Derek Gabriel ‘Zippy’ Penaranda — 1982-2012


The deepest and most profound loss is that of your child.

Our beloved son — Derek Gabriel “Zippy” Penaranda — departed his broken vessel and has set sail on his journey of eternal and everlasting life, where he will remain forever young and beautiful.

Born six weeks premature on our ninth anniversary at 4 pounds, 8 ounces on May 19, 1982, he was our greatest gift from God. We were there when he took his first breath, and we were there when he took in his last on Oct. 17, 2012.

There is no measure of words that can profess the joy and unrequited love that Zip brought to his family. He loved and embraced life and lived it to the fullest.

He was a positive individual and a genuinely happy person.

His enduring smile, beautiful eyes and handsome face will always be a beacon of comfort to us.

There were so many things in life that Zip enjoyed and too many to mention. However, the most important things were his love of family, friends, work and community.

His father and him were the best of friends.

They would scour the city neighborhoods, and swap meets looking for the perfect find, a term affectionately known as “paling around”. He was an avid motorhead and

together they shared their passion of VWs, vintage vehicles and anything fast and furious.

Under his fathers tutelage he became a master mechanic and Jedi of VWs. On any given day you would find them working together and wrenching on their vehicles.

He took great pride in building his knowledge and ability to make his engine roar.

He also enjoyed his love of aviation. His brother, Marshall, taught him the love of antique aircraft and shared with him his incredible wealth of knowledge and the beauty of taking flight. As children and through adulthood we toured the airshows, fleet week and all things related to these beautiful machines. Last year he won a free flight on a Beech 18 at the Colombia Airport. He was so happy to present this to his Dad on Father’s Day. Together, with his brothers and girlfriend Katie, they all shared in the joy and excitement together. He took his last flight on his 30th birthday in South Lake

Tahoe in a Piper Archer, together with his brothers and friend Billy. Billy was so inspired that he is working towards achieving his private pilot’s license.

Another passion he shared was his love of music. As a family we would attend many concerts together. His brother, Patrick, and him would spend hours enjoying their many shared interests. Patrick would write and compose many songs that would reflect upon

his brother and family. He would sit with him during his time in the hospital and play them for him. Zip also liked to DJ with his friend Adrian. They would love to share the joy and inspiration that it brought to others.

Zip loved the holidays. He shared this with his Momma and he so enjoyed the love of food, lights and decorations. He always looked forward to Thanksgiving and would present me with a lighthouse to add to the Christmas collection he had begun for me.

The number grew large through the years and he would love all the beauty of light and colors it brought to our home. He loved to cook and prepare meals and most of

all enjoy eating them. His Grandma’s “snicker doodles” were his all time favorite cookie and said that the best ingredient was “love”.

Derek’s soul mate was Katie Musselwhite. Together they shared their life of love, laughter and promise for four years. He took pride in providing for her needs. They

shared their home together in Ripon. They could be found on their couch sharing their love of movies and cinema together. He encouraged her to fulfill her college

education in becoming a teacher. He loved her deeply and they had planned to marry and raise a family together. She stayed at his side during his entire stay at Renown Medical Center in Reno. We will always be eternally grateful for that.

Friends were another big part of Zips life. He had so many that loved and adored him.

He was endearingly known as “Papa Bear”. He began a tradition of “Friends giving”, a prelude to the Thanksgiving holiday, whereby all his friends and family would gather to celebrate the onset of the holidays with joy and merriment. He also was a founding father of the “Folkswagen Club” where his friends would gather to meet and share their love of Volkswagens and driving machines.

Work was a rewarding and fulfilling experience for him. He was a “certified energy analyst” for California Living and Energy. He loved his job and respected and admired all those he worked with. He felt blessed to be a part of their family. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks and debt of gratitude to Bill, Anita and their daughter Lexine for all of their contributions to his fundraisers and for turning his calendar on a monthly

basis in hopes of his recovery and return to work.

Zip loved his community of Ripon. He lived here his entire life. He would love to attend the street fairs, citywide garage sales, Almond Blossom and Karaoke at the Ripon Inn.

