Holmdel Funeral Home
Suzanne Claire Petrizzi, 75, of Manalapan, passed away early Sunday morning surrounded by her loving family.
Suzanne was born in Hungary in 1944. Her family fled the Communist takeover in 1946 and, after traveling to the Holy Land and then Italy, settled in the United States in 1952. Suzanne was raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, working her first job as a dress model for New York fashion designer, Sue Brett. Suzanne attended Jersey City State College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She continued her pursuit of higher education, receiving a master’s degree at Boston College. It was there she met the love of her life, Michael, who earned the same degree. The two would eventually marry on June 28, 1969 and worked together at the Lighthouse for the Blind in Manhattan.
The Petrizzi’s began their life together in Northern New Jersey, eventually moving to Manalapan, where they settled and raised their young family. Suzanne’s passion for education was ever apparent in her dedication working as a Special Education teacher in the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District for over 30 years, during which she was recognized with the distinctive Disney Teaching Award, which honors teachers whose approaches exemplify creativity in teaching and who inspire a joy of learning in their students.
Some of Suzanne’s most cherished memories were of family summers in Lavallette where she enjoyed making Maine lobster and local crab dinners at their beach house and watching bayside sunsets. An avid cook of Hungarian family recipes, Suzanne also loved making signature Italian dishes at Christmastime, most notably the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” dinner and baking traditional desserts. Her passions over the years included drawing, painting, creative writing, reading, sewing, piano, dancing to the Oldies, tennis, and NY Times crossword puzzles.
Suzanne is predeceased by her parents, Helen and Gabriel Rakoczy and her sister, Gabriella M. Santaniello.
In addition to her devoted husband of 50 years, Suzanne is survived by her two daughters, son-in-law, three grandchildren and brother-in-law.
The family kindly requests that any donations be made in Suzanne’s name to either St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or the American Cancer Relay for Life.