Tears mark a life cut short
Jose Isidro Zambrano loved oldies music, zombie movies and children, said Melissa Cress, Zambrano's fiancée.
"He liked the (movies) where the zombies walked slow," Cress said Monday as she stood outside Ullrey Memorial Chapel in Yuba City.
She was surrounded by Zambrano's sister, Rosa, his brother, Sammy, and his best friend, Orelio Carrillo.
Zambrano was shot and killed July 5 in Yuba City while he walked with Cress' 12-year-old son.
Cress said her son and Zambrano were less than two blocks away from home when the shooting happened.
Police have no suspects. Family members urged anyone with information about his murder to contact Yuba City Police.
Being an uncle, Zambrano, 21, loved children and was excited about having his first child in March.
"He wanted to be a great daddy," Carrillo said. "It's a tragedy."
The two friends spent many hours sitting together, watching boxing matches and barbecuing.
Zambrano did not have a favorite boxer. He "just liked every Mexican fighter," that fought, Carrillo said.
Family members want people to remember Zambrano, 21, as a fun person who loved life and loved his family.
"He had the most fantastic laugh. His whole body would shake," Cress said as she held back tears.
Zambrano recently saw the beach for the first time when he visited his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Teresa Rogers, at her home in Pismo Beach, 188 miles north of Los Angeles.
"He had a ball. He was like a little kid," Rogers said with a sad smile on her face. "He and my son found a starfish (that day)."
Rogers said she was looking forward to having Zambrano as her brother-in-law. Everyone supported her sister's relationship with him as they planned their wedding. Jose's birthday also was coming up, July 18.
"He loved my sister and my nephew and they were so excited about this baby," Rogers said.
The family expected at least 50 people for Monday's visitation and more than 100 for the funeral service today at 10 a.m., also at Ullrey Chapel.
"He was loved. He was just a happy person. He lifted your spirits," said Amanda Phillips, a family friend. "That day that he passed, he had borrowed some movies and I'll always remember saying, 'You better bring them back.'"
Appeal-Democrat intern Olga Muñoz can be reached at 741-2400. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.