Zella Chloe Ceniceros [Courtesy photo]

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.

Zella 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, admiring how the earth 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. The job allowed her to help educate our community on how to best care for their pets and interact with those precious fur babies too. Most recently, she rescued a cute little Yorkie named 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, whom she lovingly named “Oswald.” Oswald was given to Zella by her great-great uncle, Ed Bridges, who also gave her private lessons when she first began her journey in music. 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. She only put music 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 on entering the medical care field, with the goal of ultimately becoming a doctor … and a farmer… and opening a tea house… Zella 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, and 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 Europe in the spring with 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.

Zella is sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. Zella Chloe is survived by her parents, Matt and Lisa Ceniceros; her brother, Ayden Ceniceros; grandparents Robert and Kathy Knight, and Gil and Mary Ellen Ceniceros; great-grandparents Kay and Judy Tangreen and Carol Miller; aunts Megan Knight, Amber (Josh) Honour and Heidi Glaser; uncles John Ceniceros and Marciano (Tiffany) Ceniceros; as well as numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Zella is preceded in death by her grandmother, Wendy Elizabeth Glaser Ceniceros; grandfather Tim Timpson; great-grandparents Ray and Carol Ceniceros, Zella Madolyn “Granny” and Arthur Ray “Hardwater” Knight,

and Joe Miller; 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 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at Spanish Valley Mortuary (386 N 100 West).

Funeral services will be Saturday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center (701 Locust Lane). There will be a viewing at 10 a.m. Interment 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.