Mary “Elise” (Larkin) Zarrilli, 89, of Southborough, died peacefully at St Patrick’s Manor on Friday, August 16, 2019 in Framingham. Elise was born in Ansonia, Connecticut to Joseph Clement and Mary ( Conlon) Larkin.
Elise, the oldest of five children, grew up in her beloved city of Ansonia, moving several times as the family grew and eventually prospered. She went through the Ansonia Public School system and later through Saint Mary’s High School in New Haven from which she graduated in 1948. After high school she was admitted to the RN program at Greenwich Hospital, where she excelled as a student and went on to become a successful OR nurse. Equally important, she developed friendships with classmates, some cherished, one lasting for her entire life.
Elise married Vincent Zarrilli in 1954 and moved to Massachusetts , where she had five children between 1956 and 1964. The family settled in Sudbury. Despite the strong life challenges during the seventies, she demonstrated the toughness and determination her family and friends so admired. Inspired by the real estate career of her father, she obtained her brokers license, and success selling houses in the Sudbury area soon followed. She concurrently worked nights at the Framingham Detox Center as a nurse.
The single greatest tragedy of Elise’s life was the death of her youngest child, Paul, at age 32 of heart failure after chemotherapy. Her strength was tested as never before with his death. Though she persevered and demonstrated happiness in the decades that followed, she deeply missed Paul and spoke of him often for the rest of her life.
Elise loved spending time on Cape Cod with her family. She loved to sing patriotic songs with her grandchildren and attended every Irish and American parade she could find.
Elise is survived by four of her children: Gerry Zarrilli and his wife Wendy; Joe Zarrilli and his wife Lori; John Zarrilli and his wife Jeanne; Mary Connaughton and her husband Rick; her daughter-in-law, Dianna Zarrilli; her grandchildren, Amelia Zarrilli, Katie and Kristi Zarrilli, Paul Jr and Stanley Zarrilli, Emily and Michael Zarrilli, as well as Phillip, Paul, and Ben Connaughton; her two great-grandchildren, Canio and Audrey Mosby; her surviving siblings, John Larkin, William Larkin, and Judy Larkin. All are beloved.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, August 20, from 9 to 10 am at Morris Funeral Home , 40 Main Street,Southborough, followed by a 10:30 am funeral Mass at St Anne Church, 20 Boston Road, Southborough. Burial will follow in the Southborough Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in Elise’s memory to Music Mends Minds c/o Ansonia Rotary club. PO box 575, Ansonia, Ct. 06401 and/or St Patrick’s Manor, 863 Central St., Framingham, Mass. 01701.
To leave words of condolence to the family, please visit www.morrisSouthboroughfuneral.com.