Cover photo for Carole (Rocker)  Zeller's Obituary
1937 Carole 2023

Carole (Rocker) Zeller

August 27, 1937 — August 28, 2023

Scarsdale, NY

Carole Rocker Zeller was born in the Bronx, New York to Emily and Philip Rocker on August 27, 1937, then a younger sister Arlene Levien, and died on August 28, 2023. She had an especially close relationship with her father, whom she admired as a fantastic writer and adoring husband to her devoted mother. Carole was a lover of learning. After studying English and earning a master’s in education at Hunter College, she continued taking classes long past her formal education. “You have to read this book” was her favorite way to start a phone call, and then she would proceed to explain its plot for ten minutes. She always wanted to share in the pleasure of reading with those she loved. Carole also loved to write and would document her adventures as she traveled the world. She was a patient and passionate elementary school teacher for decades who loved her students and even named her own children after two of them.

On a sunny afternoon in Central Park, the handsome dentist Dr. Malcolm Zeller saw Carole from across the tennis courts and swept her off her feet. They married in 1963, moved to Scarsdale, NY, raising three children there, Wendy, Neil, and Alyssa. Carole loved her house and truly made it her own, staying there long after her children were grown, and after Malcolm passed in 2001. She was very close with her mother, talking several times each day and caring for both of her parents to the end – Emily lived nearly 103 years. Carole had a tight group of treasured friends in addition to many across the country, with whom she spent all her days, taking long walks, going to museums, talks, and shows, and playing card games like Bridge and Mahjong. In the summer they could be found in the Berkshires or at the Scarsdale Pool, sharing every detail of their lives. Carole also organized luncheons and book club events as a member of the Brandeis National Committee.

Carole was a beloved grandmother to seven grandchildren and was a part of their lives in every way, not just the milestones. She is universally considered the best person to share news with because of her trademark excited “Wow!” and delight in each update. She called all her grandchildren “angel love, cookie cucumber, bubala,” and would shower them with kisses. She was proud to pass on her Jewish traditions and enjoyed all its celebrations. She told stories to make sure that her ancestry would not be forgotten.

Carole was well known and appreciated for her infectious joy and contagious smile. She embodied this spirit through her fabulous, colorful outfit choices. Carole was adamant about the issues she cared about, always keeping in mind her compassion for all people. Everything she said and did came from a place of profound and vast love. Her demeanor was light and enthusiastic, and she lit up every room with her beautiful energy and effortless humor.

She was a grateful person and could not help but spread positivity even through hardships. Her family loved to joke about how long it would take her to finish eating, but she would always counter that she was savoring every moment. At family gatherings, she would reflect on how lucky she was, and all of her family and friends felt just as lucky to have her.

Carole battled cancer with resilience, strength, and a smile on her face, never letting it break her spirit. She died peacefully, surrounded by her family on August 28, 2023.

Carole will be remembered as the best cheerleader, taking interest in every detail of the lives of those she loved. She listened intently, was a close confidant for many, and a friendly face to all. “I want to be sixteen forever” she remembered shouting, riding down the highway in a red convertible with friends to Coney Island. She would retell that story again and again, always in touch with her youthful spirit. We wish for her that wherever she is now, she stays sixteen forever.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Carole's honor to METAvivor, for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research, Support, and Awareness by visiting

To send flowers to the family in memory of Carole (Rocker) Zeller, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services

South Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601

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