Stella was born on April 3rd, 1919, outside of Malta Montana to Zenon and Merilda Durocher at their homestead. The family moved to Zortman and Great Falls Montana before finally settling in Seattle Washington in 1926. She attended Holy Rosary grade school in West Seattle until their move to Beacon Hill where Stella attended St George grade school. During the depression Stella and her sister Lucille attended Holy Names Academy and due to the generosity of the nuns they attended tuition free.
After graduating from business school, she helped her mother by taking care of her younger sister, Rosalie, while her mom worked at various sewing companies. She received $5.00 a week for this work, half of what her mom made sewing.
In 1940 Stella married Frank Zipp and then the children came. Cecilia, Barbara, Lucy, and Theresa were born between 1941 and 1944. Catherine, Dolores, and Rita were born between 1949 and 1952. The boys, Bernie, Gene, Paul (who died at birth), and Leo came on the scene between 1953 and 1957. The final children Marietta, Bernadette, and Jeanette were born between 1958 and 1961.
During these years Stella was extremely busy with the children, making clothes, canning vegetables from the garden, cooking, cleaning while preparing for and making major vacations happen. These vacations were multiple week camping trips with the car full of kids traveling around the USA and Canada. After the children had grown and moved out Stella and Frank traveled around the world with journeys to the Holy Land, Germany, France, Korea, and the UK.
Her beloved husband of 60 years passed away in 2000. Stella continued to fill her life with children and grandchildren. She made many trips to visit children and grandchildren for births, weddings, and various other opportunities like Eagle Scout Court of Honors.
She slowed down in her 90’s with only minimal travel until 2018 at the age of 99 when she couldn’t travel any longer. Her children took turns staying with her beginning in 2016 so that she could stay in her house until her passing.
Family was especially important to Stella and she and Frank started the tradition of family reunions. The first was held in 1977 and this tradition continues today.
Stella was preceded in death by her husband Frank and son Paul along with her sister Lucille and brother Omer.
Stella is survived by her 13 children, Cecilia, Barbara (Roger), Lucy (Joe), Theresa (Paul), Catherine (Bernie), Dolores, Rita (Bill), Bernie (Jaime), Gene (Kim), Leo (Jan), Marietta (John), Bernadette (Craig), Jeanette (Bruce): 46 Grandchildren, 90 Great Grandchildren and 11 Great Great Grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Rosalie (Patrick)
In lieu of flowers or trees, family requests that you please send donations to St George Catholic Church.
Funeral Services will be on Friday, July 9th at St. George Catholic Church. The Rosary will begin at 10:00 am and the Funeral Mass will begin at 10:30 am.
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