Derek Zannini

September 22, 1979March 31, 2021

Derek D. Zannini, age 41, of New Bedford passed away after a brief illness with his parents by his side.

Born in Providence, the beloved son of Ronald and Marilyn (Mello) Zannini of New Bedford, he was a lifelong City Resident.

Derek attended Holy Family-Holy Name School and went on to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from U-Mass Dartmouth. After winning the Judge’s Choice Award by entering the New Bedford Standard Times Photography Contest, he went on to earn his Certificate of Photography at Rhode Island School of Design.

Derek loved composing music and lyrics. He won first prize at the U-Mass Talent Contest for playing his own piano composition. Derek also played percussion in the U-Mass concert band and was a drummer for the jazz band.

Derek worked as a social worker, as part of a wonderful team, for the Department of Children & Families at the Plymouth Area Office. He previously worked at Better Community Living as a Program Director and Fellowship Health Resources as a Mental Health Counselor.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by five uncles, Bradford Mello and his wife Diane, Wayne Mello and his wife Chris, Anthony Campanile and his wife Cecile, John Zannini and his wife Joan and Richard Zannini and his wife Marie. He is also survived by his Godmother, Sheila Mello.

His visitation will be held on Monday, April 5, 2021 from 10:00AM-12:30PM at WARING-SULLIVAN HOME at DARTMOUTH, 230 Russells Mills Road, Dartmouth, MA with a 12:30PM service in the funeral home followed by burial at Rural Cemetery, New Bedford.

Donations in Derek Zannini's memory can be made to St. Jude Children's Research. For online tributes:


  • Visitation

    Monday, April 5, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, April 5, 2021

  • Burial

    Monday, April 5, 2021


Derek Zannini

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Laura Chevalier

April 7, 2021

My heart is hurting for you in hearing of the devastating passing of your beautiful son, Derek. I was blessed to have Derek as a student at HFHN and I remember him with great fondness. Mrs. Zaninni I remember you as a devoted, loving and involved mom. Your son must surely have left his mark on all of the people he met on his journey, which was so tragically short. I will pray for you as you go bravely forward surrounded by the love I know Derek has for you. Where there is faith, there is hope.
Laura Chevalier

G. Kelley Sullivan

April 6, 2021

I am so sorry to hear of this loss. Derek was always a kind ear to listen at school when we were kids. Im not surprised he dedicated his life to social work and art. I know that he rests in heaven and wish that he had been given more time to share his peaceful heart with us on earth.

Deidre Ramos

April 6, 2021

I met Derek when I walked through the doors of HFHN. Our class in 7th and 8th grade was a tight knit fun group. Derek always provided us with laughs that were full of tears. He could never answer a question correctly when called upon, even though he KNEW the answer. The memory of his smile..... I will always remember. Sleep well, Derek. I know God opened his arms to you. Rest peacefully old friend❤

Silvia Raposo

April 6, 2021

Yesterday we said good bye to a true angel that walked the earth. Derek and I worked for FHR for many years. I have a lot of wonderful memories and can say many kind words but that would take up all the space and leave none for anyone else to share theres. So I will only say this...Derek was a selfless, kind and compassionate young man. When he worked with our individuals we serve, it wasn't work for him. He made it look easy, the individuals never felt like they were getting a service, they felt like they were with a friend. Sometimes Derek would be late for a meeting, Derek your late, "I know, I took so and so for a ride, he asked to go around the beach so I took him". Then Derek would sit at the meeting, he would look up at us and smile. Derek you will forever be in everyones hearts especially with those individuals you served... your finally home... My thoughts are with your parents and family...

Kellie Helm

April 5, 2021

Derek and I started our DCF careers around the same time and a friendship formed soon after. We were in trainings together and it didn’t take long for me to see that Derek was a compassionate, driven, and devoted individual. I will cherish the times we spent having lunch and the greetings I received from him while walking past his desk.

To the Zannini family, My deepest sympathy for your loss.

Michaëlle Dimanche-Silva

April 5, 2021

Derek was a light among us now is he is a light Shining above us and down on us.

Michelle Gomes

April 5, 2021

I was saddened to hear about your passing Derek. We worked together for many years at FHR. Your compassion and dedication to the work we do was truly an inspiration. You were so caring and always had a smile on your face. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. May you rest in peace. My condolences to your family and friends. Derek you will never be forgotten. I am so grateful we crossed paths.

Angela Schroeder

April 5, 2021

My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Derek. I worked with him for many years at FHR. He had a passion for his work and was one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. He made the world a better place because of the love he shared through his beautiful work, music, and photography which he so feeling shared. He will be missed.

Melanie Levesque

April 5, 2021

My heart hurts to hear of the passing of a dear coworker and friend. Derek was known for his huge heart and infectious smile. Those that knew him, were touched by his kind and gentle ways. I worked with Derek for many years at FHR and the bond that he created for those he helped will forever be remembered. Getting your yearly birthday messages will forever be something I miss. You were an amazing person who was taken too soon. I hope you rest in peace and watch over those you love and kept close. My condolences go out to all those that were touched by Derek, may those memories you have of him live on forever.

Michael Gomes

April 4, 2021

My deepest condolences to the Zannini family and the rest of Derek's friends. I've been friends with Derek from New Bedford High to Umass Dartmouth and through the years. He was always up for an adventure to a concert or a discussion about psychology or music. Derek was kind and compassionate, enjoying a good laugh , and passionate about many things. May similar memories bring some peace for the family and friends during this difficult time .