Cover photo for Mario A. Zarrella's Obituary
Mario A. Zarrella Profile Photo
1925 Mario 2020

Mario A. Zarrella

December 5, 1925 — December 24, 2020

ZARRELLA – Due to COVID-19 restrictions, funeral services and burial will be held privately. For those wishing to virtually attend Mario’s funeral, the Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, January 5th 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 his memory to St. Anthony Church, 84 Salem Street, Fitchburg MA 01420.

Mario Zarrella passed away at home on December 24, surrounded by his family.  He was born on December 5, 1925 to John and Angelina (Cefalo) Zarrella. A lifelong resident of Fitchburg, he was a proud graduate of the Fitchburg High School class of 1943, and later took courses at the Becker College School of Business Administration,

He earned his private pilot license and enjoyed flying over the Montachusett area viewing the vistas of his beloved hometown and the surrounding area.  And because of his love of his hometown he became active in the local community, serving as President and other roles in the Water Street Businessmen’s Association and later as a member of the Fitchburg Zoning Board of Appeals for more than 20 years.

Mario was a grocery man at heart, and began his career working in the family business at Zarrella’s Market on Water Street in Fitchburg.  After a brief detour as a store manager with Sherwin Williams, he spent the rest of his career in the grocery business, as a store manager for Tom’s Food World, and later for Victory Markets.

Mario’s family was the center of his life—whether it was the simple joy of going out to breakfast with his brothers—or gathering at home for birthdays and holidays with his beloved wife, Grace and children and their families. He and Grace also enjoyed taking numerous trips to Maine with their good friends, the Pandiscios and the Guidaras.

Mario was a lifelong member of St. Anthony’s of Padua in Fitchburg, where he thrived among a close-knit community which he considered part of his extended family.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Grace (Celona), his son John Zarrella and wife, Victoria, daughter, Anne Zarrella, and daughter Angela Saball, and husband Alan, all of Fitchburg, and grandchildren, Anthony Zarrella and wife, Elizabeth, Michael Zarrella, and wife, Jessica, Elliot Saball, Joseph Saball, William Saball, Anne Saball, and Stephanie Saball, and one great-grandchild, Miriam Zarrella with another great grandchild soon to arrive.  He is also survived by his sister Gloria Hand of Worcester, brother Lawrence Zarrella and his wife Virginia, of Fitchburg, his brother-in-law, Frank Celona of Fitchburg, and sister-in-law, Marianne Celona, of Irvine, CA, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, John and Angelina, sisters, Maryann Zarrella, and Lena Gallant, brothers, Pasquale, William, and Alfred.

His family is grateful for the excellent care provided by his doctor, Mark Hryniewich and his staff at Reliant Medical for many years.  And in his last months he was gently cared for by dedicated home health aides Sally, Kellie, Alice, Krysti, B, Sherri, Patty, John, Maria and Christine, and by the nurses and therapists of Montachusett Home Care, Care Central VNA, and finally Health Alliance Home Health and Hospice.  The family is forever grateful to all of his caregivers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to St. Anthony Church, 84 Salem Street, Fitchburg MA 01420.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mario A. Zarrella, please visit our flower store.


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