Peter John Zarrilli
December 11, 1960 – August 25, 2019
Peter Zarrilli died suddenly of cardiac arrest on August 25 in Annapolis Maryland, at age 58.
Pete was born on December 11, 1960. The youngest child of Alice and Nicholas Zarrilli, he grew up in Havertown, Pennsylvania and graduated from Haverford High School in 1979. He was a Hilltop Swim Club “pool rat” for many summers, and his love of swimming launched a successful career in coaching, managing swim clubs, and basically anything water related. He did it all and did it well.
As swim coach at Haverford High, Pete had the most winning seasons of any Haverford coach in any sport. He trained future Olympic athletes and consistently “kicked butt” on behalf of District One in State competition. At the same time, he coached the Radnor Aquatic Club’s age group swimming. He loved his swimmers and maintained lifelong friendships with many of them.
Always a worker, always family first: Pete spent years helping his sister-in-law Sheryl with a start-up business. He also helped his brother Ron go from “idea and empty building” to operating “Zarrilli’s Steaks and Hoagies,” bringing Philly sandwiches to Maryland. These acts were true labors of love.
His love of doing, making, and contributing served him well. But his greatest bequest to everyone he left behind was his joy. Pete was the funniest and kindest of men. He will be missed.
Pete is survived by his sister Niki Barnes, his brother Ron and wife Claire, his brother Paul and wife Mary, and his sister-in-law Sheryl, wife of David Zarrilli who passed away in 2017. Pete is loved and missed by his many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, in-laws and out-laws, and hundreds of friends.
Memorial services will be held at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery, 1600 S. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA, at 11am on Saturday, September 7, 2019.
Contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to the American Heart Association at:
- Memorial Service Saturday, September 7, 2019
Peter John Zarrilli
September 7, 2019
I swam for Coach Pete at Haverford High School in the 90s, and even though our practice started before dawn, he was always ready with a smile and a set of 10 x 100s. I'll never forget the first year I qualified for the State finals. I finished my race and Coach Pete excitedly waved me over to where he was crouched on deck with his stopwatch and clipboard to watch the final heat and see whether my time would qualify for States. It's one of the most memorable moments of swimming for me watching the clock with Coach Pete and then our big smiles when we realized my time had qualified. We traveled out to State College for the State meet, and that was the year that the entire State meet was snowed in by three feet of snow. After the meet was over, nobody could leave, so the hotel threw a dance party to keep all the swimmers entertained and the coaches hung out talking at the bar. I remember how Coach Pete never complained and he just really enjoyed being there with all the other coaches reflecting on the season and discussing coach stuff, and talking about the next season.
August 31, 2019
Pete was a great friend. Who loved to share gaseous pyrotechnic demonstrations often while we were together. He hosted my bachelor party for a 18 yr old swimmers and younger at his house. His mom made a awesome cake shaped seductively. When hanging out with Rich we would time ourselves chugging beers, of course he won. We spent many hours swimming together and were friends in and out of the water. You will be missed.
Brian and Kathie