For those of you who aren’t on my hike email list and who haven’t joined the group on a hike in the last week, I wanted to post about the recent passing of long time Ithaca Hiker Stephanie Zerilli.
Prior to the group bringing in people through resources like our Meetup page we tended to get many of our new hikers through word-of-mouth and referrals from current hikers. I came to the group through Stephanie suggesting that I join this Ithaca Hikers hiking group she was a member of. I worked with Stephanie during my relatively short time with the Village of Dryden where Stephanie was employed in the records division of the village police department.
It wasn’t long after I joined the group that Stephanie was first diagnosed with cancer. She stepped away from Ithaca Hikers for a while as she dealt with that initial diagnosis. Stephanie always seemed positive in her outlook about beating the cancer; I was happy to hear that the early treatments were successful, the cancer was in remission and she was eventually able to both return to work and resume hiking with the group.
Unfortunately the cancer later returned, with the result that we have recently lost Stephanie far too early. She was a good friend and a welcome companion on the trail. She will be missed by all of us in the group who knew her during that time.
Stephanies calling hours and service are this Thursday in the village of Groton. Information for calling hours and the memorial service is at the obituary link below.