Audelia G. “Delia” Zappacosta, a retired real estate agent and neighborhood activist, died Jan. 15 from complications of pneumonia at Gilchrist Center in Towson. The Owings Mills resident was 99.
The former Audelia Genco, daughter of Vincent Genco, a bricklayer, and his wife, Anna Montalto Genco, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised on Park Heights Avenue. She was a 1939 graduate of Seton High School.
She soon began dating her future husband, Joseph Zappacosta Sr., a truck driver and union organizer, whom she married in 1943. He died in 1997.
For years they lived on Mount Olivet Lane in Baltimore before moving to the Tollgate neighborhood of Owings Mills. In the late 1960s, she obtained her real estate license and after working for several small real estate firms, went to work for Long & Foster in residential sales, from which she retired in 1992.
Her favorite saying, family members said, was “Buy real estate because they aren’t making any more of it."
Mrs. Zappacosta, who was known as Delia, was an active member of the Tollgate community association where she played a role in the creation of Tollgate Wyndham Preserve, a 7-acre green space for residents and schoolchildren. Delia’s Classroom in the Woods honors Mrs. Zappacosta’s work and dedication to her community.
She was a communicant of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Glyndon, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Jan. 20.
Mrs. Zappacosta is survived by three sons, Joseph Zappacosta Jr. of Columbia, Russell Zappacosta of Owings Mills and Ronald Zappacosta of Catonsville; a daughter, Mary Jeanne Kushner of Bel Air; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.