Our beautiful, precious and beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend, Zella Chloe Ceniceros, left this world unexpectedly, at the tender age of 17, on Oct. 30 at her home in Moab, Utah.
She was born on Feb. 8, 2002 at St. Rose-Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nevada to Matt and Lisa Ceniceros. Shortly after Zella was born, the family moved from Nevada back to Moab where she was raised.
Zella had an infectious smile and free spirit that lit up the lives of those around her and touched the lives of countless others. Her fiery attitude was tempered by a love and extreme loyalty for those she held dear, as well as anyone she perceived as an underdog. Zella always defended those less fortunate, no matter the cause or circumstance.
Debate was one of her stronger talents, to say the least. She was a strong and independent thinker, compassionate, and saw beauty wherever she went. Zella always knew her path, who she was, knew her mind, and she stayed true to herself.
She loved to be outdoors and enjoyed getting out, where she was able to take in the views while loving the sun, earth and water, and admiring how it gave life to wildlife, plants and flowers.
She was a lover of all animals, especially dogs and cats. It brought her so much joy to work at the Moab Barkery, which allowed her to help educate our community on how to best care for their pets and allowed her to interact with those precious fur babies, too. Most recently she rescued a cute little Yorkie, Grits, just a week before her passing, from someone who came into the Barkery hoping to find him a loving home.
Zella loved music and was an incredibly talented musician who could play any instrument she picked up, but was most fond of her clarinet, which she lovingly named, “Oswald.” Her great-great Uncle, Ed Bridges, who also gave her private lessons when she first began her journey in music, gave Oswald to Zella. Zella was fortunate to be Uncle “Elephante’s” last student.
He was a music teacher like no other. As soon as she could, Zella began playing in our school concert, jazz, and marching bands starting in middle school and continuing into high school, only putting it on hold during her senior year to participate in concurrent enrollment college classes and to focus her energy on fundraising for the upcoming school arts trip to Ireland, England and France.
Her talents and passions focused her motivation toward entering the medical care field, with the goal of ultimately becoming a doctor … and a farmer … and opening a tea house … she wanted to do it all.
Zella was fortunate to have many opportunities to travel around the U.S. visiting more places than most adults have. Zella was able to visit Boston with her fifth-grade class, spend a couple of weeks with our cousin, Candyce Shumway, and her daughters, Jakayla and Jayden, in Dallas, with a side trip to the Galveston area. Zella was also blessed to travel with her Aunt Amber and Uncle Josh on a road trip across the country to upstate New York.
As a family, we were blessed to take a road trip across the United States in 2016, from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., all the way through Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, up through Wyoming, and back down into Utah. Every family should take a road trip across the country if they are able. There is nothing like it and we will cherish those memories.
Zella loved to travel and wanted to see the world. Zella was extremely excited about the upcoming trip to tour Europe in the spring with some of her classmates and her mother. She was a driving force in multiple fundraisers over the years and had a way of getting people to donate, participate and work as a team.
If you were lucky enough to have met her, or to have been graced by her presence, you knew she had a light that was brighter than anything around her. Now that light shines through us, in our memories, to the rest of the universe, and will remain with us always, wherever we go.
All who knew and loved her sorely misses Zella.
Zella Chloe is survived by her parents, Matt and Lisa Ceniceros; her brother, Ayden Ceniceros; grandparents, Robert and Kathy Knight, Gil and Mary Ellen Ceniceros; great-grandparents, Kay and Judy Tangreen and Carol Miller; aunts, Megan Knight, Amber (Josh) Honour, Heidi Glaser; uncles, John Ceniceros, Marciano (Tiffany) Ceniceros, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Zella was preceded in death by her grandmother, Wendy Elizabeth Glaser Ceniceros; grandfather, Tim Timpson; great-grandparents Ray and Carol Ceniceros, and Joe Miller; Zella Madolyn “Granny” and Arthur Ray “Hardwater” Knight; her aunt, Helen Knight and her beloved Aunt Grannie. It is a comfort to her family knowing that so many of our loved ones are with her on the other side caring for her until we meet again.
A viewing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday Nov. 8 at Spanish Valley Mortuary. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center on Locust Lane. There will be a viewing at 10 a.m., one hour prior to services. Internment will immediately follow at Grand Valley Cemetery.
After the graveside service, friends and family are invited back to the stake center for a luncheon and to share stories and memories about Zella’s life and your interactions with her.