Cover photo for Grace A. Celona Zarrella's Obituary
Grace A. Celona Zarrella Profile Photo
1924 Grace 2021

Grace A. Celona Zarrella

November 13, 1924 — January 13, 2021

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, funeral services and burial will be held privately. For those wishing to virtually attend Grace’s funeral, the Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, January 20th and will be live-streamed on the St. Anthony webpage.  Please go to and click on the blue Facebook “F” icon to the far right on the page. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to St. Anthony Church, 84 Salem Street, Fitchburg MA 01420.

Grace A. Zarrella passed away at home, surrounded by family, on January 13. She was born in Fitchburg on November 13, 1924 to Anna (Arena) and Francesco Celona. She was a graduate of Fitchburg High School, class of1942.

Grace lived a life of devotion to her faith and to her family. She was a dedicated member of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Fitchburg where she remained active throughout her life.

In 1959 she married her beloved husband, Mario, and began raising their family. From then on her children and grandchildren became her focal point. Holidays were big, welcoming events for family and friends and the celebrations always included multi-course Italian meals, lovingly prepared from family recipes, which Grace proudly passed on to her children and grandchildren.

Grace also loved to garden–a skill she learned from her parents–whose small farm yielded a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Working on the farm instilled a work ethic that followed Grace throughout her life. During World War II, she worked as an assembler at Fort Devens. Later, she worked for C. A. Cross in Fitchburg, and after her children started school she returned to the workforce as an employee of Sears and Roebuck in Leominster, where she was once recognized with the honor of Employee of the Year.

She is survived by her children, son John Zarrella and his wife, Victoria, and daughters, Anne Zarrella, and Angela Saball and husband, Alan, all of Fitchburg. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Anthony Zarrella and wife, Elizabeth, Michael Zarrella and wife Jessica, Elliot Saball, Joseph Saball, William Saball, Anne Saball, and Stephanie Saball, one great-granddaughter, Miriam, and another one on the way, brother, Frank Celona, of Fitchburg, sister-in-law, Marianne Celona, of Irvine, CA, sister-in-law, Gloria Hand, of Worcester, and brother-in-law, Lawrence Zarrella and wife, Virginia, of Fitchburg. She was predeceased by her husband, Mario, parents, Anna and Francesco Celona, brothers, Peter, Stephen, and Joseph, and sisters, Matia and Mary Celona.

Her family wishes to thank to Fr. Juan Ramirez and members of St. Anthony’s parish, Fr. Leo Leblanc, and Fr. Edwin Montana, whose prayers, visits and thoughtful cards and letters of support sustained her and her family through the past few months.

Her family is also grateful to her doctor, Mark Hryniewich and the staff at ReliantMedical for their compassionate care over many years, and during the past year, the family is also grateful for the care provided by her in-home caregivers and by the dedicated hospice team from Health Alliance Home and Hospice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Grace A. Celona Zarrella, please visit our flower store.


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