaced and demanded he’d yearn for a truly good day in the sun without the burden of labor. It was beyond his comprehension and he had no idea what that felt like. Thus his finals days were riddled and tormented with much confusion.
Let us all be thankful he found peace finally and please allow him the knowledge of knowing he no longer has a burden to labor, with love. And this time, re-invent ourselves.
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