The community embraced him as well. We will always be eternally grateful to the Hendricks family, Carolyn, Mandi and Breanna for the extraordinary and successful effort they put toward his fundraiser. It was nothing short of amazing. To all those who attended and gave their support, prayers and words of encouragement we will always be forever grateful.

We extend a special “thank you” and our heartfelt gratitude to his Auntie Cindy. She would visit him in the hospital daily to work with him and provide him with her love and support.

Derek is preceded in death by his Grandpa Ed Dikos, Vovo and Papa Penaranda, Uncle Sergio Penalver.

He is survived by his parents Wayne and Debbie Penaranda, brothers Marshall and Patrick Penaranda, Grandma Rose Dikos, Aunties Rebecca Rodriquez and Cynthia Mojedh (David), cousins Amanda Rodriquez, Stephanie Sapiens (Al), Talmage and Kim Borrero, andVindi Minnie (Kevin).

Services are at Ripon Grace Brethren, 734 West Main St., Ripon, on Oct. 26 at 10:30am, with a luncheon to follow.

— Wayne Penaranda


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Comments (12)
  1. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    Thanks for sharing who he was with us :)

    It is very unfortunate that this happened, people apparently made some bad decisions that night, that ended in severe consequences for one man and his family, as well as the other parties involved, that still don’t know what their fate will be, plus having to live with knowing that you played a part in taking another man’s life

    I think the best we can hope for, is something can be learned from this, so that it will make others think twice, before reacting.

  2. Biggerpicture says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    To all those involved in this travesty:

    There is no statute of limitations on murder!

  3. Lisa says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    No profound statement from me….just my deepest most heartfelt sympathy at a loss that never should have happened. Devastates me that a man came to the most beautiful place on earth to have such a terrible thing happen here.

  4. Shmo says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    Well put Wayner. Love you Zip, see you on the other side, Brother.

  5. Grrl, Pootus, and Bentley says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    Our deepest sympathy and love. Zippy is one of the most amazing people we have ever known. We love you, Zippy!

  6. Rod n Trish says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    We know Zip is a very special young man, because we’ve known his beloved Katie since she was a child, smiles, laughter and goodness had always been words we associated with her, and all the pictures of she n her Zip protray a very joyous time together along with family n friends!! I know his gifts of Love will remain with all who he held close. Our deepest sympathy to you all.

  7. VWSwap says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    On behalf of the Mother Lode Volkswagen Club, I would like to extend our condolences to Zippy’s family & also members of Folkslaggen VW Club, who lost a wonderful friend. What a tragedy. Prayers & thoughts are with all of you.

  8. Kelleigh Sheridan OVP says - Posted: October 24, 2012

    I am so very sorry for your loss Wayne and Debbie and family. I am so very very sorry for Katie.
    My prayers are with you always and Know that Zippy is in a better place now not languishing in a damn hospital.
    Katie my hearr goes out to you. Please know Zippy will always love you and want you to succeed and be the best you can.
    God be with you all

  9. Jeremy Levin says - Posted: October 25, 2012

    Thanks for being a great friend Zip.

    I’ll never forget ya.

  10. Margo Temple says - Posted: October 31, 2012

    Thank you Zippy for being a great friend to my daughter jajones. That was the name you called her and she told me that you brought her a flower when you found out it was her bday. She told me the story. Zippy you always treated her like a friend and a lady. I will always miss your feet running up my stairs. Your enthusiasm is infectious and will always be remembered. We all will make sure that your family and Katy are cared for.

  11. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: November 5, 2012

    tahoe Joe,
    Really? You are saying this guy “Zippy” deserved to die? Pretty heartless and definetly not cool from my view of things.
    So if YOU go off the hill and have a few drinks and YOU get a bit rowdy and somebody beats YOU into a bloody pulp leaving you in a coma that leads to YOUR death, thats okay?
    I don’t care how much someone drinks or their crazy behavior effects others…but beaten to death? Thats okay with you? You be one crazy and cruel minded person. Old Long Skiis

  12. Joe t says - Posted: November 6, 2012

    Old long skis

    I would not expect a different result if I attacked the bar owner and security. You reap what you sow!