In Memory of





Obituary for Mary Anne Zak (Kelly)

Mary Anne Kelly Zak, age 93, of Suffield, passed away on Monday, March 7 at Suffield House. Born to Edward and Mary (McGinnis) Kelly on February 23, 1929 in New Orleans, LA, she had resided in Suffield for more than 70 years. She will be remembered as an inspirational teacher, faithful Christian, respected townswoman, prolific writer, eloquent speaker and the social glue of a variety of groups.

Mary Anne is predeceased by her husband, Amiel Zak, and her brothers: Edward A. Kelly, Jr. and George A. Kelly and sister-in-law Lynn Kelly. She is survived by brother Patrick J. Kelly (PK) of W. Springfield, MA; sister-in-law Elizabeth Kelly of W. Harwich, MA; her children Michael Zak (Roxanne Eigenbrod), of Concord, MA; Amy Zak-Urban (Gene) of Santa Barbara, CA; Sara Zak of Suffield; and Gerard (Jerry) Zak of Coventry, CT; her granddaughters Adrienne Hunt (Trevor) and Marianna Hill (Thomas) and great-grandson Connor Michael Hill all of Concord, MA; and many fondly held nieces and nephews.

Mary Anne was devoutly religious and appreciative of all faiths. She received her education in Catholic schools (high school through post graduate) and was a communicant of St. Joseph Church (1952-1984) and Sacred Heart Parish (1984 until her death). She actively shared her beliefs and taught young members of both churches, inmates at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield and adults who pursued a religious conversion. As a Eucharistic Minister and Lector, Mary Anne demonstrated her support of the increased role of women in the Catholic Church.

She was a voracious reader and a curious researcher with a thirst for knowledge that went hand-in-hand with her love of, and dedication to, teaching. As a Suffield High School teacher of English, “Mrs. Zak” was known for her emphasis on critical thinking and her creative methods of stimulating the interest of her students. She was inducted into the Suffield Foundation for Excellent Schools Hall of Fame in 2012.

Mary Anne was a trusted and very active member of the Town of Suffield. She served on the Town Ethics Commission, the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Board of Tax Review. Among other local organizations, she supported the Kent Memorial Library as a member of its Board of Trustees, the Suffield Historical Society (past President) and the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association. Mary Anne was presented with the Rotary Club Paul Harris Award in 2011 for outstanding contributions to the community.

As a third-generation Irish American, married to a first-generation Polish American, Mary Anne combined her interest in family genealogy with her passion for local history. In 2006, she founded the Polish Heritage Society in order to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the Polish Community in Suffield.

The Calling Hours will be on Wednesday, April 20, from 1:00 – 3:00pm and 5:00-7:00PM; and Thursday, April 21, from 5:00-7:00PM. Friends may call at the Heritage Funeral Home, 1240 Mountain Road W. Suffield on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 11:00AM in Sacred Heart Parish. Please meet at church. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Amiel and Mary Anne Zak Public Service Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 10 Columbus Boulevard, 8th Floor, Hartford CT 06106 (on line at or to the Polish Heritage Society c/o Suffield Historical Society, P.O. Box 893, Suffield, CT 06078.

Finally, the Zak family would like to thank the many devoted caregivers and support staff who cared for Mary Anne over the past two years. Their efforts were especially appreciated given the hardships created by the Covid pandemic.

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