Obituary: Margaret Zemprelli / ‘A first-class model’ in 1940s

Died July 15, 2014

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Edward P. Zemprelli was in New York on business six decades ago when he turned a corner and saw his wife’s photo emblazoned on the sides of two adjacent buildings.

“She was a first-class model,” he said. “It was always a lot of fun for us to tell people what her history was.”

Margaret Zemprelli, who was well-known for her role in the 1940s as a spokesmodel for Pennsylvania Telephone Co. and Rinso detergent, died July 15 of lymphoma. She was 87.

She and her husband, a former member of the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives, had homes in Jefferson Hills and Jupiter, Fla.

Ms. Zemprelli was a native of Washington County. She and her husband were members of the Bella Vista Lodge of the Order of Italian Sons and Daughters of America.

Mr. Zemprelli said his wife of 64 years was a kind-natured person.

“She was always dressed well, and I never knew of anybody that ever made a bad word about her,” he said. “Never.”

He recalled the night they met at a party. Both were attending the party with different dates and were introduced by a friend of Mr. Zemprelli’s.

On their wedding day, with the bride and groom short on funds, each offered the same gift to one another: shopping coupons from the back of bubblegum wrappers, he said.

“She was a very accommodating person,” Mr. Zemprelli recalled. “We lived a very good life.”

In addition to her husband, Ms. Zemprelli is survived by a daughter, Carla Z. Corum; a sister, Edith Bernard; two granddaughters; four great-granddaughters; and nieces and nephews.

Visitation is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday followed by noon Mass at St. Thomas A’Becket Church in Jefferson Hills.

Michael Majchrowicz: or on Twitter @mjmajchrowicz.

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