Obituary for Iris E. Zavala Arroyo of Aberdeen

Iris E. Zavala Arroyo, age 76, of Aberdeen, passed away on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst, surrounded by her family.

Iris was born in Puerto Rico on November 16, 1944 to the late Guillermo Zavala Rodriguez and Rosalina Arroyo Soto. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her sister, Carmen M. Zavala Maldonado, brothers, William Zavala Maldonado and Luis A. Zavala Maldonado.

Iris was raised in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Sarah J. Hale Vocational High School.  At the age of 16, she sang Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen by The Andrews Sisters in Broadway. Her high school friends remember Iris very fondly referring to her as the pretty girl with the black hair.

Iris was a sharing, loving, caring, and funny lady. She made friends everywhere she went and would light up the room with only her smile. Her children and grandchildren are her pride and joy. Proud of her Puerto Rican culture, Iris loved to share her culture, foods, and help others learn or practice her Spanish. Her faith in Christ was unshakeable and would love to praise the Lord with song. Two of her favorite hymns are How Great Thou Art in Spanish or English and The Old Rugged Cross.

She is survived by her daughter, Grisel Long (Ruiz Zavala) of North Carolina; son, Benito Ruiz Zavala, Jr. of South Carolina; granddaughter, Ashley F. Tafea Stuttagart, of Germany and Jazmin Long of North Carolina; grandson, Benito Ruiz III of South Carolina; sister, Guillermina Herrera (Zavala Arroyo) of Florida; brother, Juan Maldonado of Texas.

Condolences may be sent to

The family has entrusted services to Cox Memorial Funeral Home & Crematory in Vass

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