School 14

Dr. Joseph E. Zegarra

March 23, 1937 ~ May 7, 2021 (age 84)



North Brookfield – Dr. Joseph E. Zegarra, 84, of North Brookfield died in the arms of his beloved wife “Pattie,” on Friday, May 7, 2021.


Joseph leaves his wife, Patricia Zegarra, his sons John Hanlan and David Hanlan, his daughters Julia and Susan, his sister, Katherine de la Pena Zegarra, and nine grandchildren.  His other son Michael Hanlan predeceased him in 1991. 


Joseph traveled extensively with his parents Letha and Edmund Zegarra.  They lived in several states as well as Peru (where he was born), Panama, Greece, and Cuba.  Thus grew his love for travel and great interest in history.  He was also an avid reader and enjoyed a good round of golf with friends, especially on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina with Ed Motrucinski.


Joseph had a long career in education after graduating from Earlham College and serving his country in the United States Army Intelligence Corps.  He received his Masters and Doctorate degrees from Ball State University.  His professional experience started as an instructor in Marion, Indiana.  Joe went on to be a professor at Ball State University before moving to Massachusetts and becoming a professor at Worcester State College where he met and later married his wife.  They moved on to Dudley where he became the Director of Continuing Education at Nichols College.  However, his favorite job was after retirement when he became a costumed interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village.


Joe was also a member and past clerk of Worcester Friends Quaker Meeting where he followed his faith and belief that “there is that light of God in everyone.” He was a loving, peaceful, humble, and generous man to all who knew him.  Joe will be greatly missed.


Calling hours for Joe will be held on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 2 to 4PM in the Varnum Funeral Home, 43 East Main St., in West Brookfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Joseph’s name may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Joseph E. Zegarra, please visit our floral store.


Calling Hours
May 19, 2021

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Varnum Funeral Home, Inc.
43 East Main Street
West Brookfield, MA 01585


American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia PA 19102

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