Catherine Zarelli
1920 - 2021
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Catherine Zarelli
January 5, 2021
University Place, Washington - Catherine Marie (Kay) Zarelli passed away peacefully at home from natural causes on January 5, 2021, in University Place, WA, one day before her 101st birthday. Mom was born on January 6, 1920, in Tacoma, WA, to parents Sam and Vera Chiappetta, the second of their four children. The family moved to Chicago, IL when she was 7 and she attended Holy Family Elementary School and St. Mary's High School. She worked for Sears Roebuck for seven years contributing to the financial support of her family. While vacationing in Vancouver, BC, in 1945 she was introduced to E.J. (Jimmy) Zarelli and in 1946 the two married. They settled in Dash Point, WA and quickly started a family. In the early 1950s, Mom and Dad moved the family to their new home in Lakewood. She was a devoted mother and wife and the foundation of our family. One of her greatest joys was gardening where she spent countless hours tending to the yard. Mom had a great wit and memory and was quick with stories of her youth and early adult years. She was blessed with good health to the end. Everyone who had the opportunity, truly cherished their time visiting and talking with her about her 100 years of life experiences. Mom was a devout Catholic and founding member of St. Frances Cabrini Parish where she served as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister. She also gave of her time helping at school functions and was a proud Girl Scout leader. She was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Jimmy and brother Arthur and sister Henrietta. She is survived by her sister Marie Grippo, daughters Dorothy Zarelli (John Parker) and Barbara LaSalle (Michael), sons Leonard (Darcy) and Carl (Jenean), eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren as well as a number of extended family members. A private family mass will be held at St. Frances Cabrini church. Please visit to leave online condolences. In lieu of flowers or cards, please consider a gift to St. Frances Cabrini School Zarelli Endowment in Mom's memory. Rest In Peace loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. We love and miss you.

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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Jan. 10, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by GAFFNEY FUNERAL HOME
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4 entries
January 12, 2021
I have fond memories of Catherine from our days at St Frances Cabrini including numerous Mardi Gras dinners she and Jimmy hosted. We sometimes served on the altar together. I loved her ready wit and the twinkle in her eye. My condolences to all of you who have lost the leader of you pack
Andie Gernon
January 10, 2021
Your mother was a lovely person. You were blessed to have her in your life for so many years.
Melaine McCann
January 8, 2021
I have many fond memories of Catherine. Am privileged to have known her and worked for her. My sincere condolences. Tim
Tim Stephens
January 8, 2021
To the Zarelli Family
Dorothy, Barbara, Leonard, and Carl.
Also Aunt Marie Grippo and Henrietta Pellicani families.
As a member of the Grippo side of Aunt Marie's family I wanted to extend our condolences on your loss.
Our families have known each other for many years.
We have shared many memories.
Personally, I was shown many wonderful kindnesses while in the Army and stationed at Ft. Lewis.
I never felt loneliness for all the Chicago relatives because I had all the Tacoma relatives of Aunt Marie looking out for me.
Thank you for making me part of your family.
Respectfully Peter
Peter A. Magnine
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