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Maria Zinola Bigelow

Maria Zinola Bigelow passed away on August 25th, 2022 at Cogir -Glenwood Memory Care, with her sons by her side.

After Maria’s marriage to Gordon Bigelow in 2008, she became a resident of Vancouver, Washington.Maria was the President and founder of Interpreters International and Translations in New York.

She will be remembered for her love of family, travel and business. Maria was born in Lima, Peru on January 28th, 1931. As a young woman, Maria considered devoting her life as a Catholic nun, but chose a different journey instead. Her first job was with a large Peruvian bank in the public relations department, but after getting a taste for travel with her sister Mila, Maria eventually immigrated to the United States in 1959, and made New York her home. Shortly after her arrival to New York, she met and later married Luis Jose Zinola in 1961. They raised their 2 sons, Luis and Alberto in Kew Gardens, New York. As a family, they loved to travel, and spent time in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, France, Hawaii and Portugal, and other places as well. Maria and her sister Mila, remained close, and spent months together each summer, so that their children would know and love each other growing up. Maria loved her nieces, Mary Ann and Carol Barry, as her own daughters.

In 1985 Maria graduated from St John’s University with a major in Literature and a minor in Business. Starting out as a freelance translator and interpreter, she eventually started her own business, and subcontracted about 100 translators who were competent in about 60 languages. Widowed in 1994, Maria was devoted to her career and did work for the United Nations and the New York Public Library, as well as for a major pharmaceutical company and numerous HMOs. In 2008, Maria married Gordon Bigelow and moved to Vancouver, Washington. At the age of 77, Maria got a new drivers license in Vancouver, as she never had to drive when she lived in New York. Maria was undaunted by new experiences, and was open to adventures, like the time she went dog sledding in Alaska or wave running in Florida. More than anything, she loved her 2 sons, Luis and Alberto. In the years just prior to her passing, as Alzheimer’s affected her thoughts, she always brightened at the sound of her son’s voices, and visits. It always made her laugh to hear that she not only had 2 grandchildren, but had “inherited” 6 great grandchildren, as well. Maria was a passionate woman who loved with all her might and will be remembered also for her beautiful smile and affectionate “spankings” she gave her healthcare workers at Glenwood. At the end of Maria’s life, her beloved sons were by her side, and 4 days after Maria’s passing, her dear sister, Mila, joined her in Heaven.

Maria was preceded in death by her parents Roberto and Luzmila Carrillo McCubbin, and baby sister, Bess, first husband, Luis Jose Zinola, also known as Pipo, and second husband, Gordon Bigelow. Survivors are Luis Zinola, Tarpon Springs, Fl, (Mary), and Alberto Zinola, Indianapolis, In, (Sylvia). Nieces Mary Ann Garcia, Laredo, Texas, (Rene), Carol Barry Martinez, San Diego, California, (Enrique), Grandchildren, Andrew Zinola, Kokomo, In and Alyssa Zinola, Dallas, Texas, great niece Anna Paola, Laredo, Texas, (Dario and son, Sebastian), Carla, Sebastian, Daniel of San Diego, and step grandchildren, David Hagan, Springhill, Fl, Karen), Mark Hagan, Colorado Springs, Co, (Kelly), step great grandchildren, Grace, Lily, Drew, Blake, Harrison and Theo.

Lou and Alberto would also like to thank the staff at Cogir-Glenwood Memory Care, Peacehealth Hospital and Hospice for their support and care for Maria during her illness. They are forever grateful for the kindness and compassionate care given to their mother, Maria.

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