By Christopher Biddle
Flowers were donated in memory of Donna Marzilli at the Shrewsbury Co-op at Pierce’s Store, where Marzilli worked.
By Christopher Biddle
SHREWSBURY—Donna Marzilli worked at the Shrewsbury Co-op at Pierce’s Store for the past five years, where her loyal patrons say she was always cheerful, chatty, and more than willing to lend a hand.
Shrewsbury resident Martha Izzi said, “I had many encounters with Donna, usually after a frantic call [to the store]. She was always there, it seemed, and always accommodating, always willing to have a word. She usually found what I needed, or she suggested a substitute. I often liked a dress she had on and would ask where she found it. It usually came from some consignment store. She knew them all, and they were fun to talk about . . . To say that she was the heart of Pierce’s in my mind is not an overstatement.”
Weezie Duda, a co-op volunteer who occasionally prepares takeout meals to be sold on Friday nights, said that Marzilli was “unfailingly helpful.” She added, “Each time I arrived to drop off a prepared Friday night takeout dinner, Donna would be there to calmly figure out which cartons to use, how to best divide and serve the meals, where to locate a sharp knife—whatever needed to be done, she was there being cheery, helpful, and kind.”
Beyond the regular duties of her job, Marzilli is said to have always made herself open and available to her customers. Aaron Schneider and Greg Miller play music every Thursday morning at Pierce’s store, and both can attest to Marzilli’s moxie.
“She always had a line or two, whatever tune we were playing,” said Miller, “She was a great aficionado of all these old tunes. She always had some lines kicking around when we couldn’t find them.”
“I thought she was perfect for the store. I always kind of felt better when I saw Donna coming in the store,” Schneider said. “You felt like she was engaging with you, you know? I can be kind of sarcastic, and some people don’t get it, but Donna was always right there . . . She was a person of the world.”
Marzilli’s body was recovered by Vermont State Police late Monday night, Feb. 15 at the home she shared with her long-time boyfriend, Frank Weir. Weir pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Wednesday, Feb. 17.
A memorial service for Marzilli is in the works for the spring. Pierce’s Store has suggested that donations in Donna’s memory can be made to the Rutland County Women’s Network & Shelter, P.O. Box 313, Rutland, VT 05702. Please indicate that the donation is in memory of Donna Marzilli on the check. The Women’s Network & Shelter is a 501(c)(3) organization.