Cover photo for Terri Zantello's Obituary
Terri Zantello Profile Photo

Terri Zantello

Theresa (Terri) Kay Zantello passed away suddenly on Tuesday October 11, 2022, in Traverse City. She was the daughter of Gary and Sandy Zantello. Terri was born on July 27, 1964, Her Mom’s Birthday, which made her the best Birthday gift her mom every received. Terri and her Mom Sandy, took great Joy in sharing their birthdates.

Terri was the best daughter a parent could ask for, a born leader, even when growing up she was always ready to take charge, from playing Mother May I to playing School. Her first Childhood friend was Lisa Benedict. When little, Terri, nicknamed herself “T”. She was full of ingenuity, and very decisive and always a joy to have around.

Terri was an excellent student in grade school, and an honor roll student in Middle and High School. In 1982 Terri was inducted in to the National Honor Society. That year, she graduated from Otsego High School. After graduation Terri went to Davenport College for a year and landed a great job, even while working she continued taking night classes until she earned her degree. In college, Terri enrolled in a photography class, and a love for taking pictures was born. Terri loved taking nature and wild animal pictures and they were beautiful. She was very talented. Her best photos she put on canvas and she used them to decorate her home. She also used some of them for some beautiful Christmas Cards.

Terri loved big cities. She moved to Chicago, where she spent 10 years living a life she loved. While living in Chicago, Terri belonged to the Chicago film Critics. As a member, Terri was fortunate to meet some big stars, which she found very exciting.

Terri left Chicago and moved back to Pine Lake where her family celebrated her return with a College graduation party for the ages. While living there, Terri met her Partner of 26 years Brad. Eventually they moved to Traverse City and began a company called The “2” Buds.

Always the overachiever, Terri started 2 more successful companies called “Rhine Designs” and “Shirtcetera” All of this was accomplished while working full time for Janco in Traverse City.

Growing up with horses, cats and dogs, Terri was an avid animal lover. Not too long ago, she even rescued a baby squirrel. Terri loved her cats, Cloe and Daisy. She took great joy in watching the birds in her bird feeders, relaxing on her deck after a long day at work.

Terri was an amazing cook, she grew her own spices and peppers and was very at home in the kitchen creating some wonderful Italian and Mexican dishes. She made the best Salsa!

Surviving are Terri’s mom Sandy, Partner Brad Smith, Nephews Tyler Nowak and Jess, Matthew (Lyndsey) Nowak, and Zachary Landrum. Great Nephews

Bryce, Dean and Sammy Nowak. Uncle Mike Pearson, Uncle Ray (Karla) Zantello, Aunt Nancy (David Smith) Zantello. In addition to several cousins.

Terri was preceded in death by her father Gary, Sister Debbi, Aunt’s Patty and Juanita and cousin Mike Zantello.

A Celebration of Life for Terri will Take Place at North Peak Restaurant in Traverse City on November 5, 2022 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Offer Condolence for the family of Terri Zantello

Condolence Messages

Becky and Russ Deaton

October 27, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Sandy, I’m grieved to see another one of your loved ones has passed away. God bless you in the days ahead with comfort as only he can give.


Jeffrey Goodacre

October 28, 2022 at 8:35 am

Very sad day hearing about this. You were my first girlfriend in grade school at Dix St. Elementary. Never have forgot you. You were always a special person to me. Rest In Peace dear lady.


Carl Hiemstra

October 28, 2022 at 1:06 pm

Sorry for your loss Sandy


Debbie Fry Kruse

October 28, 2022 at 1:14 pm

So sorry to hear of the loss of Terri. Such a beauty inside and out. Blessing to her family and friends.


Dawn Wood

October 28, 2022 at 1:31 pm

I’m so sorry to hear of Terri’s passing! She was a great classmate and a fun softball teammate. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Miss Sandy, and your family. You have so many wonderful memories, and so many people over the years who were touched by her lovely smile, and I hope they comfort you in the days ahead!


Cheryl Taylor

October 28, 2022 at 8:10 pm


I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Terri.

I pray for God’s peace and comfort in these days to come for you and your family.


Susie Browne

October 28, 2022 at 8:18 pm

Sandy, I am speechless. I want to hug you and cry with you. Know that I am with you in spirit .

God loves you and so do I.



Kenneth Wall

October 29, 2022 at 8:35 am

I was friends in school and never see her again but I was friends with her Mom and Dad I long ways asked about her and I will miss her!


Kenneth Wall

October 29, 2022 at 9:19 am

I was friends with her and will miss her I went to school with her and become friends with her parents and always asked them how she was and they told me.


Lorna sisson

October 29, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Dear Sandy

We are so saddened to hear of Terri’s passing. I remember her from years ago. What a lovely and accomplished gal. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. May God give you His peace in your wonderful memories. What a gift she was, an absolutely beautiful birthday present. In Christs love, Lorna and Craig


Todd Rose

October 29, 2022 at 8:11 pm

Sorry to hear about Terri’s passing. Otsego losses anything alumni way before it should.


Maryln Langeance

October 30, 2022 at 12:07 pm

Sandy So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Sandy Scott

October 30, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Sandy, you have sure went thru your share of losses. I’m so very sorry about your daughter Terri. God is with you. I’m praying for you & your family.


Kathy Richardson

October 31, 2022 at 7:45 am

Oh Sandy, I am so sorry for your loss. May you find some comfort in the love of family and friends.


Bev Jacobs

November 1, 2022 at 12:53 am

Sandy, I am sorry to hear of Terri’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Stacy Smith

November 1, 2022 at 9:19 pm

Sandy , so sorry for your loss. Terri & I shared some big milestone moments – getting our drivers licenses the same week! Terri will always be my birthday month buddy❤️ She made me laugh – her beautiful smile contagious. We definitely had many fun times. She will live on in the stories that I share with my children. Bless you as you celebrate her life well-lived!


Ramon Jon Zantello

November 3, 2022 at 8:23 am

Aunt Sandy,

My heart breaks for you. Know that Bridget and I love you and are thinking of you.

Ramon Jon


Kathy Peterson

November 5, 2022 at 6:33 pm

Sandy so sorry for your loss my prayers are with you love Kathy


Greg and Janet VanSparrentak

November 11, 2022 at 10:21 am

Aunt Sandy we are so sorry for the lost of Terri

We sure made a lot memories together and ones we will never forget

We love you and will always be here for you

Love Greg and Janet


Joe Kokmeyer

November 20, 2022 at 10:31 am

I’m so sorry to hear this and my heart goes out to Sandy. Terri was a great friend to me through high school and I’ve always had fond memories of her. I often thought about Terri and Debbie over the years and sad that we never stayed in touch. I miss them both and times we shared with her parents. May peace and prayers be with you Sandy, I just don’t what to say. God Bless.


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