Sally Zuniga Quinones passed away peacefully in her daughter’s Hollister home, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2023, at 83. Sally was born in Hollister, California, on February 5, 1940, the only daughter of Vicente and Josefina Zuniga, Mexican immigrants from Durango and Nayarit, Mexico, respectively. Sally was raised in Hollister and lived there her entire life, except for three years living in San Jose, California.
She attended the local Hollister elementary schools and high school. Sally was a beautician and a beauty shop owner early in her adult life. After retiring, she supported her brother, Aurelio, at the Zuniga family restaurant, Progresso Tamale Parlor. Sally also cared for her father, Vicente, after her mother, Josefina passed away.
Her beautician skills did not stop after she gave up her career; Sally gave haircuts to several men in her immediate family. Most of her life was spent living independently on the same ranch and home that generations of her Zuniga family lived. She continued to host the Zuniga family Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas traditions passed down from her ancestors at the family ranch.
Another tradition that she valued was her weekly “Starbucks” coffee visits with her “Bros,” Vince and Aurelio, at the family ranch. Their sibling bond was strong. Beyond Sally’s dedication to family, she loved to garden and harvest her fruit trees and tend to her succulents and irises.
Occasionally, Sally would cut and collect pieces of random people’s succulents and stash them in her purse to take home. Sally collected teddy bears, insisting at the end of her life that they were all together by her side. She loved listing to her favorite Rancheras, singing them up to her last day. Additionally, she loved “being on the computer” to view Facebook and play solitaire.
In her spare time, you could find Sally watching novellas and cooking shows at a surprisingly loud volume while wearing her Crocs and house coats. One of Sally’s greatest joys was spending time on her genealogy projects. Sally described working on genealogy as her life’s work, and family and friends sought out her research skills and advice so they, too, could discover their genealogy lineage. Sally was so dedicated to her genealogy projects that she traced several family lines to Spanish ship passenger logs from the early 1700s.
The other greatest joy of Sally’s was cooking; her skills and passion in the kitchen were passed onto her children and grandchildren like how her mother passed them onto her. These recipes included the traditional Zuniga family Thanksgiving stuffing, Christmas tamales, pozole, and her potato and macaroni salads. Sally’s children and grandchildren all knew when they shared food with her made using her recipes that she would be their strongest and brutally honest critic.
Before Sally passed, she worked furiously to complete a recipe book for her family. The later years of Sally’s life were a testament to her strength and perseverance. Sally endured several health ailments later in life, and she showed her family how to face health challenges with courage and dignity. Sally will be missed by her family.
Sally is survived by her son Ernie Quinones (Anna); daughter Sylvia Quinones (Frank); grandsons Matthew, Vincent, and Frank Chavez; granddaughters Athena Becks (Ryan), Nicole and Hannah Quinones; great-grandchildren Joshua Chavez and Andrew, Joshua, and Julianna Becks. Sally is also survived by her brothers Vince and Aurelio Zuniga and numerous nephews, nieces, and godchildren. Sally was preceded in death by her parents, Vicente and Josefina Zuniga, brothers Ruben and Gilbert Zuniga, and sisters-in-law, Gloria (Ruben), Sally (Vince), and Patsy (Aurelio) Zuniga. Per Sally’s wishes, her funeral services of a catholic mass and burial will be for family members only.