Shirley Zappala

Obituary of Shirley Zappala

~~Shirlee Sadler Zappala
Shirlee Sadler Zappala Shirlee (Sadler) Zappala, 84 years young, and formerly of Camillus, New York, passed away on May 13, 2017 after a long battle against leukemia.

She was preceded in death by the love of her life and husband, John M. Zappala, son Stephen D. Zappala, as well as her parents (Harold and Anna May Sadler), and siblings Ken, Earl, Dorothy, Merrill and Ross. She is survived by her daughte,r Janelle Zappala Flowers (Ben) of Deland, Florida and John Gregory Zappala (Shirl) of Powers, Michigan.

A most important part of Shirlee’s life was her family. She delighted in being Grandma to four wonderful grandchildren: Sadler and John Michael Flowers and Jason and Jocelyn Zappala. She also had six great grandchildren- Hudson and Avery Dolan Zappala, and Triston, Connor, Morgan and Sam Behrend. She will be fondly remembered by Noel Dolan and Ryan, Lindsay, Jonah and Dana Behrend. She leaves behind her loving sisters- in- law/best friends: Josephine, Mary, Rosie, Rose, Lois, Carol, Shirley, Pat, and Camille, two brothers-in-law, and an Aunt. Mary, Carol, Shirley, Pat and Camille; two brothers in law, an Aunt. She had many cousins; including special friends JoAnne and Betty and several nieces and nephews.

Born in Port Byron, New York, Shirlee graduated from Chittenango High School in 1950 and had lived a beautiful life in New York and Florida. She was a high school cheerleader and has been cheering for her family and friends ever since. Having confronted nearly four decades of Upstate New York winters, Shirlee and her family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where she enjoyed numerous friendships and spent many Sundays attending Tampa Bay Buccaneers football games. You could also find Shirlee walking hand in hand with husband John on a beach in Florida or Cross Lake, NY. In St. Petersburg, Shirlee was a member of the St. Jude Catholic Church, the St. Pete Yacht Club, Infinity and the Lorraine Society.


In 2002, Shirlee moved to Deland, where she could be closer to the Flowers family. She was credited by her two Floridian grandsons as making some of the best ice cream sundaes in Volusia County. She delighted in hearing from all her grandchildren and great grandchildren and watching them grow up. She could never get enough of their pictures and videos. She was a member of St. Peter Church in Deland and enjoyed Father Tom’s special visits. Shirlee was a former member of the Lake Beresford Yacht Club. Shirlee’s legacy of “being one tough, but tender” lady will remain with us and we will be reminded of her every time we see a freshly made pumpkin pie, a batch of Christmas cookies or some right out of the oven brownies.

Donations can be made to the Final Salute, Inc.Organization (866-720-9171; or This organization helps many female veterans receive transitional housing, emergency financial assistance, employment transitions support and provides financial scholarships to these women or their children. One of Mom’s special nurses was actively involved in this organization.


Thanks for the memories, Shirlee.