Sandra Melissa (Tobias) Zabela

December 15, 1943 ~ March 10, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Sandra Zabela Obituary

Sandra (Sandee) Melissa Zabela (née Tobias), 79, of Catonsville, died March 10 at her home surrounded by her family.

She leaves behind her husband, Richard Zabela, and their three daughters: Geri Eddins and her husband Steve, Theresa Cowart and her husband David, and Michele Kinnear and her husband Greg. Sandee and Richard’s son Richard Zabela, Jr. died in 1991. Sandee also leaves behind five grandchildren: Christopher Eddins, John Powell Cowart III and his wife Kenna Cowart, Nicholas Eddins and his wife Emma Eddins, Grace Kinnear, and Carter Kinnear, as well as two nieces and three nephews.

Sandee was born in Clearfield, Pennsylvania on December 15, 1943 to Mabel Madalean Tobias and Ronald Luther Tobias. Her only sibling, Byron Tobias, passed away in 2007.

Sandee grew up in Clearfield and graduated from Clearfield County High School in 1961. Upon graduation, she enrolled in nursing school then changed direction and worked an array of different jobs throughout her life, including in retail and banking, before returning to nursing school in mid-life. As an LPN, she enjoyed working with seniors in nursing homes, then as a personal aid to students with disabilities.

Clearfield—the place and its people—has always held a special place in Sandee’s heart. Her children recall fondly the family trips spent each summer to visit their Grandmother Tobias and enjoy time at the county fair, each evening culminating with fireworks.

Sandee and Richard met at a party in Pittsburgh when she was 19 and he was 20, and to hear them tell it, it was love at first sight! They would have celebrated sixty years of marriage this June. Over those many decades, they built a loving family of six and their lives spanned seven states (New Jersey, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, and Pennsylvania), each bringing a unique culture and geography that the family eagerly explored.

Sandee had an adventurous spirit that helped her take on each family move in stride. Conversations in the car coming home from Sunday mass were often triggered by Sandee asking, “What do you want to do today?” After a long week of work and school, she was eager to discover a new place, check out a new restaurant, or gather round the table to play a board game.

Sandee’s faith and church life provided a solid foundation for her and her family. She and her husband attended mass dutifully and volunteered in many capacities at their parishes throughout the years. Most recently, they have been active in the Christ Life program at St. Mark Parish.

Sandee will be best remembered as a dedicated wife and mother. Her love for her husband, children, and grandchildren was unconditional.

Friends and family are invited to calling hours on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 from 2:00–4:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Candle Light Funeral Home (1835 Frederick Road Catonsville) and to Sandee’s funeral mass on Thursday, March 16 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Mark Parish 30 Melvin Avenue Catonsville). Burial will take place at a future date in St. Casimir’s Cemetery in Bethel Park, PA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Life Ministries. Donate online at, or mail a check to 600 Cooks Lane, Baltimore, MD 21229. 


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March 15, 2023

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Candle Light Funeral Home by Craig Witzke
1835 Frederick Rd.
Catonsville, MD 21228

March 15, 2023

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Candle Light Funeral Home by Craig Witzke
1835 Frederick Rd.
Catonsville, MD 21228

Mass of Christian Burial
March 16, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Mark Church
30 Melvin Avenue
Catonsville, MD 21228


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