Obituary of Vincenzo Zurzolo
Vincenzo Zurzolo passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home in Rockaway Township on Saturday, August 12, 2023. He just finished picking tomatoes from his garden. He had shared 96 years of love, laughter, hard work, dedication, and unforgettable memories with family and friends.
Born and raised in Cittanova, a beautiful town in Reggio Calabria, Italy to the late Girolamo and Catarina, Vincenzo was one of fourteen children to bless the Zurzolo household. Growing up on a farm, with that many siblings, you learn many things early in life. Vincenzo, alongside his brother Salvatore, learned the importance of backbreaking work, how to be strong, and how to survive and take care of himself and family. He discovered his green thumb and love of gardening, a passion he took with him his entire life. After graduating high school, he proudly served his country in the Italian Air Force. He married his best friend, Rose (Franza), in the 50’s before immigrating to the United States. Vincenzo and Rose first settled into Brooklyn, NY and began to grow their family. They came here with nothing and lived the American Dream. In 1972, they relocated to the Rockaway Beach section of Queens, where they remained until retirement in 2001. Vincenzo always worked tirelessly to support his family. A natural born entrepreneur, Vincenzo has owned and operated several fine dining restaurants and pizzerias in NYC. He learned how to cook from the best chef’s around at 5-star restaurants, and he was a phenomenal Chef! If you have ever had the privilege of enjoying one of Vincenzo’s meals, you would know he truly was a culinary artist, always creating a delicious feast. His career began as a dishwasher, next pizzaiolo, then chef. His first restaurant was Napoli Restaurant in the Flatbush Section of Brooklyn, NY, he progressed to In Roma Di Notte -in the Gravesend Section of Brooklyn, NY, and then decided to share the responsibility with partners at Il Pescatore in the Bensonhurst Section of Brooklyn, NY. Once Vincenzo officially decided to leave the work force, he settled into the Fox Hills Section of Rockaway Township, NJ to be closer to family.
Although we are deeply saddened by his passing, we take comfort in knowing he is now reunited with his beloved wife, his parents, and siblings that have gone before him. His legacy will live on in the hearts of his loving sons, Salvatore (Meryl) Zurzolo, Jerry (the late Marybeth) Zurzolo, and Vincent (Josephine Dano) -Zurzolo; his cherished grandsons, Tyler, Brandon, and Dylan Zurzolo; and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends, including those in Italy.
Public Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 20th from 1 – 5 pm at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville. Funeral Service will take place on Monday, August 21st at 10 am at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville. Entombment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery, 361 Sharrott Ave, Staten Island, NY 10309. Memorial Donations are being accepted in Vincenzo’s memory to the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation by way of www.inmemof.org. Please light a candle, leave a condolence, and share your favorite memory to continue to celebrate his life.
Cari amici e familiari, È venuto a mancare Vincenzo Zurzolo, originario di Città Nova, Calabria. 30 gennaio 1927- 12 agosto 2023. Ha vissuto fino a 96 anni. La mia famiglia è stata molto fortunata ad averlo in buona salute per così tanto tempo. È morto dopo essere tornato dalla raccolta dei pomodori nel suo orto. Era l'ultimo di 14 figli. Sarà ricordato come un grande padre e marito. Era compassionevole, amorevole, divertente e sempre lì con una grande storia e consigli per chiunque ne avesse bisogno. Era un uomo motivato e laborioso, e veramente calabrese fino all’osso. Un uomo che ha lasciato la sua amata Italia con la moglie Rosa per vivere il sogno americano. Anche se in America, ha sempre tenuto l'Italia vicina e cara al suo cuore. Ha forgiato una carriera nella ristorazione italiana iniziando come lavapiatti, poi pizzaiolo, poi chef e ristoratore. I suoi figli, Salvatore, Girolamo e Vincent, le sue nuore Meryl e Josephine, i suoi nipoti, Tyler, Brandon e Dylan, tutti i suoi parenti e amici sentiranno la mancanza.
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