Cover photo for Brenda Yannuzzi's Obituary
Brenda Yannuzzi Profile Photo

Brenda Yannuzzi

October 18, 1949 — May 29, 2024

Newark, DE

Brenda Yannuzzi

Brenda Yannuzzi, age 74, of Newark, Delaware, passed away on May 29, 2024, at her home in Newark, DE. She was predeceased by her two husbands, Mike Zarro and "Jay" (Joseph Anthony) Yannuzzi.   

Brenda was born in Hempstead, Long Island, N Y, to Mildred (Collins) and Leonard Calderwood. She had 5 siblings, Lenny, Colleen, Pam, Wayne, and Diane.  As an adult, Brenda worked for several different companies but most notably, for Blonder Tongue Laboratories and Syntrex Inc., both in New Jersey.   

Brenda was an avid volunteer in the animal rescue community in New Jersey and in Delaware after she and Jay moved there in the early 2000's.  She did everything from working in the shelters, to helping with fundraisers and mailings, to fostering dogs and cats in her home, to making craft items that could be sold to benefit Forgotten Cats.  She gave much of herself over the years - time, money, talent, and energy to the cause of these "abandoned" animals finding their forever homes.   

Brenda was also a highly skilled seamstress, knitter, crocheter, and artisan. Anyone who knew her well was probably gifted with at least one of her scarves or any number of her other creations.  A professional doll maker for almost 20 years, she sold her beautiful works of art at craft shows and had a dedicated following of customers. She said that "making a doll is like making a little human being" and watching it "come together "was her favorite part.   

In the later years of her life, Brenda was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and beat it with the help of the oncologists and medical team at the Abramson Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  She had a strong faith in God and believed that his angels were watching over her.  She was aided greatly in these years by a group of friends who took turns taking her to chemotherapy treatments and doctor's appointments.   

Above all, Brenda will be remembered for her spicy sense of humor, for her "tell it like it is" personality, for her love of food and drink, and her love of spending time with her many friends.  She will be missed by all who loved her.   

In addition to her three sisters, Brenda is survived by a beloved niece, Donna King and her husband, Ernesto Rodriguez; her nephew, Ryan Calderwood; her dear friends, Danielle and Paul Salonis, their three sons Jonathan, Matthew, and godson, Daniel; nieces and nephews and by many friends from different ages and stages of her life.  

A memorial service will be held in her honor at a later date. Contributions in her memory may be made to: Forgotten Cats, Inc., 4023 Kennett Pike, Suite 422, Greenville, DE 19807. To donate online: 

Arrangements are by Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. (484-734-8100) of Kennett Square. To view Brenda's online obituary, please visit


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