December 9, 2017
Josephine Zaccaria, 86, of Lords Valley, PA died December 9, 2017. “Jo” as she was known by her friends passed away peacefully after a brief hospital stay.
She was the first child of Agnes Mariconda and Joseph Spinelli, born January 4, 1931 in the Bronx where she graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1948. Jo married Sebastian Vito Abate in 1952, after being heavily pursued by him while they worked at the same insurance company. They had four children together, Joseph (deceased 1991), Frances, Angie and Vito and lived in Flushing, NY. After thirteen years of marriage, Jo became a widow and single mother in the 1960s. She attended classes, got her insurance broker’s license and took over her husband’s insurance business in Jamaica, NY. The business flourished; she later sold it and continued working there.
In 1972, she “went from A to Z” and wed Anthony Zaccaria, a widower also from Flushing. Josephine remained in the insurance business where she formed many lasting friendships. She was an active member of the Insurance Women’s Association of Queens County serving as its president from 1979 to 1981. In a business dominated by men, she became the first woman president of the Independent Insurance Agents Association of Kings and Queens County in 1987. She received several commendations over the years including one for her “dedicated and unselfish service” as president.
Jo was also very active in the Mary’s Nativity church choir in Flushing where she sang for many years. A theatre lover, she was a longtime subscriber to the Roundabout Theatre Company in NYC. She lived in Bayside for several years and then soon after retiring she relocated to Hemlock Farms in Lords Valley, PA, to be close to her beloved grandchildren.
Jo quickly became active in the choir of St. John Neumann Parish where she sang regularly and participated in several of their special performances while making many cherished friends. She was also a regular lector in recent years.
She is survived by her children Frances Martone (Larry), Angie Wagner (Danny) and Vito Abate (Ron), her grandchildren Emily and David Martone, her sisters A.G. McDermott and Rae Rella (Carlo). She was predeceased by her brother Paul Spinelli (Felicia).
She was an aunt, godmother, great aunt and great, great aunt to several nieces and nephews.
Jo enjoyed reading, Frank Sinatra, many PBS series and Criminal Minds. She loved feeding her hummingbird visitors and enjoyed cooking, baking and sharing her creations with others. She had a way with indoor plants and enjoyed gardening, though not weeding, in the summer. She also loved dressing nicely, buying shoes, telling stories, and always having a good laugh or a good dinner (or both) with good friends.
She will be loved and remembered by many people whose lives she touched and influenced.
Friends may call at Stroyan Funeral Home, 405 W. Harford Street, Milford, PA on Thursday, December 14, 2017 from 2 to 4 PM and 6:30 to 8 PM.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 AM on Friday, December 15, 2017 at the Saint John Neumann Church, 705 PA-739, Hawley, PA 18428 with Reverend Thomas Major officiating.
2 - 4 & 6:30 - 8 pm
Stroyan Funeral Home
405 W. Harford Street
Milford, PA 18337
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Saint John Neumann Church
Hawley, PA 18428
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