Former Kennett Police Chief Edward Zunino dies at 67
● By Steven Hoffman
Edward Zunino, the respected former police chief of Kennett Square Borough, passed away at his home while surrounded by his family on May 12. He was 67.
He was the husband of Lois McGinnis-Zunino, with whom he shared 22 wonderful years of marriage.
Zunino retired from the Kennett Square Police Department last summer after a distinguished 42-year career in law enforcement. He first worked for the Kennett Square Police Department in 1974 as an auxiliary police officer. He became a part-time police officer with the department in August of 1975, and was hired as a full-time officer in January of 1976. He rose through the ranks from patrolman to detective to lieutenant to chief of police. He served as Kennett Square’s police chief from 2007 to 2016.
At the time of his retirement, Kennett Square mayor Matthew Fetick lauded Zunino for his hard work and dedication to serving the town that he grew up in and loved.
“Chief Zunino has been an incredible public servant and an exemplary chief of police,” Fetick said. “It has been my privilege to work closely with the chief for the past six years, and I have always been impressed not only with his professionalism but his commitment to public safety. He worked tirelessly to solve crime, lead the department, and serve the community. Whatever was asked of the chief, he willingly did.”
Zunino was known to do whatever it took to ensure public safety and to keep the police department working properly, whether that meant covering a shift on Christmas morning because a patrolman couldn’t make it in to work or going out at 1:30 in the morning to make sure the town was safe after the remnants of a hurricane moved through the area.
He also earned praise during his career for mentoring younger officers to make sure they learned how to do the job the right way. Once he became a veteran of the department, he always worked with younger officers to make sure that investigations were handled properly. Zunino worked collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies to help stop crime. He also worked closely with residents to address issues or concerns in the community. One example, from several years ago, is how he worked hard to find out who was responsible for several incidents where buildings were targeted with graffiti because it affected the quality of life for borough residents. He was always motivated to protect the community.
“Throughout his career,” Fetick said, “he took the lead in investigating homicides, burglaries, gang violence and more. He was well known and respected by residents and business owners alike. With his significant relationships in the community, he was able to build trust and solve crimes that may have otherwise gone unsolved.”
He was also respected in the law enforcement community. When Kennett Square Borough celebrated Zunino's 35th anniversary with the police department, officials from the Chester County District Attorney's Office and the local district magistrate turned out to praise the police chief for his hard work and professionalism. Zunino also received commendations from U.S. Congressman Joseph Pitts and State Rep. Chris Ross.
Zunino was born in West Grove, a son of Mary Daddario Zunino of Avondale and the late Angelo J. Zunino. He attended St. Patrick’s School and graduated from Kennett High School before going on to the Delaware County Police Academy.
He loved spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, and other family and friends. Ocean City, N.J., was a special place Ed enjoyed visiting ever since childhood. He was also an active member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in West Grove. He was an avid bowhunter.
In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by his children, Michelle Tuel (Ricky), Jennifer Zunino-Smith (Chris), Edward A. Zunino, Jr; his grandchildren, Joseph Tuel, Jack Tuel, Noah Zunino; his brothers, Thomas (Kathy) and David (Diane); his sister, Patricia Quynn (Norman); his brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Doris Brosius; his mother-in-law, Nellie McGinnis; and many special nieces and nephews.
The Zunino family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Dennis Berman, the nurses and office staff of Abramson Cancer Center, their dedicated hospice nurse, Lisa D’Ascenzo and aide, Linda Washington, for their compassion and care during his time of need.
A visitation with family and friends will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, at Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square), and from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. May 19 at Assumption BVM Catholic Church (300 State Rd., West Grove). His mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Longwood Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ed’s name may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.