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Born: Jul 28, 1928

Date of Passing: Jun 06, 2020

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July 28, 1928 - June 6, 2020

Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother left us this past Saturday to be with her God. Maria was born in Balvano, Italy, and was one of 11 children.
Maria and Domenico married in 1948 and had two children while still in Italy, Josephine and Andrew. In 1957 they immigrated to Winnipeg, where they added four more children to the family - Susanna, Viviana, Sonia, and Anita. Maria was predeceased by her husband Domenico in 1968 and raised her six children alone thereafter with the strength, love, and courage that few others could have mustered.
Maria is survived by her children, Josephine (Michele D'Andrea), Andrew Zarrillo (Robyn Elsner), Susanna De Luca, Viviana Zarrillo (Jesse Collins), Sonia (Dugane Quon), and Anita Zarrillo (Bella), as well as seven grandchildren, Giuseppe D'Andrea (Catherine), Ryan De Luca (Madelaine), Adam De Luca (Catherine), Jennifer Berard (Taylor Cameron), Nick Berard, Matthew Berard, and Emily Quon; and one great-grandson Michele D'Andrea. Maria was incredibly proud of her children's, grandchildren's, and great-grandson's accomplishments - yet all of our successes were because of the sacrifices she made so that we had the opportunities she never had - and we always made sure she knew that. Maria is also is survived by two brothers in Italy, Gerardo and Vito, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, their spouses, and their children. We are all heartbroken by her passing, although we are comforted knowing that she has gone to be with her beloved mother, sisters, and brothers whom she deeply loved and missed.
Maria and her children lived for many years in East Kildonan, where she was a good friend to many neighbours and her summer garden was the envy of the neighbourhood. Maria lived at Villa Cabrini for almost 30 years where, as was her nature, she had many dear friends, was very active in the resident's association, and served as the social convenor for many years. She was always ready to help organize events and was rarely in her suite. Maria was also fiercely independent and always prepared to help others, despite rarely accepting help herself. She was a proud Canadian citizen and always kept on top of civic, provincial, and national affairs, often calling her local representatives to advocate for her community - and when Maria talked, they listened. She was a force to be reckoned with.
Maria was a very spiritual person and a devout Catholic. She gave her time selflessly to her church - especially St. Alphonsus and Holy Rosary churches and the Catholic Women's League. She also volunteered with countless organizations over her lifetime, particularly in her later years to L'Arche Winnipeg, the supportive community where our dear Anita lives.
Maria both loved and had the good fortune to travel widely - visiting New Guinea, Mexico, and Uruguay, as well as the USA and coast-to-coast in Canada. She spent much time in California with her son Andrew. With her kind nature and sharp sense of humour it never took long for Maria to attain a devoted following of friends. She was accepting of all cultures and peoples, regardless of origin, religious beliefs, ability, or gender expression/orientation, and instilled these beliefs of love and inclusion in her children.
The family is immensely grateful to the paramedics and to the St. Boniface Hospital ER staff who attended to Maria in her final hours with skill and compassion, especially Dr. Gelic who made Maria's transition peaceful.

Goodbyes are only for those who
love with their eyes. Because for
those who love with heart and soul
there is no such thing as separation.
- Rumi

Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2020, at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, 510 River Ave., Winnipeg, MB, condolences will be offered at 10:00 a.m. followed by a private Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m., Rev. Father Sam Argenziano presiding. In keeping with COVID-19 health regulations, the number of people allowed in the church during visitation will be limited and we ask that people maintain physical distancing and precautions at all times.
Maria was not a pretentious woman and always preferred to give rather than receive.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to:

L'Arche Winnipeg at:

For online condolences or to light a
memorial candle please log on to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 10, 2020

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • Josie and Mike, our sincere condolences to you and all your family. What a courageous woman your Mom was. Riposa in pace. Josie and Pino Zimarino - Posted by: Josie (Garofalo) & Pino Zimarino (friends) on: Jun 13, 2020

  • Josie, Mike, Cathy, Joey and Michele, very sorry and sad for your loss. Know that as your friends we mourn someone so loved and precious. - Posted by: Evelyn and Jake Krahn (Old neighbours and friends) on: Jun 12, 2020

  • Josie, Mike and family. So very deeply saddened by the loss of your beloved mom and grandmother. May your loving memories bring you comfort and peace. - Posted by: Diana Gregoire (Family friend) on: Jun 12, 2020

  • Dear Josie and Family, I am saddened to hear of the passing of your mom. I will always remember her beautiful smile. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Rosa Militano - Posted by: Rosa militano (friend) on: Jun 12, 2020

  • Josie, Mike and the Zarrillo family, so sorry to hear about your Mom's passing. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. - Posted by: Rosa and Reg Rutherford (Friends) on: Jun 11, 2020

  • Susan, Vivian, Sonja, Anita, Josie and Andrew, I can't tell you how sad I am to hear of your dear mom's passing. I really loved your mom. I understood back then how tough it must have been for her to fulfill her commitment to ensure that none of you never missed out on life's opportunities to bring you joy and success. Susie, I remember watching your mom make blueberry cheesecakes for our train trip to Vancouver. We hadn't left the station and we polished off one of them. LOL! Yep! We were good for the rest of the trip. I have thought of you often and I am aware of the hard work that earned your success in your lives so you could do for your families as your mom did for you. Fantastic that she witnessed your accomplishments so she could believe that all her blood, sweat and tears paid off and all for good. Big hugs to you from me, Jill and I along with my family (The McWhinneys) send you our condolences. - Posted by: Jill Palmer nee McWhinney (childhood friend of Susanna and Zarrillo family.) on: Jun 11, 2020

  • The family, Our sincere condolences on the loss of your dear mother and nonna. May happy memories of times spent together help ease the pain. - Posted by: George and Rosa Rakic (Friend) on: Jun 10, 2020

  • "May tender memories soften your grief, May fond recollection bring you relief, And may you find comfort and peace in the thought Of the joy that knowing your loved one brought... For time and space can never divide Or keep your loved one from your side. When memory paints in colors true, the happy hours that belonged to you." --Helen Steiner Rice A truly wonderful woman who treated me like one of her own. She will be always remembered with warm thoughts for her strength, kindness, energy, and for the lightest, tastiest focaccia I have ever had !! Your mother was a gift to everyone who ever met her. Sorry for your family‚Äôs loss. - Posted by: Brent Hancock (Friend) on: Jun 10, 2020

  • We are thinking of you at this sad time with respect and our sincere condolences to all Zarrillo family and especially Josie & Mike D'Andrea whom we have known for a long time. Julie especially is saddened to hear about Maria's passing since she had known Maria personally through the CWL and her work at the Church. It is sad that we can not attend the funeral to celebrate Maria's life. - Posted by: Tony & Julie Garofalo (Friends) on: Jun 10, 2020

  • My deepest condolences Sonia, to you and your family. - Posted by: Frank Berard (Friend) on: Jun 10, 2020

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