Cover photo for Laura Duke Zito's Obituary
Laura Duke Zito Profile Photo
1975 Laura 2023

Laura Duke Zito

June 6, 1975 — July 31, 2023

Laura Lena` Zito
Laura Duke Zito, 48, of Nederland, Texas, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 31, 2023, at her residence in Nederland.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 4, 2023, at Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches. Officiating will be Reverend Aaron Little. Burial will follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches. Additional seating will be available at Southside Baptist Church in Port Neches where they will be live streaming the service.

Laura was born in Nederland, Texas, on June 6, 1975, to Lawerence James Duke and Pamela Duke Housley. Laura was a middle child with an older sister Tina, and two younger brothers Larry and Kenny. From a very early age, she knew she wanted to be a teacher and teach Mathematics. She said she had always known what she wanted to do with her life. This gave Laura a very strong sense of purpose. She was a sweet girl and had many friends growing up. Some were still friends until the day she passed. She cared for people and loved animals with passion. Laura loved music and listening to Rock n Roll. She also enjoyed cajun music that her father would play on the radio when she was young. She would graduate from Nederland HS and go to Lamar University to get her Bachelor’s Degree and become a teacher. Laura taught for sixteen years at Odom Academy in Beaumont, Tx. She loved teaching at Odom. It was her dream come true. In June of 2000, she traveled to St. Louis to visit her grandparents and met Mike Zito. A local musician who was performing while Laura was celebrating her birthday with her sister Tina. Within a few years, fate would bring these two together in Texas for the next 20 years. She married Mike Zito on July 16th, 2005. She helped Mike get clean and sober from drugs and alcohol and begin his music career again. She also took on the role of Step-Mother to Mike’s three children, Zach, Riley, and Sam. She loved these children as if they were her own almost instantly. Laura would spend summers watching Riley and Sam while Mike would travel to play music. On November 21, 2006, Laura gave birth to Sophie Zito. Laura loved being pregnant and finally being a mother to her own child. Sophie was her dream child. On March 30, 2010, Laura gave birth to her second daughter, Josie Zito. Josie was Laura’s personality personified. Now with 5 kids and Mike’s music career starting to take off, Laura pursued finding the perfect house in Nederland for her family. She began to travel with Mike for his work and see the world. Laura and Mike went on many musical cruises together where Laura was able to meet some of her favorite artists and become friends. She loved being around the music and the laughter of the musicians. Laura and Mike traveled to France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico, Hawaii, Curacao, the Caribbean Islands, and so many more places over the last ten years of their beautiful marriage. Laura loved to travel to see the world, eat the food, and hear everyone speak their language. She was a proud wife and proud mother. She finally came home to Nederland to teach in 2016 at CO Wilson middle school. She was a Bulldog through and through. She taught 7th grade Math for 8 years in Nederland. She was the cheer sponsor for many years as well. She went to work early and left late, every single day of her life. Laura gave 110% all of the time, no matter what. In 2018, Laura and Mike took their love of making music and started their own record label, Gulf Coast Records. From the early days of selling Mike’s music at local bars to selling albums all over the world, Laura and Mike built their dream from the ground up. Laura would continue to teach and run the front office of Gulf Coast Records shipping all of the orders out, accounting for the artists, and helping in any way possible. Laura was a very hard worker. On top of all of this, she took care of her children and their home while Mike was gone working. She worked hard in the yard, rebuilt the back porch, redecorated rooms, and eventually would design a recording studio built behind their house for Mike and his music. Laura was a very proud Texan. She was a fierce ally to her friends and family. Laura spoke her mind and did not hold back when she had something to say. She was also a good listener and would always take the time to help her friends and family when they needed an ear. Laura was loyal. When she decided she liked you, then she liked you no matter what. She could forgive and was understanding. Laura loved her family, they meant everything to her. In July 2022, Laura was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Metastatic Cancer after months of horrible pains in her abdomen. She was given 9-12 months to live with treatment at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. Laura stood tall and decided she would put forth the fight of her life. She began chemotherapy treatments in August of 2022. Through the early months of treatment, Laura continued to try and teach at CO Wilson. She would be sick for days with horrible pain, but at some point, she would stand up and dust herself off and go back to school the next day to teach. She taught up to the end of the year when she retired with disability after 24 years of teaching Mathematics. Nothing made Laura more sad than having to end her teaching career. Through the final year of Laura’s life, she did not want Mike to come home from playing music or shut down their record label. She continued to run the label office from home as best she could while Mike traveled for work. Laura’s sister Tina would take on a heavy load, along with her mother Pam, of driving Laura back and forth to MD Anderson in Houston twice a month. Laura went on two cruises in 2023 and a trip back to Hawaii for one more hour in the sun. Laura loved the sun and the beach. She loved to feel the wind and listen to the waves. Laura came home and ended treatment in June of this year and began hospice. Her husband Mike came home to take care of her, and her family was there every step of the way. Laura never once complained about her lot in life. She was sad and didn’t want to leave her children or her husband and family. She loved her life in Nederland. But she never once complained. Laura was grateful and thankful and peaceful. Laura Duke Zito made her transition a little after 1pm on July 31st, 2023. She lay in her bed with her family surrounding her with love until her last breath. Laura was and will always be a teacher. She taught us all to love unconditionally. She showed love to everyone and every animal she encountered. She did not take life for granted. She changed thousands of lives as a teacher and gave the world music by inspiring her husband. Laura was the sweetest soul on this planet, and she will be deeply missed for so many years to come.

She is survived by her husband, Michael A. Zito of Nederland, TX; mother, Pamela Housley of Nederland, TX; two daughters, Sophie and Josie Zito of Nederland, TX; children of marriage, Zach Zito of Glendale, CA; Sam Zito of St. Louis, Missouri; and Riley Zito of Columbia, Missouri; sister, Tina Baker of Nederland, TX; brothers, Larry Duke of Nederland, TX; and Kenny Housley of Port Neches, TX; extended family members, Lee, Hayden, Georgana, Lauren, Lizzie, Blakely, Kelci, and Kapri.

She was preceded in death by her fathers, Lawerence Duke and Walt Housley; her grandparents, and her niece Brenee` Duke.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Humane Society of SETX, Circle of Hope Nederland, TX, or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network - ww.pancan.org.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Laura Duke Zito, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, August 4, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Levingston Funeral Home - Port Neches

2001 Nall Street, Port Neches, TX 77651

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Levingston Funeral Home - Port Neches

2001 Nall Street, Port Neches, TX 77651

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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