Rachel passed away peacefully on Christmas Day, December 25, 2019 of natural causes.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband Tom and her parents Tofeek and Rose Kaleel.
She leaves behind her children Lisa, Sherri, Tom (Holley), Raymond (Jill), Gary (Stacy), ten grandchildren, two great grandchildren, sister-in-law Lucille Zaelit, and numerous extended family.
Friends are invited to gather Sunday, December 29, 2019 for a celebration of life from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building. Mass will be celebrated Monday, December 30, 2019 at 10:30 am at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 3015 Creek Road, Cottonwood Heights, interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 4th Avenue and “T” Street.
Rachel being the first born and eldest of six children began her natural role of matriarch early on. Rachel was the epitome of an older sister, and a natural born leader. She used her natural leadership abilities in her school years which culminated as a respected graduate of South High School. Shortly after, while attending a wedding, she encountered and stole the heart of Tom Zaelit. Her father gave them his blessing and passed just a month later knowing his Rachel would be taken care of by her life-long love. Together they formed a partnership that provided a source of strength for her mother Rose and her siblings, Bonnie, Jack, Diane, Ray, Rosemary and other family members.
They aptly raised five cherished children. Her tenets of education were exemplified by providing each child with a private school experience. Parenting was one of her greatest natural gifts as she imparted strong morals and beliefs to each of them. She extended that same warmth, love and wisdom to her ten treasured grandchildren, Ashleigh, Morganne, Tyler (Dee Dee), Aubrey, Alexis, Melisa (Jeff), Adam (Courtney), Mitchell, Alexander, and Lena, and two great-grandchildren, Adelyn, and Emma.
They created a home filled with love, laughter and devotion which became the heart center for many gatherings with family and friends. Upon entering you were guaranteed a huge hug and an even larger plate of excellent food.
Her leadership abilities extended into her community. Her generous nature led her to be involved in many groups where strong bonds formed and lifelong friendships were made. A member of St. Jude’s Maronite Catholic Church, a “poker” group of 50 years, and friends that she met with regularly.
A flawless hostess many enjoyed being entertained in her warm and welcoming home. Holidays were particularly favored, and it was demonstrated by the impeccable decorations and seasonally appropriate cuisine. She loved preparing her children’s favorites and made certain to pass on her culinary skills filled with tradition to each of them. Each food specialty was always made with love from her heart to her hands.
She possessed a unique ability to love, guide, listen, and comfort. To say she will be missed is an understatement as she will forever hold a piece of our hearts that can never be replaced.