Catherine Zarelli

January 6, 1920 ~ January 5, 2021 (age 100)


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. 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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