ORANGE- Shirley A. "Porky" Zani, 85, of Wheeler Avenue, died Wednesday evening, July 22, 2020 at Heywood Hospital in Gardner.
Born in Orange on September 18, 1934, Shirley was the daughter of the late Joseph F. and Mafalda (Leonesio) Zani and lived her entire life in Orange, and graduated from Orange High School in 1952.
Shirley worked at the Erving Paper Mill and retired in 1992.
An avid Red Sox fan, Shirley was a season ticket holder for many years and shared her tickets with other local Red Sox fans. Sports were important to Shirley and she was the first female to play for the semi-pro, baseball Orange Devils, which she was honored with a dedication plaque at Butterfield Park several years ago. She also enjoyed playing basketball and softball.
Shirley enjoyed being outdoors taking care of her yard, socializing with everyone and had collected baseball cards at one time.
A member of Saint Mary's Church, she had worked numerous fairs. Shirley was also a lifetime member of the Orange Historical Society and had been a huge seller of raffle tickets to benefit the society building's maintenance
Shirley, with her always present Red Sox cap on and smile, will be greatly missed.
Survivors include a devoted niece, Linda Davis, who took exceptional care of her, as well as several other nephews and nieces; sisters in law, Amanda Zani and Diane Zani; a brother in law, Ronald Austin Sr.; as well as her long time friend, Marvis Michel of Orange.
There are no calling hours.
A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on August 4, 2020 at 10 a.m. in Saint Mary's Church, 19 Congress Street, Orange, with Fr. Shaun O'Connor officiating.
Interment will follow at Gethsemane Cemetery in Athol.
FACE MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIRED.
Donations in Shirley's memory can be sent to St. Mary's Church, 19 Congress Street, Orange, MA 01364, the Orange Historical Society, P.O. Box 28, Orange, MA 01364, or the Town of Athol. memo: North Quabbin Animal Shelter, c/o Athol Police Dept., 280 Exchange Street, Athol, MA 01331.
Witty's Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.
You may offer your sympathy online at WWW.WITTYFUNERALHOME.COM
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley A. Zani, please visit our floral store.