This page has been visited 6368 times

Marion Zanet



Marion F. Zanet, age 87, of Wayne and formerly of Clifton, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 6, 2017.

Also known by many as “Dolly” and “Doll” she was born in Trenton and grew up in Hightstown and Bordentown. She was the oldest of Frank and Marion Shestko’s three daughters, and as a little girl, it quickly became evident Marion was capable of doing seemingly anything. She was sometimes described as the son her father never had. She was never afraid to tackle a hard job, whether it was a home remodel project or sewing a new dress for a special occasion. Mom had many talents. Her family enjoyed hearing the stories of her childhood - like when she came home one day from grammar school and asked her Mother to "get Daddy's rifle" - she was going to make her hunter father proud by bagging her first rabbit. Pop came home and she proudly brought him into the back yard to present her trophy. Her father, a carpenter, worked full-time and when finished with his work day came home to tend to their farm on which he grew fresh strawberries, which Mom loved her whole life. After harvest, Dolly and her two sisters would get all dressed up and go with him to her Grandmother's (Grandmom's) house in downtown Trenton to deliver the berries to families who had placed their weekly orders.

Marion graduated from Bordentown High School with the Class of 1942. During high school, she was a cheerleader for the school’s Bordentown Scotties sports teams.

After graduating, Marion first worked as a secretary in the Trenton statehouse in the grant office. This was right during the time when the Garden State Parkway was moving from being a mere concept to becoming an actual major New Jersey roadway. The story is told of how in her new position her boss dictated a letter to her which was being drafted in an attempt to secure grant money for the construction of the Parkway. After it was dictated to her, confident and capable Marion felt that she would use her creativity to add flare to what she felt was a rather dull and uninspiring document. When she proudly presented it to her boss for final review, he explained how these dictations were legal documents that had to be transcribed verbatim. Momentarily deterred from being creative, it did not last long, as she continued on throughout life in her take-charge way.

Dolly met her husband-to-be down the Jersey shore on the beach at Seaside Heights. She was with her sister Dottie and some girlfriends and they spotted several handsome gentlemen. Noticing that these servicemen were without a beach blanket to sun bathe on, they cleverly seized the opportunity to meet them by inviting them to recline on their blanket. Their plan worked and young John Zanet and Marion (Doll, as Dad always called her) Shestko began their life’s journey together, which led to love and the ultimate exchange of wedding promises before family and friends on July 1, 1948.

While dating and throughout their marriage, Marion and John enjoyed participating together in the art of dance. Marion first learned to dance in grammar school from her Uncle Leon. Mom and her young Aunt Fran practiced every day after school and loved to attend church dances. She and John loved getting all decked out for a night out of dinner and dancing with friends at the famous Meadowbrook Club in Cedar Grove.

After marriage, their first home together was in the brand new Stuyertown Garden Apartments in the Allwood section of Clifton. While there, they grew to become a family of four as Dolly and John welcomed daughter Donna in 1950 and son Bruce in 1951. After a couple of years living in Fair Lawn, the family moved into their brand new home in Cedar Grove. They lived there for ten years, then moved to Pond Street in Clifton and, after John’s passing in 1985, to New Brier Lane in Clifton where Marion remained until moving in to her daughter Donna’s house in Wayne in 2015. Marion always embraced her role of mother and homemaker. Mom was happiest when she knew that all was well with her family. Two weeks ago she said to us: "it's all coming together". We believe this was her signal to us that she was ready to be with her maker.

Blessed with the ability to create beauty all around her, Marion used her artistic gifts to do just that! As a young lady, she learned to be a seamstress and enjoyed creating outfits for herself that were the epitome of style. She had an eye for interior design and she knew how to make a house a home in every facet from selecting colors or wall paper patterns to designing and sewing all the beautiful drapery in her home. Her yard, her labor of love, was an extension of the inside of her home, adorned with well thought out plantings meant to ensure that something was always blooming from early spring and throughout the summer and into the fall season.

Marion lovingly shared her artistic gifts with friends and family. As a young mom she was always volunteering to help out with events for her children at St Catherine’s Cedar Grove Parochial School, and she enjoyed getting together with her girlfriends in the Cedar Grove Women’s Club to assist with the club’s fundraisers such as making all the puppets for the performance of the Nutcracker Suite. She was an inspiration to her kids, granting them some garden space of their own so that they could learn to appreciate and enjoy creating beauty in the great outdoors. The kitchen was another one of Marion’s favorite places to create, and friends and family were all too happy to enjoy the delicious fruits of her cooking and baking efforts. In 1965, she decided to return to work outside the home, and sharing her kitchen skills with her daughter Donna enriched Donna’s life while freeing up Marion’s schedule so she could return to work. She worked as a correspondent banking secretary with New Jersey Bank in Passaic, and through the banks acquisition by PNC Bank of West Paterson – now known as Woodland Park. She worked almost twenty years, but when her beloved John became ill, she retired so she could lovingly care for him until his passing in 1985.

When she got the chance to relax, Marion enjoyed reading – especially spy novels and books of mystery. She also loved to paint, and her house was decorated with her beautiful oil paintings, many of which she gave as gifts to friends and family. She enjoyed many years of monthly Bridge games with her dear neighbors Barbara, Rita and Denise from Cedar Grove. Even after moving to Clifton they continued to get together for many years. Although Denise and Rita have since passed away, Barbara and Marion continued their lifelong friendship until the very end.

Dolly’s life purpose was to provide care and nurturing for her family, and to create beauty. Whether she was taking her children ice skating in Cedar Grove, or spending time with her grandchildren going to their sports games or watching Dallas and Falcon Crest with them when they were young, everything was done with love.

Marion was predeceased by her beloved husband John Robert in 1985. She was the loving mother of Donna and husband Douglas Coyle of Wayne, and Bruce F. Zanet and his partner Mary Kulp of Ballston Spa, NY; adored grandmother of Gwen DeSimoni, Justin and wife Stephanie Shaw, and John Robert Zanet, II; adored step grandmother of Kelly and husband Nick Guerra, Kevin and wife Fiona Coyle, and Dennis Coyle; cherished great-grandmother of Gianna DeSimoni, Anthony DeSimoni, Marco DeSimoni, Sawyer Shaw, Oakley Shaw, and Ashton Shaw; cherished step great-grandmother of Mikayla Guerra and Brianna Guerra; dear sister of Dorothy and husband James Peeney, and Ilene and husband Edward Bulanowski of Mantoloking Shores, NJ.

Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 3-7 PM at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne.

Funeral services will be held at 9:30 on Thursday, March 9, 2017 from the funeral home, then to Immaculate Heart of Mary R.C. Church, 580 Ratzer Road, Wayne where a 10:30 AM Mass will be offered.

Those planning an expression of sympathy in Marion’s name are asked to consider Valley Hospice, c/o The Valley Hospital Foundation, 223 N. Van Dien Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450, or in honor of her love of art, a charity of your choice that supports the arts.



Guest Book


Bruce & Donna my deepest thoughts are with you & your family during this time. Your Mom was extremely kind, talented & very funny. I appreciated her candid opinions over the years. May she rest now in eternal peace. Heaven just got a little sweeter...

Kathy Voss

Would you like to leave your thoughts and sign the guest book?

Your Name 

Your Email 
Your Message 

Would you like to send the family a PRIVATE note of Condolence? What's this?