Obituary of Richard Manuel Zayas
Richard Manuel Zayas, 37, of Utica, passed away Monday, April 3, 2023, with his family by his side.
Richie, aka "Boo-Boo," was born April 2, 1986, in Utica, NY to Karen Zayas (Smithling) and Richel Zayas.
He is survived by his parents, Karen and Richel Zayas; his sisters and brothers-in-law: Rachel Zayas and Eugene Kane, Tammy Gonzalez and Douglas Trask, Lolita Zayas-Saltsman and Lucas Saltsman, and Anita Appler and Joseph Appler, Jr. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews: Matthew Zayas, Brittany and Ryan Rudnitski, Christopher Kane, Carlos Gonzalez, Jr., Destiny Gonzalez, Adrianna Appler, Aubree Appler, Aaliyah Saltsman, Aria Appler, Cian Saltsman, Sloan Saltsman, and Ethan Saltsman, and three great nephews: Beau, Gideon, and Roronoa.
Richie lived his life with Cerebral Palsy. He attended Utica City Schools and received services through many wonderful community organizations.
Richie's life didn't follow a customary path. As such, he learned to find joy in the simple things, such as an ice-cold chocolate milk, windows down and the wind on his face, a fast car ride, and blowing raspberries to tease his sisters.
Richie lived his life surrounded by the love of his family. Karen devoted her life to make sure Richie was safe, happy, healthy, and loved every minute of every day.
Richie's understanding of death was limited, but he knew the joy of truly living in the moment. He held on to celebrate his birthday one last time. Even though the celebration looked different this year, he knew we cherished every moment with him. He would not want anyone to grieve his passing. Instead, we ask that you celebrate his life by making sure to live in the moment and appreciate the little things: feel the warmth of the sun on your face, listen to the music of a thunderstorm, smile at a sunset.
The family would like to express our thanks to the wonderful help and care given by The Abraham House of Rome, NY. If desired, friends may make memorial contributions to The Abraham House. The family would also like to express their gratitude to the many friends and family that offered comfort and support to Richie in his final days, especially his cousin Amanda Ruiz for her attentive and loving care.
Visitation for Richie will be Friday, April 7, 2023, from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m. at the Heintz Funeral Home, 1517 Whitesboro St. in Utica. A private memorial service will follow at the family’s convenience.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Zayas, please visit Tribute Store