Linda Zappasodi, Director of Facility Operations in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, passed away on Thursday, June 11 at the age of 65. Linda succumbed after a two-year battle with cancer, during which she continued to direct facilities and safety projects within the Department. Linda passed away at her home in College Park, MD, surrounded by family and friends.
During her 16-year employment in the Department, Linda oversaw many renovations and facilities projects and also served as the Safety Compliance Officer. She was known for her great attention to detail, and for her tireless efforts to realize improvements, all while maintaining the teaching and research activities of the department. Her largest project, the construction and occupation of “Wing 3” of the Chemistry building, produced state-of-the-art organic research and teaching laboratories that will benefit students and faculty of the University for decades to come. Throughout her tenure, she coordinated renovations of research laboratories for faculty in all areas in the Department. She maintained exacting expectations for every project, and was the key liaison between the Department and other UMD units, particularly Facilities Management and the Department of Environmental Safety. Linda was particularly attentive to issues of safety and student training. She enjoyed interacting with students, faculty and staff, and offered chocolate to any who entered her office.
Ms. Zappasodi was born in Philadelphia on January 28, 1950, to Pio (“Pete”) and Anna (D’Urso) Zappasodi. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her sister Suzanne. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Carolyn and Vincent Bisazza; their children Vincent (Peggy Desko) and Anthony (Pam) Bisazza and Christina (Mike) Boland; and grandnieces Ava and Brooke Boland.
She was a 1967 graduate of Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, PA, and a 1971 graduate of Georgetown University where she majored in history and was one of the first three women to graduate from Georgetown College, the university’s school of liberal arts that was all-male until the 1969-1970 academic year. Ms. Zappasodi had a lifelong passion for history and was widely read on subjects including the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and World War II. She remained in the Washington area after graduation and began working in administrative positions, including in the Capitol Hill offices of Representatives Norman Lent of New York and Clarence Brown of Ohio. In the early 1980s, she began her career in construction project and facilities management, working for area builders and then Trinity College, Congressional Quarterly Inc., and the AFL-CIO.
Services in Pennsylvania will be conducted by D’Anjolell Memorial Homes. Viewing for family and friends will be on Thursday, June 18th from 9:30 to 11:00 am at St. Dorothy Parish church, 4910 Township Line Rd., Drexel Hill, PA 19026 followed by Mass of Christian burial at 11 am, also at St. Dorothy. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery 626 Baily Rd., Yeadon, PA 19050
Linda’s University of Maryland legacy will be continued through establishment of the “Linda Zappasodi Safety Award.” This award will be bestowed annually on the student, staff or faculty member who has made significant contribution to the Department through increased awareness and improved practices for laboratory safety. Donations to this award may be made through the “University of Maryland College Park Foundation” by indicating “Linda Zappasodi Safety Award” on the memo line. Memorial donations may also be made to Philabundance, 3616 S Galloway St, Philadelphia, PA 19148, Save a Mind Foundation, One Belmont Avenue, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, Food and Friends (Development Dept., 219 Riggs Rd., NE, Washington, DC 20011) and to S.O.M.E. (71 “O” St., NW, Washington, DC 20001). Please write “In memory of Linda Zappasodi” on the memo line of a check, or donate online.
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