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Francesca Siro Zarelli
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Francesca Siro Zarelli, a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend passed away on February 8, 2019, at home with her family.  Francesca lived a full and active life with her family and many friends for 94 years.

Francesca was born in Utica on November 8, 1924.  She was the daughter of Francesco and Anna (Sumerano) Siro.  Francesca was a graduate of Thomas R. Proctor High School, and she continued her association with her classmates for over 70 years.  As there was no college in Utica when she graduated, she attended and completed the program at the Utica School of Commerce, and later continued her education at Utica College.

Francesca retired from the New York Telephone Company, where she held several accounting positions until her department moved to Syracuse. She also retired from the New York State Teamsters Association, where she worked in the claims department, retiring in the late1980’s to care for her husband, Guy.

On October 18, 1947, Francesca married Guy L. Zarelli, who eventually became the principal of Roscoe Conkling School, and together they shared an active social life with many good friends.  Francesca and Guy loved to dance and enjoyed that activity throughout their marriage at venues like Trinkaus Manor, Twin Ponds, and with a group of friends called the Top Hatters. The couple shared a loving marriage for over 54 years, until Mr. Zarelli passed away on September 19, 2001.

A beautiful and graceful woman with an impeccable sense of style, Francesca was known for her lovely demeanor, as well as her skill at creating a beautiful and elegant home, where she entertained family and friends.  For many years there were guests at the Zarelli dinner table several times a week.

Francesca was also an active member of many organizations including the New York State Women Incorporated (formerly BPW - Business and Professional Women), National Secretaries Association, Pioneers of New York Telephone, Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Christ Child Society, the Utica Comity Club and the Democratic Club of Utica.  Francesca was a lifelong faithful Catholic, having attended St. Anthony Church until her marriage.

After marrying Mr. Zarelli, she became a parishioner at St. Mary of Mount Carmel Blessed Sacrament Church, where in the early days, she and Mr. Zarelli sang in the choir and were members of the Dramatic Club. For the last 25 years, Francesca served as a lector.

Francesca had a great capacity for love.  She was caregiver for her parents and husband for many years, and a source of loving support for her children and family. Her legacy will be the close, caring family she created.

She is survived by her daughter, Annette Zarelli Parsons, of Williamsburg, VA; and sons, Guy Noel Zarelli and Jeffry Siro Zarelli, with whom she resided and who cared for her as her health began to decline. Francesca had two grandchildren, Annie (Steven) Kyriakides, of Seattle, WA, and Michael (Allie) Parsons, of Richmond, VA; and two great great grandchildren, Alan and Logan Kyriakides. She is survived by nephews that she regarded as her children: Francis (Carol) Siro, Tom Siro, Steve (Lorry) Siro, Frank (Linda) Marine, Paul Zarelli, Richard Zarelli, and David Zarelli; many great nephews and great nieces. She is also survived by members of the Sumerano, LaViola and Zaralli families in Italy, with whom she visited and actively corresponded.

She is also survived by Lucretia DeSantis Hunt, who was much like a sister to her throughout her life, and Michael DeSantis.  Also close to her heart were second cousins Peter, Joseph, Anthony, Vincent, and David Elacqua.

Francesca was preceded in death by her parents, Francesco and Anna Siro; her loving husband, Guy Zarelli; brother and sister-in-law, Anthony and Muriel Siro;  brother-in-law, August Zarelli; sisters-in-law, Louise Marine and Rose La Barbera; son-in-law, Roger Parsons; nieces, Patty and Cathy Siro; nephews, Dan Marine and John La Barbera; niece through marriage, Gayle Siro; close friends, Victor and Beatrice DeSantis and Carmella DeSantis Catera.

Her funeral will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 8:30 a.m. from the Matt Funeral Home and at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish, where Rev. James Cesta and Rev. Joseph Salerno will con-celebrate. Entombment will follow in the Calvary Mausoleum.

Relatives and friends may call on Friday, February 15th from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Matt Funeral Home, 700 Rutger St., corner of Mohawk St., Utica.

The family wishes to thank Behr’s Home Care for the wonderful devotion shown to Francesca during her illness.

In lieu of flowers, and in Francesca’s memory, donations may be made to St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish for a permanent memorial in Francesca’s honor or The Abraham House. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

For directions to the funeral home, click the link above.
Message of Sympathy
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Dear Jeff and family, I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Fran was a beautiful woman, inside and out. I pray that you find peace in all the wonderful memories you have of her. With love and heartfelt sympathy, Robin Arcuri Jones

Written by Robin Arcuri Jones
2019-02-12 10:44:34 PM

What a lovely tribute to a beautiful soul. I knew her through her nephew Steve as "Auntie" and know that she was loved and adored by her family. God Bless Guy, Jeff & Annette and the entire family. She lived a good life and a long life. May your warm and loving memories help to ease your sorrow during this difficult time.

Written by Julie stilwell
2019-02-13 1:15:02 AM

Francesca was a coworker of mine back in 1970 at the telephone company. She was such a hard worker and an extremely nice person. I really enjoyed working with her. My prayers go to all of her family and friends.

Written by Karen Eyerman Latus
2019-02-13 4:25:26 PM

Annette, Guy and Jeff, Ron and I want to express our deepest sympathy to all your family on the passing of your dear Mom. She and your Dad were always an inspiration to us when we lived in Utica and true and faithful friends. You were all loved very much by us and we will always have her and all your family in our hearts and prayers. God bless you all always.

Written by Ron & Mary Colucci Halkovitch
2019-02-14 6:18:31 PM

Really sorry to hear of your loss. I interviewed with Guy in 1969 for a 7th grade position at Conkling. I met Francesca when she hosted an evening for my wife and me at their home. Both left an indelible mark on me. I was also entrusted with Guy Jr. in my English class. He too made my time special. Know that your family will always remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Written by William Griffin
2019-02-15 9:16:40 PM