Sheila Q. Magliaro, 87, of Maplewood, ‘Smart, Uniquely Funny, Fierce & Loving’

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Sheila Magliaro of Maplewood passed away on December 30, 2021. On January 3, 2022, her son-in-law Hank Zona posted a remembrance on social media to a mother-in-law who defied stereotypes. Below is Zona’s loving tribute, published here with his permission, followed by Magliaro’s obituary.

My mother-in-law, Sheila Magliaro, passed away a few days ago. Her death is of course an incredibly sad event for us, wrapped in this strange, even sad time we are all in. My heart aches for my father-in-law, my wife and kids, my sisters-in-law and their families and the extended family. Because of the holidays and these times we are in, this is meant to let those know who would wish to know and who might not have heard already.

Sheila Magliaro, 1934-2021

I grew up in an era where mother-in-law jokes were pretty much standard on sitcoms and throughout the culture. I also grew up in a household where my own mother had a mother-in-law who actually exceeded those caricatures. I was fortunate to not have had experiences that reinforced them. I was fortunate to be accepted, no, welcomed by her and my father-in-law. Her nephew Dennis this weekend referred to my mother-in-law as smart and uniquely funny. She certainly was! I appreciated that she laughed at my occasional good jokes (and didn’t laugh at the not so good ones). I appreciated her in-depth knowledge of sports and wanting to discuss the subject, and that meant just about any sport. What I really appreciated though was her unwavering and fierce loyalty and love for her family. I think fierce is the right word…not a scary fierce, but powerful.

We have lived for 30 years around the block from my in-laws. It’s kind of a Mayberry thing I know, not all that typical these days. I remember being asked at the time, how do you feel living so close? I said I feel great about it. Today, I feel grateful. A good thing about this social media stuff is that it allows you to cross orbital paths virtually for a bit with folks you would not have because we don’t live around the block from most one another here. Most of you reading this never met my mother-in-law, never lived around the block from her, I know. I am grateful though that my wife, my kids and I have, that we have been in close actual proximity all these decades. I don’t take proximity for granted, and especially didn’t in this instance.

It is a sad day, a sad time, and it is supposed to be, but I feel gratitude too when I think of her. Grateful that she raised daughters with strong spines and an even stronger ethic of love and caring for their own families. Grateful for the love and interest she showed for and in her grandchildren. Grateful to have shared significant and meaningful time and space with her.

From the Jacob Holle Funeral Home:

Sheila Q. Magliaro nee Queenan, 87 of Maplewood passed away on December 30, 2021 at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Sheila was born and raised in Newark before settling in Maplewood 54 years ago. She worked as an Executive Secretary for NJ Bell before focusing on her growing family full-time. She enjoyed bowling with her fellow parishioners from St. Joseph’s Church, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and doting on her children and grandchildren. She was cherished for her quick wit and wise counsel.

She is survived by her loving husband of 66 years Albert, daughters Nancy Manfredo (Douglas), Marijane Zona (Henry), Tracey DiGuiseppe (Steven), and grandchildren Samantha, Mark, Elizabeth, Daniel, Matthew and Jillian.

In lieu of flowers, we request donations to the American Cancer Society, PO Box P, Manasquan, NJ 08736. For more information or to send condolences please visit

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