Published in the October 10, 2016 edition

NEW YORK CITY — Paul E. Zappala, 72, of New York City, passed away on Thursday, July 21, in New York.

Born in Melrose on May 27, 1944, he was the son of the late Salvatore and Anna May (McLaughlin) Zappala of Wakefield. He was also the stepson of the late Gloria Zappala.

Raised in Wakefield, he was a graduate of Wakefield High School, Class of 1962. Mr. Zappala was an alumnus of Boston University. He devoted his entire career to the restaurant and hospitality industries, beginning in the early 1960s at his brother’s restaurant, The Ship, in Lynnfield. There he became experienced in all facets of the business and developed a keep interest in food and beverage management.

Eventually, he left the family business to pursue his interests in Boston, the Midwest, Southwest and Mid Atlantic U.S. Ultimately, he settled in new York City, where he has worked and resided for the past 30 years.

He enjoyed mentoring younger co-workers, some of whom went on to open their own very successful restaurants.

Mr. Zappala loved to travel, was an avid reader who enjoyed the theater, old movies, Italian music, cooking and, most of all time, spent with family and friends.

He was an accomplished chef with a passion for Italian food. On his many visits home to Wakefield, he would commandeer his sister Mary’s kitchen and prepare a feast for all to enjoy.

He possessed an incredible sense of humor and uncanny ability to tell a story, funny or serious but always riveting and highly entertaining. Family and friends have many fond memories of sitting around the dining room table as Paul regaled them with stories of the old days or his adventures in the restaurant business.

He was the consummate people person and exceptional conversationalist but his greatest talent was the ability to make you laugh so hard you cried.

Mr. Zappala is survived by his son Marc of Beverly. He is survived by four sisters: Mary (Zappala) Paiva of Boxford, Susan Zappala of Rowley, Marianne Zappala of Methuen and Lisa Zappala of Derry, N.H.; two brothers, Robert Zappala of Billerica and Thomas Zappala of Naples, Fla. He was predeceased by brothers John and William Zappala and stepbrothers Dennis and John Flynn.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of City Funeral Services, Yonkers, N.Y.