OBITUARY

Grace A. Zanki

May 21, 1928March 31, 2019
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The second daughter born to Antonio and Concetta Miceli in Brooklyn, New York, Grace grew up in a home full of extended family and expansive feasts. Grace had her share of adversity beginning at an early age with orthopedic and vision issues. Despite this she expressed herself through drawing, painting and singing. In 1950 she married Nicholas P. Zanki. A few years later, the family settled into a small home in Paramus, New Jersey where Karen was born.

Grace and Nick became active in grassroots politics and civic endeavors such as Grace’s membership in the Federation of Women's Clubs. Supporting youth, Grace produced an annual scholarship show: directing, writing and acting to help Paramus youth with funds for college. Her three children lived in a loving culture of extended family, food, neighbors, friends, yards and pools. After being widowed in 1972 and with family support Grace’s healing manifested in her volunteerism for “Parents without Partners” helping grieving, single parents cope. She also served with distinction as a Paramus Recreation Commissioner, instrumental in the development of a recreation center.

Grace proudly maintained active memberships in the Democratic Party and the Federation of Women’s Clubs which continued until her death. In Colorado, Grace held office in the State Chapter of the Federation and locally she was a founder of The Southwest Denver Women’s Club.

As an active senior she taught art enrichment programs, studied tap dancing, cared for her elderly mother and was active in her grandchildren’s lives. Grace had tremendous joy singing in her church choir and valued the deep friendships she made with choir and club members. As her family grew, Grace nicknamed herself, “Gramz” for her grandchildren who completely and utterly stole her heart.

In 2016 she bravely moved to California to spend her last years in close proximity to more family members, continuing her Facebook blogging and tweeting to encourage a more respectful, tolerant world.

Grace once named her heroes: her father, husband, brother-in-law George; Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford, Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, President Obama and Rachel Maddow. Even more so, her children, grandchildren, and her family and friends, and many loved ones who have preceded her in death.

Grace is survived by daughters Karen Joy Zanki and Donna Smith, son Steven Zanki and daughter-in-law Leslie Zanki and grandsons Nicholas B. Smith, Dylan P. Zanki and Grayson J. Zanki; also family members, Eddie Creasy, Chelsea and Jason Marx, sons Kieran Marx, Brennan Marx, and many nieces, nephews and cousins and their families across the country.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, April 9, 2019
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, April 9, 2019
  • Graveside Service Tuesday, April 9, 2019
REMEMBERING

Grace A. Zanki

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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Arriving at the house in Mission Viejo

FROM THE FAMILY

September 21, 1950 Brooklyn, NY

FROM THE FAMILY

September 21, 1950 Nicky & Grace

FROM THE FAMILY

December 8, 1985 Steven escorting Mother of the Bride for Smith's wedding

FROM THE FAMILY

In NJ for a family wedding

FROM THE FAMILY

Kevin & Harriet visit Mission Viejo

FROM THE FAMILY

Lydia & Grace

FROM THE FAMILY

Sassy lassy

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Arriving at the house in Mission Viejo

FROM THE FAMILY

September 21, 1950 Brooklyn, NY

FROM THE FAMILY

September 21, 1950 Nicky & Grace

FROM THE FAMILY

December 8, 1985 Steven escorting Mother of the Bride for Smith's wedding

FROM THE FAMILY

In NJ for a family wedding

FROM THE FAMILY

Kevin & Harriet visit Mission Viejo

FROM THE FAMILY

Lydia & Grace

FROM THE FAMILY

Sassy lassy

FROM THE FAMILY