Mapuana Jessica Alyce Zuleger née Arioli peacefully passed away at the age of 94 at home with her family at her side on February 24, 2023.

She was born to Mary Madaline and Walter Peter Arioli in Honolulu Territory of Hawaii on January 6, 1929.

When she was 8 years old, Mapuana lived in Honolulu, Hawaii at Pearl Harbor. She remembers being at the Catholic cathedral when soldiers entered during mass. They went to the priest to tell him we were being bombed and everyone to go home for shelter. The whole family gathered at her grandfather’s house in the cellar with the men outside.

After attending the University of Hawaiii and St Luke’s School of Nursing, she was registered in the State of California, practicing for 41 years first in San Francisco and Oakland hospitals as a surgical nurse, then Blue Lake and McKinleyville as her husband’s nurse.

Mother and father meet in St Luke’s Hospital, where father was a doctor. After they married, they went into the Army, Third Armored Division, for two years. When my parents’ got out of the military, they came back to California to start a practice. In 1958, my father wanted to be a country doctor and Simpson Lumber Company in Korbel invited him up to work here. At the time there were only 24 doctors in this area with Trinity Hospital in Arcata. He was offered the moon and an office in Blue Lake. It worked. Their last two children were born here.

We saw a lot of work in those days. The mill was working 24/7. Dad did house calls and would take patients in to the hospital if they could not make it there themselves. She worked as his nurse and took care of five children. Many of the patients remember her for her patience and her beauty. Years later, several patients confessed they had fallen in love with her. She loved clothes and when she first came up here, she would wear dresses only. Her friend told her she could wear slacks like Jacqueline Kennedy.

In 1964, during the great flood, she stayed at the house with us while father was at the triage center. She had to deal with us and people knocking at the door.

In the 1970s, she decided to open a restaurant, Al Capone’s Pizzeria in Arcata, to keep even more busy. One customer would buy a loaf of bread every day to eat on the way to work.

She loved dark chocolate and would eat it every day if she could. On one of her birthdays, she got 200 pounds of Cherrie Royals from Partrick’s Candy and ate them all. She loved dogs and always had one.

She is survived by her much-loved children Peter and wife Diane, Mary, Jamie and Louise; and sister-in-law Lois Arioli and family of Shawnee, Kansas. She was predeceased by her husband, Doctor Rolf August Zuleger.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Mapuana Zuleger’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email