Here’s Mom’s obituary

Here’s another little glimpse of mom. The version for the funeral home.

Patricia Eileen Ryan was born on November 24, 1942 to Lorraine and Edward Ryan in the Bronx, NY. She grew up in Keansburg, New Jersey and graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School. Pat immediately joined the work force and commuted by ferry to NBC headquarters in NYC. She was on the job for both the Kennedy inauguration and his assassination. This early career excitement lit in her the desire to find meaningful work her whole life. In 1964 she married Til Zazzali. Pat and Til settled in Holmdel, NJ and had three children Susan, Christian, and Matthew. For about ten years Pat gave up work and took care of her kids and home. When the kids were older Pat returned to work. Eventually she landed an entry level clerical job at Fort Monmouth working for the Department of Defense. Pat retired from public service after a 22 year career where she had worked her way up to become one of the first female civilian executive officers, eventually working for three generals. While she was successfully climbing the career ladder she was simultaneously attending Brookdale Community College and raising three teenagers. Pat had an eye for beauty and great design skills which she applied to home remodels, gardens, and interior decor. She loved to share her green thumb and eye for color with family and friends. Once the kids were out of the house Pat and Til traveled and enjoyed themselves like newlyweds.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Ellen Perciaccanto. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Til Zazzali, her three children Susan, Christian and Matt, daughter-in-law Kernan, son-in-law Burt Mittelstadt, grandchildren Parker and Isabella Zazzali, niece Cara Perciaccanto, and brother Edward Ryan and sister-in-law Maureen.

Pat and Til were lucky to be surrounded by a community of caregivers that helped extend her life and keep her comfortable during her 14 years with Alzheimer’s disease. The family would like to particularly thank Deb, Vi, Sandy and the many hospice staff, including Sheena, Priscilla, Melanie, and Brooke for their compassionate and professional assistance.

We’d like Pat to be remembered for her love of travel, gardening, crafting, and her family. She brought beauty to all our homes and gardens. If you would like to make a donation in Pat’s memory please give to the Alzheimer’s Association at 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601or online at