April 28, 1948 - December 22, 2020
UTICA - Donna Marie “MiMi” (Alam) Zegarelli, age 72, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 with her loving family by her side. Born in Utica on April 28, 1948, Donna was the daughter of the late Thomas and Helen (Yahoudy) Alam. A Mt. Carmel girl, she was proud of her Catholic grammar school education. She was a graduate of Utica Free Academy/Class of 1966. On November 16, 1968 she wed James Zegarelli with whom she shared a loving marriage of 25 years blessed with two children. Donna continued to be ‘best of friends’ with “Ziggy” which made for a happy group that shared life with a rare blending. Donna was graced with happiness again in her 25 year relationship with Philip “Phil” Bowser, “a second chapter of life in which she found her soul mate”. Donna’s employment varied in jobs and titles during her working career, including her positions as Assistant to the Dean at MVCC and owner and operator of Ziggy’s Exercise Salon. The hallmark of her career was becoming a franchise owner of Cruise Planners where she was passionate about creating a picturesque vacation for her patrons, many of whom she escorted personally on the seas. Her title also included being a Travel Agent Specialist and she was often called on to be the coordinator of National Sales Meetings. She took pride in all her endeavors and throughout her working years she made many long lasting friends through her adventurous heart and affinity for interacting with people, attributes that garnered her success. A wonderful, kind woman, Donna was generous to a fault, especially to her loved ones, who meant everything to her. She was prim and proper, well attired, and blessed with intelligence. Her life experiences granted her wisdom, an open ear, a keen eye, and a mind that absorbed things with great intensity. She centered her life around her children, Phil’s family, and her grandchildren who brought her so much joy whenever she was able to be with them. She was their “MiMi” and she loved them selflessly. Donna’s daughter aspires to totally emulate her mom’s maternal finesse in raising her own children. Donna had guidelines for her kids, and not much got by her! As her children entered adulthood, they became best friends with their mom. Donna had the pleasure of traveling and sightseeing aboard a total of 52 Cruises, those were the best of times! She took pride in cooking, baking and watching her family enjoy her many specialties. When it came to music, she loved the 1960’s songs and style of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons so much that she saw the Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, Jersey Boys, three times! She was also fond of tunes by the Beach Boys! Like many of her era, she never outgrew the smooth Motown sounds of 60 years ago! She was also an aficionado of the Jitter Bug, and on the dance floor Donna was admired for her rhythm, grace, and style. She moved to the Dover/Randolph area of New Jersey, a residence with proximity to the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple and the beauty and charm of New Jersey where she resided for over 25 years. She had a wonderful time during her stay there. As her retirement years approached, they decided to relocate back to Utica to be closer to family and the familiarity of ‘home’. She listened to all of life’s lessons and learned that being with family is everything. She loved canines, and last January a beagle named Abby became the love of her life, and now Phil will carry on the love the two of them shared. Donna practiced her Catholic faith as a communicant of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish. She had a prayer list that was a mile long, found peace in attending Mass, and did good deeds for anyone in need. Donna is survived by her husband, Phil; her son, James Zegarelli, Jr. and fiancée Katrina Jones; her daughter and son-in-law, Ginamarie and Patrick Corridori; Phil’s children, Bryan and Caytie Bowser, and Michael and Meghan Bowser; and her grandchildren, Julianna Zegarelli, Thomas Zegarelli; Patrick Corridori, Gino Corridori; and Kendyl, and Tyler Bowser. She also leaves numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins; Kerry Cichon who was like a daughter to her and her childhood friends with whom she held a sisterhood bond, Vicki Myers, Janet Streeper, Geri Abruzzo. She always held close those who preceded her including her aunt, Sally Polizzi; her nephew, Michael J. Zegarelli III; her niece and goddaughter, Maria Zegarelli Rolchigo; her special cousin Tony Summa, her lifelong friend Virginia Camanjani, and her brother-in-law, Patrick Zegarelli. The family extends sincere thanks to the MVHS at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, especially ER Charge Nurse, Stacy Walton; ICU staff especially nurses Jackie Madia and Dan Freedman. Donna’s family will never forget these outstanding and compassionate people during such a difficult time of need. The family will honor and commemorate Donna’s life at a private time. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Donna’s Memorial Mass of Christian Burial which will commence on Saturday morning, January 2, 2021 at 10:00 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish. Social distancing, registration for contact tracing, and a mask covering your nose and mouth will be required. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Donna’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital online at https://www.stjude.org or the Saint Agatha Foundation online at https://www.saintagathafoundation.org. Envelopes will be available at the service. During this time of social distancing that we are all experiencing, please take a moment to connect with Donna’s family through the “Memories” section of her obituary. Our prayers go out to all as a sign of our continued support.
UTICA - Donna Marie “MiMi” (Alam) Zegarelli, age 72, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 with her loving family by her side. Born in Utica on April 28, 1948, Donna was the daughter of the late Thomas and Helen... View Obituary & Service Information
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