By all accounts, Colton Mayor David Zamora had a gift to unite people.
Friends and colleagues credit him with uniting a once divided council and city.
He had a deep love for his family, his friends and his city. He always wore a smile, loved a friends' embrace and had a sharp sense of humor.
On Friday, more than 1,400 united at the First Assembly of God Church in Colton to remember Zamora, a man who left a large legacy in the short time he was mayor.
died July 14 after he suffered a heart attack while driving to City Hall from home. He had been traveling on La Cadena Road when he lost control of his Ford F-250, made a turn on DeBerry Street and then a U-turn, clipped a curb, sideswiped a pole and then came to a stop, according to coroner’s officials.
Local leaders and dignitaries from around the county, including Loma Linda, filled the church’s assembly room. More listened from the entry hall and from just outside the front entrance.
Speakers were Rep. Joe Baca Sr. (D-Rialto), San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors’ Chair Josie Gonzales, Colton City Councilman Frank Gonzales, Colton City Manager Rod Foster, former board member of the Colton Joint Unified School District Mel Albiso, Pastor and members of Zamora’s family.
Many shared stories of an intellectual, but fun-loving, man who was everyone’s friend.
“Sometimes I would see him,” Councilman Gonzales said. “He’d grab me from behind and give me a big ole bear hug. And sometimes I would wear suspenders and he’d always pull on them. And I’d say, ‘Hey David cut it out.’ I’ll never forget it.”
“He loved life like he loved his family,” Gonzales said.
Zamora’s widow, Sarah Zamora, gave a moving speech in which she made an appeal to the city to keep her husband’s dream alive.
“My request is that we keep his vision alive,” she said. “To make the communities better, to make our lives better, and that you not let his legacy die. Because if you do that, you will be doing a disservice to our family and to the sacrifices he has made throughout all the years that he’s been involved in being a servant for the people.
“Please don’t let my husband’s life be in vain.”
More information on Mayor Zamora is available on Loma Linda Patch.