Edward M Zelli

May 21, 1929 ~ October 11, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Edward Zelli Obituary

On October 11, 2023, surrounded by the warmth of family, the world bid a peaceful farewell to Edward M. Zelli, who lived 94 wonderful years.

Ed, fondly remembered as “Steady Eddie,” was a self-motivated family man with a magnetic personality and a great sense of humor who loved to laugh even more than he loved the music of Frank Sinatra. Born in Trenton, New Jersey on May 21, 1929, just before the onset of the Great Depression, he carried forth the resilience and grit that defined his generation. His father Virgilio’s brave journey from Leonessa, Italy, in 1914 inspired him to always pursue something better for himself and his family. During his childhood, he learned to live without, an experience that fostered his compassion for giving and a desire to save for the future through “the works of today.” A quintessential Jersey Boy, his youthful escapades included hitching rides to the shore and basking in the thrill of the Jersey Boardwalk.

He enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1951 during the Korean War, spending part of his service in culinary training at Fort Knox. In 1952, he fell deeply in love with a telephone operator from Mississippi, a true southern gal named Edna Ann Seawright. It was love at first sight (and first dance) at Club Rialto in Louisville, Kentucky, and the two were married shortly after in 1953. Within the next few years, Ed and Edna were officially rooted in Jeffersonville, Indiana, with four kids in diapers. They added another two children in the years that followed. Life was good for the first-generation Italian-American, and he never took that for granted.

Ed’s life was marked by myriad passions, from his deep appreciation for engineering and construction methods to the joy he felt taking trips to movie theaters and drive-ins with his kids. He attended Indiana University Southeast, and his professional years saw him bring his innate precision and dedication to DuPont Inc., where he retired as a draftsman and foreman in 1987. His ties to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Jeffersonville were profound, and he was a constant source of humble service in his community, volunteering at church festivals, serving as a community tax preparer at the local library, serving at the Community Kitchen, and assisting countless charitable organizations through donations of his time and hard-earned cash. He loved vacation trips to Jersey to visit family and take his kids to the beach, and in retirement he enjoyed spending time with his wife at their camp at Nolin Lake. He was a fan of the Big Band sound of the 40s and 50s, and he and Edna were known for their dancing skills, displayed at countless weddings, dances, and their children’s band performances.

Edward is preceded in death by his cherished wife, Edna A. Zelli; his parents, Virgilio and Lucia Zelli; siblings Adelaide Heller and Robert Zelli; and his beloved grandson, Mikey Zelli. His loving memory will be upheld by his five sons and one daughter, Michael (Sandy), Mark (Kelly), Matthew (Leslie), Patricia, Jack, and James (Autumn), along with 20 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren (and a forthcoming bundle of joy), and nephews Jeff Zelli and Joey Cifelli and niece Michele Cifelli Voorhees.

Visitation will be held 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 16, at Scott’s Funeral Home on Veterans Parkway. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 2 p.m. Thursday, November 2, 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, with a private burial of ashes to follow. The family would like to invite family and friends to St. Augustine's Hall for a bereavement meal to follow.

Heartfelt thanks go to the wonderful staff at Charlestown Place and Clark Memorial Hospital, who provided unwavering care in his final days.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to Hosparus Health of Southern Indiana at 502 Hausfeldt Ln, New Albany, IN 47150

“Ti amiamo Eddie!” - We love you, Eddie.

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October 16, 2023

1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Nolin Lake

Mass of Christian Burial
November 2, 2023

2:00 PM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Jeffersonville, Indiana)
1840 E. 8th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130


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