Rita A. (Fermane) Zappala

May 20, 1924 ~ June 3, 2021 (age 97)

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Rita Anna Zappala (nee Fermane), age 97, of Longwood Florida, formerly of Philadelphia, passed away on June 3, 2021.

Rita was a fascinating and engaging woman with a memorable and infectious laugh who had many varied interests. First and foremost she was a devout Catholic. A talented artist, she could sew, crochet, and knit as well as paint and make ceramics. She was accomplished in the kitchen and could cook as well as bake. She had an ear for music and could play the organ, piano, banjo, and accordion. When Rita was not playing music, she loved dancing to big orchestra bands, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Whitman. When it was time for games, she liked to play pinochle, canasta, and  Super Mario Brothers. Her favorite time of year was Christmas and she would keep her decorations up all year long. Rita was a member of the Red Hat Society. A sports fanatic and true to her Philadelphia roots, Rita's favorite teams were the Phillies and Eagles. 

She is the wife of the late Gaetano "Tom"; cherished mother of Josephine Casey (Francis) and Maria Rybicki (John);  beloved grandmother of Lisa Rybicki (Sanjay Kamat), Amanda Casey, Johnny Rybicki (MaryKate), Dennis Casey (Dana), Jennifer Scavotto (David) and Christine Rybicki (Tony Felice); loving great grandmother of Jeweliana & Addison Rybicki, Angelina Rybicki, Lydia & Cory Casey, and Samantha & Anabelle Scavotto; She is the youngest sibling of the late Teresa, the late Pete, the late Philomenia "Minnie", the late John, the late Anthony,  and the late Rocco "Rocky"; she is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to her viewing Saturday June 12, 2021 from 10:30 AM until 12 noon at T.J. Fluehr Funeral Home, 11010 Knights Rd. Funeral Mass 12:30 PM at St. Anselm Church, 12670 Dunksferry Rd. Attendees must wear masks & observe proper social distancing guidelines during the services.  Rite of Committal Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations in Rita's name may be made to the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, 1166 S. Broad St. Philadelphia 19148. To share a memory of Rita, please visit

Florists, all deliveries must arrive at the funeral home Friday by 1:00 PM

To send flowers to Rita's family, please visit our floral store.


June 12, 2021

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
T.J. Fluehr Funeral Home and Cremation Service
11010 Knights Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19154

Funeral Mass
June 12, 2021

12:30 PM
St. Anselm Church
12670 Dunks Ferry Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154

Interment to follow Funeral Mass.

Saint Peter & Saint Paul Cemetery
1600 South Sproul Road
Springfield, PA 19064

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