Posted on Thursday, 13th February 2014 | Payson
Zona Greenleaf passed away peacefully Feb. 6, 2014 at her rural home in Apache County, Ariz., surrounded by family. She was born June 10, 1922 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to Austin and Josie Lovelady Spurlock.
Zona was preceded in death by her parents, her son John Sidney Greenleaf, her sister Juanita Harding Black, and three husbands: Carroll Rex Byrd, John Griscom Greenleaf and Donald Charles Jape.
She was the beloved mother of Carroll Cox, of Apache County, Rebecca (Richard) Lovato of Italy, Constance (Larry) Bright of Australia, Rans Greenleaf of Apache County, Donna (Peter) Schubert of Australia, Linda (Craig) Swartwood of Payson, Merry (Allan) Bradley of Phoenix, Paul Jape of Phoenix and Peter (Sue) Jape of Australia. Zona also leaves her cherished former daughter-in-law Susan “Susie” Snedden of California, 22 grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren, as well as her brother Dick Spurlock of Payson and many cousins and friends.
Raising and educating a houseful of active children was Zona’s ‘major’ and she has graduated with honors from the college of motherhood. She taught her children to work, be honest, take responsibility, seek the truth and stand by their principles, even if they weren’t popular. Most importantly, she taught them faith in God. This education took place on ranches in Arizona, Oklahoma, Mexico and Australia, until she returned to Payson and Gila County where her parents had met and married.
Zona’s many ancestors on both her mother’s and father’s side were pioneer cattle people in Gila, Apache and Navajo Counties, and she spent her early married life in the Holbrook area where she helped put together the first edition of the popular Cowbelle Cookbook in the 1940s and 1950s. So when she settled in Payson with her three youngest children in 1974 after more than a decade in Australia, she felt right at home renewing old family connections. During her 25 years in Payson she was always busy with real estate, politics, the Payson First Baptist Church and her family and friends.
In 1998, Zona pioneered for the last time on an acreage in Apache County. With her children Rans and Carroll, a pleasant solar-powered homestead was developed, complete with an orchard and vegetable and flower gardens. During this time she became an active member of the Northern Arizona Cowbelles and served as president for two years. She also wrote a book that has been enjoyed by many family members and friends. The little homestead was the site of many happy gatherings of neighbors, as well as family and friends from near and far.
A closed-casket graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Payson Pioneer Cemetery, conducted by Pastor Mike Hoover. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Compassus at 1789 W. Commerce Drive, Lakeside, Ariz. 85929, www.hospicecompassus .com, or telephone (928) 368-4400.
We love you Mom, Grandma, sister, cousin and friend. The footprints you leave are many and deep and you will always be in our hearts.