Zacarias P. Olivas III, affectionately known as “Junior,” passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Jan. 26, 2020. He was laid to rest Feb. 5, 2020 with full military honors at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, escorted to his final resting place by the Honors Team of the Texas Army National Guard.
The committal service included the playing of Taps and a rifle detail. The burial flag was presented to his wife, Celina, by Junior’s father-in-law Palemon Leyva, and his nephew Ricardo “Buddy” Rios. Catholic Rosary and Mass were held in Alpine, Texas, Junior’s hometown, on Jan. 31, 2020 and Feb. 1, 2020 respectively.
Junior was born and raised in Alpine until his enlistment in the infantry of the U.S. Army in 1983. While in the service, he suffered a service-ending injury in Panama, and was honorably discharged.
After his discharge, Junior and Celina were married and left Alpine to attend TSTI in Sweetwater, Texas where he studied electronics. After graduation, they moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, where they made Grand Prairie, Texas their home. Junior worked for Hitachi Semiconductor and the U.S. Postal Service before he found his most rewarding employment with the VA clinic in Fort Worth, where he retired after many years. Being a veteran himself, Junior loved working with and helping other veterans, always referring to them as “my vets.”
Sports were a passion for Junior, but his all-time favorite was football. Coach Zac, as he was called by many of the players, coached nine years for the Grand Prairie Football Youth Association where his son IV played for Bengals C, Broncos B and Broncos A, even winning championships.
Of course, his favorite sports teams were the Dallas Cowboys and TCU Frogs. He could be found attending the Cowboy games when they were 1-15 like the true Cowboy fan he was. He enjoyed telling stories and jokes. None of his family escaped his prankster spirit. Each of them became a victim of it at one point or another, such as when he jumped out at them when they least expected it, wearing scary masks or left toy spiders or rats where they were sure to be found. He was truly a charismatic person who enjoyed being around his friends and family, and never met a stranger. Zac will be remembered for his infectious laugh, funny sense of humor, and caring personality.
He was preceded in death by his father, Zacarias Olivas, Jr.; two brothers, Ricardo P. Olivas and Luis P. Olivas; and two aunts, Rosa and Ventura Olivas.
Junior is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Celina Olivas, and four children, Freddy and his wife Brittany, Cassie, Anjel and her fiance Geo, and IV, (Zacarias Olivas IV) his fiancé Alexa; five grandchildren, Alex, Anthony, Elias, Aiden and Julia; his mother Luciana P. Leyva; his father-in-law, Palemon Leyva; seven siblings and spouses, Jose Olivas (Dora), Robert Olivas (Nitiphat), Maria M. Rios (Ricardo), Maria R. Olivas, Abel Olivas (Robert Greeley), Tino Olivas, and Jesus Olivas (Martha). He also leaves behind nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, cousins and so many friends. He was a loving husband, dad, grandpa, brother, and son who will be sorely missed by everyone whose lives he touched.