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Official Obituary of

Marilyn J Zappa

May 30, 1940 ~ January 24, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Marilyn Zappa Obituary


Marilyn Joan Zappa 83, of Naperville, IL passed peacefully in her sleep January 24th, 2024. Born in Pittsburgh , PA the daughter of Christine (Jakovac) and Edward Madej.

A gifted musician, artist, writer, seamstress and gardener upon graduating high school she briefly attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA where she met and married Albert Zappa in 1959. Together they had three children and moved to the Chicagoland area in 1970.

She is preceded in death by her parents Christine (Jakovac) and Edward Madej, former husband Albert Zappa and her beloved dog and constant companion Raven. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Virginia and Ron Mizak, sister Nancy Zytkowitz, brother and sister-in-law Edward and Rosemary Madej-Rowe.

She is also survived by her three children, her son and daughter-in-law Mark and Diane Zappa, son and daughter-in-law Mike and Meg Zappa, daughter and son-in-law Michele Zappa-Rigler and Dan Schoger, her eight grandchildren Michael Zappa (wife Stephanie), Robert Zappa (wife Monique), Brandon Rigler, Kyle Rigler, Chris Zappa (wife Jen), Nick Zappa (wife Natalie), step grandson Dustin Schoger (wife Angie) step granddaughter Tiffany Schoger (partner Jimmy Guadagno) 10 great grandchildren Christian, Dominic, Joey, Trystin, Jackson, Frankie, Rocco, Ben, Aliyah, Nicolas and numerous nieces and nephews.

Her greatest joy was family - a devoted Grandma and Great Grandma that loved watching her hoard of boys as they grew and flourished. She loved attending their basketball games, school concerts, graduations and other life milestones and was always ready with her camera to capture these fleeting moments in life. She was so happy when she finally got the news there was a great granddaughter in the midst of grandsons and great grandsons!

Her love of fashion was only outweighed by her love of the military and was proud to be a navy mom and made sure not a holiday went by without specialty care packages being sent to carriers her son and daughter-in-law were deployed on. She was often seen walking her dog Raven along the Naperville riverwalk proudly sporting one of her collection of Naval caps.

Her love of the holidays, especially Christmas, was well known. Her artistic holiday decorations were exceptional and added a magical touch for everyone to enjoy.

A voracious reader. Her knowledge of numerous subjects was extensive and covered a wide range of topics. Never one to pass up a cookbook, she was always willing to try as many new recipes as possible. 

A private memorial service will be held on May 31st, 2024. Marilyn’s wish to be cremated has been honored and her ashes will be scattered at sea per her wishes on a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate a tree planted in memory of Marilyn’s love of gardening.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marilyn J Zappa, please visit our floral store.

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