September 21, 1946 - January 06, 2023


Maddalena “Lena” Zanger

Maddalena “Lena” (Liparoto) Zanger, 76 years, of Monroe, Michigan, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, January 6, 2023 in her home, with her loving family at her side.
Born September 21, 1946 in Borgetto, Sicily, Lena was the daughter of the late Stefano and Maria Grazia (Cannova) Liparoto. Lena came to Monroe in 1969 from Borgetto with a tenacious work ethic and an amazing mind full of the most delicious Sicilian recipes.
On April 29, 1972, Lena married her beloved husband Dominic Zanger at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Monroe.
In 1994 Lena realized one of her lifelong dreams and opened her first restaurant, Lena’s Pizza and More in Lambertville. With her keen sense of business and an eye toward the future, she opened Lena’s Italian Restaurant in Blissfield in 2000. Lena was an incredible chef, and her cuisine was second to none. Her true gift for cooking came in the form of creating incredible pastries. Every year, she celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph by baking bread and creating a shrine in her restaurant. Viva San Giuseppe, Viva! Simply put, she loved feeding people and her house was always open. If you knew her then you were her family. Her children's friends affectionately called her Mama Lena and never left her house with an empty belly.
In 2010 Lena achieved another major accomplishment when she became an American Citizen. Lena was a former member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and is a current member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Monroe. Most of all Lena loved time spent with family.
Lena is survived by her beloved husband of 50 years, Dominic, three loving sons: Giacomo M. (Tania) Zanger of Temperance, Stefano A. (Cindy) Zanger of Blissfield and Frank J. Zanger of Monroe, six cherished grandchildren: Alanna, Adriana, Dominic, Sofia, Emily, and Andrew, four siblings: Grazia (Stefano) Biundo of Monroe, Filippo (Giovanna) Liparoto of Rockwood, Vito (Tamara) Liparoto of New Boston, and Rita (Salvatore) Polizzi of Rochester, and two sisters in law: Maria and Julie Liparoto and many nieces, nephews, and friends. Lena's family is especially thankful to Shirley Zanger and Felicia Scherff for all their love and support.
In addition to her parents, Lena was preceded in death by the mother who raised her Giuseppina Liparoto, her beloved siblings, Frank and Leonardo "Joe" Liparoto and sister, Maria Cuccia.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 6-8 pm and Wednesday from 1-8 pm at Bacarella Funeral Home, 1201 S. Telegraph Rd., Monroe, Michigan, 48161, where the Rosary will be recited on Wednesday at 3:00 pm. On Thursday, January 12, 2023 she will lie in state at St. Mary Catholic Church from 10:00 am until Mass of the Resurrection celebrating her life at 11:00 am. Entombment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Monroe.
Memorial contributions are suggested to The Alzheimer’s Association.
Online condolences and special memories may be shared with the family by visiting the obituary page at

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