Zona was born March 7, 1941 in Santa Barbara, CA to the late Arthur B. Phillips and Arizona Chavez Phillips. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Ken Dirks, and one brother, Bradley Phillips.
She met her husband Ken while living in Las Vegas, where they had four sons. The couple moved to Hickory in 1974, where their daughter Kristin was born in 1977.
Zona and Ken worked for Centel Telephone Co. as they sent their five children through college, while she also earned her degree in psychology from Lenior-Rhyne College. She was very involved in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, the Joy Sunday School Class, youth ministry and mission work. After her retirement, she and Ken became directors at United Methodist Camp Carolwood. They spent many wonderful years rejuvenating and improving Camp Carolwood as it became a special place in their hearts.
Zona’s passions were her family, many pets, playing cards with friends, and dancing. She was honest, outspoken, full of life, endearing, and liked staying active. She overcame many obstacles including poverty, lack of education, loss of a husband, and home renovations. Her family was her true passion and her grandchildren were proud of the fact that they had a really unique and cool grandmother.
Survivors include her five children, Mark Dirks and wife Tracy of Summerfield, NC, Dereck Dirks and wife Heather of Clemmons, NC, Brandon Dirks and wife Katie of Crestwood, KY, Corbin Dirks and wife Dena of Advance, NC, and Kristin Krekorian and husband Michael of Tampa, FL; twelve grandchildren: Ryan Dirks, Elise (Ellie) Dirks (Summerfeld, NC), Kenzie Dirks, Baxter Dirks (Crestwood, KY), Brina Grady, Junah Grady, London Dirks, Sydney Dirks (Advance, NC), Kenley Dirks, Mila Dirks (Clemmons, NC), Ashleigh Krekorian, Evan Krekorian (Tampa, FL); and the beloved in-law Dirks from Kansas.
Services will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, May 10, 2019 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church with the Rev. Monica Childers officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the church parlor.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 pm on Monday, May 13, 2019 at Buhler Cemetery in Buhler, KS.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Humane Society (PO Box 63, Hickory, NC 28603) or Carolina Caring (3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658).
Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the Dirks family and online condolences may be sent to www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com.