Lori Manzelli, age 40 of Jamaica Plain, formerly of Somerville, passed away after her journey with cancer on April 3, 2021. Beloved wife of Michael Basu. Cherished daughter of Linda (Robbio) Manzelli and the late Michael Manzelli. Loving sister of Paul Manzelli and his partner Lydia Reichert. Loving niece and goddaughter of Sr. Charlotte Wickes, S.N.D. Cherished niece of Joan and Richard Coco, Rosemary Bouzane, and James and Diane Lawson. Beloved cousin of Susan Coco, Robert Coco, James Lawson, Jr. and his wife Caitlin, Lauren Falk and her husband Nick, and Katelyn Bouzane. Dear daughter-in-law of Susan & David Basu. Devoted sister-in-law to Nisha Basu & her
husband Ian Whittle and Andrew Basu & his wife Sarah. Lori also leaves behind her loving nephew and nieces, Lucas Whittle, Camille Whittle and Elise Basu.
Lori was a graduate of Matignon High School in Cambridge and received her BA from Emmanuel College in Boston. She continued her education by receiving her master’s degree in Communication from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Public Policy in Pittsburg, PA.
It seems inadequate to describe Lori as good, but that’s what she was to her very core. She spent her entire adult life working for non-profits, and found meaning in doing good as a profession, whether that was making ballet accessible to everyone at José Mateo Ballet Theatre, supporting a more just society at TSNE, or helping people who needed help most at her beloved Victory Programs.
Perhaps it was this goodness that made her so magnetic. Lori had a special power of seeing people’s worth and as a result, people were drawn to her. Her empathy, her kindness and her thoughtfulness shone through everything she did. Everyone fell in love with Lori, from her classmates from all walks of life to her coworkers to pretty much all the cats of Greece.
Lori had an amazing gift of knowing how to lavish love on the important people in her life and leading by example. She was diligent about keeping in touch with friends from high school, college, and previous jobs. She was the one who always remembered to follow up, check in, and generally be present for family and friends. Two lucky recipients of her devoted love were her cats, Pinkerton and Yoda, who loved her back, twice as hard.
Lori was fun, spirited, and full of life. Even though Lori only started running in her 30’s, she took to it right away. She ran in many races, including her favorite, the hot, boisterous Falmouth Road Race. She ran two marathons, including the legendary Boston Marathon, which she joyfully completed after several grueling months training in one of the snowiest winters in recent history. As a charity runner, she was so happy to have raised over $8,000 for Victory Programs of Boston.
Lori’s adventurous spirit was on full display in her many fun travels with her husband and partner in crime, Mike. They went camping in Cupsuptic, Maine, island hopped in Greece, explored the culture of India, enjoyed winter sports in Whistler, Canada, cried over having to say goodbye to Hawaii, and never missed a single Mardi Gras in New Orleans until 2021, when they celebrated with a makeshift parade in Jamaica Plain, complete with marching band and king cake.
Lori’s family will forever be grateful to her medical team, who helped her live a longer, richer life than they had dared hope for given her original diagnosis. Their progressive treatments and smart decisions helped with her live longer and more comfortably, and enjoy things like a wonderful Christmastime with family, joyful family birthday celebrations, trips to her happy place in Lake Winnepesauke, many fun day trips, and even one last Mardi Gras in Jamaica Plain.
Family and friends are welcome to come celebrate Lori's life by gathering for visiting hours on Saturday April 10, 2021 from 3-5 PM.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to an organization that meant a lot to Lori:
Victory Programs of Boston, 965 Mass Ave. Boston, MA 02118
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