Community leader and Keyport Board of Education President Ann Marie Panzarelli, 51, died March 13 after battling COVID-19 since mid-February.

According to published reports, Panzarelli checked into Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank on Feb. 15, after she experienced a fever, cough, body aches and the loss of taste and smell. Keyport Mayor Collette Kennedy published a statement about Panzarelli’s death on social media on March 14.

“In honor of her role as president of the Keyport board of education, as well as her dedication to many local organizations, including the Keyport Indians, as a way to show support to her family and community during this difficult time, you may want to consider turning your porch light to red or tie a red ribbon on a tree in your yard,” the statement read.

Panzarelli served for 10 years on the Keyport Board of Education and was president of the board at the time of her death.

In addition to the school board, the married mother of three was a member of the Matawan-Aberdeen school district’s transportation department and a substitute school bus driver, according to Holly Ramsey, who created a GoFundMe page for the family. The GoFundMe page is open for anyone wishing to assist the family during this time.

On Saturday, Ramsey posted an update to the GoFundMe page.

“Sadly on March 13th, 2021, Ann lost her battle to COVID-19,” Ramsey wrote. “Ann leaves behind her husband and three beautiful children. She was loved by all who knew her, and our community is devastated to have lost her. At first, this fundraiser was created to help her fight COVID, but now it will be used for her funeral expenses. Thank you to everyone who has donated thus far.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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