Cover photo for Judith B. Zanelli's Obituary

Judith B. Zanelli

September 29, 1933 — March 6, 2024

Shaker Heights

Judith B. Zanelli

Judith B. Zanelli, age 90, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with her family at her side.  “Judy” was born on September 29, 1933 in Passaic, New Jersey to Alice and Dewey Brown.


Judy was an avid reader from a very young age. When Judy was in first grade, due to her advanced reading level, the nuns at her elementary school would send Judy to read with, and to, the high school students. The town librarian, who would see Judy borrowing stacks of books weekly during the summer months, was often overheard encouraging Judy to “go outside and play”. 


Judy was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford, New Jersey.  

After graduation from high school, Judy moved to New York City and worked in the advertising industry.


On May 6, 1961 Judy married Bart T. Zanelli at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Spring Lake, New Jersey.  Following their marriage, Judy and Bart lived briefly in Maplewood, New Jersey before moving to Summit, New Jersey where she resided for 42 years and raised her four children, Bart, Matt, Beth and Peter.  

In 2002 Judy relocated to Shaker Heights, Ohio to live near her daughter, Beth.


Judy loved to spend time at the New Jersey shore, enjoying many summers in both Spring Lake and Sea Girt.  In addition to her love of reading, Judy had a passion for needlepoint which she shared with her family, teaching both her husband and children how to needlepoint. Their homes are filled with Judy’s beautiful pillows and other creations. 


Judy also enjoyed quietly watching her three sons and daughter participate in athletics.  She loved nothing more than spending time at the ice rink or lacrosse field with her children. 


Judy was predeceased by her husband Bart, and is survived by her four children; Bart, and wife Courtney, of New Vernon, New Jersey, Matt, and wife Ann, of Summit, New Jersey, Beth, and husband Ned, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Peter, of Shaker Heights, Ohio.


Judy is also survived by ten grandchildren, who she absolutely adored and loved spending time with; Bart III, Jack, Brett and Hugh Zanelli, Chris, Emi, Sam and Kit Zanelli, and Eliza and Olivia LaRue.


Honoring Judy’s wishes, services will be private.


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