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Baselio G. "Joe" Zorzanello

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Baselio G. "Joe" Zorzanello Obituary
Orange - Baselio G. "Joe" Zorzanello, LCDR USN (Ret.), 95, died of complications from a stroke on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at Connecticut Hospice in Branford.

Mr. Zorzanello was born in West Stockbridge, Mass., the son of Guglielmo Zorzanello, a baker, and Bianca (Collalto), a homemaker. He did not learn English until he went to school but excelled academically, eventually skipping a grade. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1935, and served in World War II, earning more than a dozen medals, including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with Valor for heroism in a combat zone. He was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Corregidor and survived 39 months in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. There, he became friends with Louis Cusano, who later introduced him to his sister, Margaret Cusano. Joe and Margaret married in 1952, and remained together until her death in 2006.

Mr. Zorzanello retired from the Navy in 1957, and he and Margaret moved to Niantic. They raised their family there until 1978, when they moved to Frederick, Md. They spent 20 years there, where he pursued hobbies such as wine tasting and photography. In 1998 they moved back to Connecticut, settling in Orange in order to be closer to children and other family.

Margaret was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2001, and he cared for her until her death in 2006.

Mr. Zorzanello leaves two sons, Bill (Jill) of Mullica Hill, N.J., and Barry (Tami) of Sandy Hook; three daughters, Mary of New Haven, Carolyn Byron of Southington, and Elizabeth Emery of Havertown, Pa.; a sister, Lydia Gerard of Great Barrington, Mass.; nine grandchildren, Destiny VonHof, Billy and Sophia Zorzanello, Arthur Abeshouse, Julia and Joseph Byron, Elisabeth, Marissa and Nicholas Emery; and many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at Smith & Sefcik Funeral Home, 135 Broad St., Milford. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday directly in Holy Infant Church, Race Brook Road, Orange. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

The family wishes to express their deep thanks to his caregiver for the past two years, Sena Grandison, and to the caring people of Connecticut Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Connecticut Food Bank or the .

To leave condolences or for directions, please visit our website, www.georgejsmithandson.com
Published in The Day on Jan. 23, 2013
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