With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Lucille Minchin Zaleski on January 10, 2021 after a short illness.
She was born and raised in New England. She headed south when it was time for her to attend college. When she got to Williamsburg, VA she met a law student, Allan D. Zaleski, who became her husband of 55 years. She would say she loved Southern women and wanted to raise her daughters in the South! After graduating from William and Mary with her teaching degree, she started her long career of taking care of her “little lambs.” She was hired as a teacher with the Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) in 1968. At the time of her death, she was still employed as a Transitional Specialist at Madison Alternative School. In 1993, she was named Region II Virginia Teacher of the Year of which she would always remark, “I was just doing my job!” She is the longest tendered employee at NPS after 51 years.
Anyone who knew Lucy knew she was devoted to children. It did not matter where they came from, what they looked like, or what they had done in the past, they were her babies and she truly loved them. She was always proud to say that in 51 years, she never had to “write up” any of her students. Many have remarked that she was a tireless and well-rounded educator who was eager to mentor others and who worked extra hours to tutor students and encourage parental involvement in the education system.
She leaves behind her devoted husband, Allan Zaleski; her eldest daughter, Stephanie Harrell (Sam); her son, Chris Zaleski (Bonnie Spruill); and her youngest daughter, Tiffany Humphrey (Jon). She will also be missed by her loving grandchildren, Colby Harrell, Samantha Harrell, Troy Harrell, Kayleen Zaleski, Alex Zaleski, Jackson Humphrey, and Maggie Humphrey. Lucy was an active and dedicated mother and grandmother who would do anything for her loved ones. She also leaves behind many special friends, neighbors, and colleagues who she loved and treasured.
She was predeceased by her infant son, Paul; her brother, Bill; and her nephew, Brian. She will have a private burial in Williamsburg Memorial Park where she will be buried near her infant son, Paul. The family is planning to have a celebration of her life in the summer of 2021. In remembrance of Lucy’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10065 or to Community Home Care and Hospice of Elizabeth City, 1601 N. Road St., Ste B, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.
A special thank you to Dr. Edu Mohammed and Melanie Meads, PCRN, of Sentara Albemarle Hospital and the staff at Community Home Care and Hospice (Tanya, RC) for the wonderful and compassionate care they provided.
Twiford Funeral Home, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is serving the Zaleski family. Online memorial condolences may be sent to the family at www.TwifordFH.com.
Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City)
405 East Church Street,