ROBYN M. ZAPPALA - BURLINGTON - Robyn M. Zappala, 52, of Burlington, died suddenly at her home on Tuesday evening from complications related to Systematic Scleroderma, which she had bravely battled for over 10 years. Born Sept. 7, 1960, in Methuen, Mass., Robyn was the daughter of Jeri and Fred Zappala of Methuen, Mass. Robyn attended Carlton College in Minnesota, and received her bachelor's degree from Indiana University in 1982. She continued her education and received her Masters Degree of Fine Arts from Arizona State University. Robyn then went on to work at the University of Vermont for 25 years, including her most recent role of Degree Audit Analyst. Robyn was extremely intelligent and had an incredible sense of humor. She was kind, gentle, caring and always put others' concerns ahead of her own. Robyn was always overly generous with unique gifts at Christmas and birthdays. She had a private and unassuming personality, but she was a talented writer and a published poet. She loved reading books. She was a staunch advocate for fellow employees going through adversity and would always stand up on their behalf. She found it easier to support and give care to others more than she ever did for herself. In her role in the Registrar's Office at UVM, Robyn made sure thousands of students had the necessary credits to graduate. Despite Robyn's diagnosis of Systematic Scleroderma over 10 years ago, she had an unrelenting perseverance to continue living a normal life. The fact that she worked right up until the day she passed away is a testament to her strength and determination. As well as her parents, Robyn is survived by her brothers and their spouses; nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. The family wishes to thank Robyn's close friend, Brookes Cowan, and also to acknowledge Emily Carter, both of Burlington. Both were among Robyn's most important and special relationships and she treasured baby-sitting, spending time and enjoying life with Emily and the Carter family. Relatives and friends are invited to visit on Sunday, July 28, 2013, at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen, Mass., for calling hours from 4 to 6 p.m., followed by a brief memorial service starting at 6 p.m. For directions or to leave an online condolence please visit www.cataudellafh.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Robyn Zappala's name to the New England Chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation, SFNE, 462 Boston Street, Unit 1-1, Topsfield, MA 01983.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on July 27, 2013