Longtime Cambrian Bordegaray, 97, dies

Owned laundry where Hearst Castle had washing done

ktanner@thetribunenews.comJune 20, 2013 

UPDATE, 7:20 p.m. Tuesday: A memorial service for the late Hazel “Zel” Bordegaray has been set for 11 a.m. Monday, July 8, at Old Santa Rosa Chapel, 2353 Main St. in Cambria’s East Village. A reception follows at the Bordegaray residence. For details, email lzepeda@cox.net or call (520) 548-5634.

ORIGINAL STORY: Longtime Cambria resident Hazel “Zel” Bordegaray, 97, of Cambria died Wednesday, June 5, at a local care center.

Bordegaray and husband Pierre “Leon” Bordegaray of San Francisco bought the Cambria Pines Steam Laundry in April 1939. They sold the property in 1961 to the state to make way for Highway 1’s new route.

The laundry’s star customer was publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, builder of Hearst Castle. Palatial as it was, it had limited laundry facilities, which were often overwhelmed, especially when there were guests, which was most of the time.

Hearst’s linens and clothing required special handling, Zel Bordegaray recalled in 1998, including the media magnate’s “beige silk nightshirts and size 19 dress shirts.”

Zel Bordegaray also was a Hearst Castle guide for about a decade, and was noted for her “Zel-isms.” She traveled the world with her “Sunshine Girl” group of friends, including Betty Soto Williams, Hazel Lyons, Helen Walter and Rita Gray (wife of the town doctor).

The couple was active in the community. The Bordegarays were noted for their work ethic, kindness, delightful senses of humor and civic dedication to such organizations as the Women’s Athletic Club and Native Daughters of the Golden West, Cambria Volunteer Fire Department, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club and water board (Leon Bordegaray, who died in 1998, was the first general manager of the Cambria Community Services District).

Arrangements are underway for services at Old Santa Rosa Chapel.

Follow Kathe Tanner on Twitter at @CambriaReporter.

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