On Oct. 18, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Botelho of Johnston celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They have two daughters – Donna Zarrella of West Warwick and Lorelei DeFazio of Cranston. The Botelhos also have a very loving son-in-law Peter DeFazio and six grandchildren: David and Danielle Zarrella, Corey and Ryan Welch, and Angela and Nick DeFazio.
Last year, on Oct. 13, daughter Donna’s husband, Rick Zarrella, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 50, and his wake was held on the 18th. Because this was Mr. and Mrs. Botelho’s 59th wedding anniversary, Donna’s Dad, Gil, honored Rick and Mrs. Ann Botelho with a dinner at Antonio’s Restaurant in Cranston, where Rick once worked as a teenager and frequently brought Donna on dates.
This year, it is with a heavy heart that the Botelhos thought about Oct. 18 and their anniversary. During their marriage, Donna and Lorelei planned wonderful 40th and 50th anniversary celebrations for their parents, but this year Mrs. Botelho, who turned 80 on Oct. 14, requested no party. She can’t imagine a big celebration without her dear “son” of 29 years. Ricky was dearly loved and respected, and there was never a cross word to utter about him. He always called Mrs. Botelho, “Mom.”
It was decided that the family would gather at Donna’s home on Sunday, Oct. 14. Donna and her sister Lorelei did the cooking, as they recognized their mother’s 80th birthday and their parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.