Obituaries detail

Raphael Martinez Zapien

Raphael Martinez Zapien, “Fuzz”, passed away on May 5th, 2020. Raphael was born on October 24, 1932 in Kansas City, Missouri. The son of Ynocencio Zapien and Paula Martinez Zapien. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Hope Zuniga, and 6 daughters; Annalisa Young (Robert), Gina Zapien Thompson (Jim), Hope Earls (Steve), Ruby J. Zapien, Jami Zapien Swalm (Tillar), and Jacqueline Tenney (Jason). He was the 8th of 12 children: Paul, Pauline, Marcelino, Joseph, Rudolph, Saturnino, Utimio, Christopher, John, Thomas, and Raymond.


He is also survived by grandsons and granddaughters Jay Hernandez, Raphael “Ray” Zapien-Pina, Jon Miguele Zapien-Pina, Damion Zapien-Pina, Steven Earls, Angelo Earls, Andrea Tenney, Haley Tenney, Kyra Thompson, and 6 great grandsons.


Raphael was raised in the east bottoms and attended St. Francis Seraph grade school, De La Salle High School and graduated from Manual High School. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a B.S in Sociology.


Raphael served his country as a U.S. Marine as a combat veteran during the Korean conflict. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and 29 Palms California. He successfully climbed Mt. Fuji twice during his military service. He was a member of the American Legion.


Raphael was retired from the General Motors/Leeds assembly plant after 30 years and was a proud member of the UAW Local 93.


Raphael served on the Health and Education Facilities Authority for the state of Missouri. He was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe church and its alter society, president of the church council, and president of the Our Lady of Americas school board. He was also a member of the Legion of Mary and the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He was the recipient of an award to recognize his contribution and participation in the development and support of cultural activities within the community through participation in the Fiesta Mexicana at Crown Center and at Our Lady of Guadalupe Center.


A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at 912 Killian Hill Rd. South West, Liburn, GA,30047 or go to


He was an exemplary family man, who loved his wife, daughters, and grandchildren dearly. He was an amazing and loving husband to his wife, and the love he had for his daughters was beyond what words could describe. He was a one of a kind “Papo” to his grandchildren and great grandchildren and loved them all dearly.  His giving extended beyond his personal family, as well as the community. His faith was instrumental in the life that he led and was reflected in the service that he provided for his community and his family. He will be dearly missed by friends and family but will live in loving memory in all of our lives.




Anna Marie Borchardt May 08 ,2020

Sisters-in-law ,Fort Myers ,Florida

Dear Zapien family, my heart breaks for you and my dear sister Hope. Your dad was a very good man and truly loved his family especially my sister. He will always be in my prayers. I remember when he bought his first family car he was so proud and happy. God Bless the Zapien family, love Aunt Anna

Jo Marie CALDERON May 08 ,2020


My deepest and sincere condolences to you all. I have great memories growing up with all of you. Your dad was a kind man who treated myself and my sisters as family. God Bless keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers

Annette Ramirez Calderon May 08 ,2020

Friend ,Kansas ,Missouri

My prayers and condolences to Mrs zapien and the rest of the family. Coach zapien was a awesome coach and mentor. I loved playing softball with his team. He coached our Lady of Americas and guadulupe center summer league. He was the best. Rest in peace coach.

Sandra Campos May 09 ,2020

Hope my condolences to you and your family. Mr. Zapien was a special person and was loved by all of us in the neighbor. May our prayers bring you comfront.

Nancy Bennett May 09 ,2020

Friend ,Pleasant Valley ,Missouri

You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Nancy

Manuel Rios May 10 ,2020

Nephew ,Indian Hill ,Ohio

Dear Aunt Hope and Cousins, so sorry to hear about Uncle Fuzz’s passing. I have nothing but great memories of him. I held him in high regard and he provided a great example of what being a good husband and father really meant. Much affection and Love, Little Manuel