Francis J. Zazella, Jr., 80, passed away peacefully Friday, November 17 in Chandler, Arizona after a long illness. Born in Paterson, New Jersey, he was the son of Francis J. Zazella, Sr. and Kathleen (Kelly) Zazella. His beloved wife of 57 years, Mary (Cole) Zazella, survives him, along with his daughter Kelly O’Connor and son-in-law Larry Scarborough, his son John Zazella and daughter-in-law Janet Zazella, and his five treasured grandchildren, Monica Zazella, Morgan O’Connor, Sarah Zazella, Gavin O’Connor and Thomas Zazella. He was brother to the late Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. Zazella, whom he missed profoundly since Tom’s passing in 2006.
Frank graduated from St. Bonaventure High School in Paterson, New Jersey and was awarded a degree in Criminal Justice from William Paterson College. He served honorably in the United States Army. While stationed in Georgia, he met Mary and they married on January 16, 1960.
Like his father, who was a Lieutenant with the Paterson Police Department, Frank was a policeman, and was one of the good guys in the truest sense. He began his career in law enforcement in 1961, when he became an officer with the Passaic County Park Police. He then joined the West Paterson Police Department, and retired from the force as a Sergeant in 1993 after 32 years of service. He was a member of Local 173 of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association and served as State Delegate.
A devoted fan of the New York Giants and Yankees, Frank spent many happy days enjoying sports with family and friends who knew him, variously, as “Buddy,” “Bud,” “Goose,” “Frankie,” “Zaz,” “Mr. Z” and, finally, “Poppy.” He loved his Monday and Friday rounds with his golf buddies in Phoenix, where he and Mary lived since 1993, and never skipped Taco Tuesday when he was in town.
Frank cherished his time with his cousins, Mary’s sisters and their families, his many friends in Arizona and New Jersey and, most of all, his children and grandchildren.
Memorial visitation will be Friday, January 5th from 10am-12pm at Santangelo Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the:
Boston University School of Medicine Amyloidosis Center