Sara Hannah (Gregor) Zarilla, 87, suffered a fatal heart attack on May 17, 2021, in Houston, Texas.
Sara Gregor Zarilla was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania on February 9, 1934, the youngest of twelve children of Henry Hunt Gregor and Mary Jane (Allsopp) Gregor. She graduated from New Castle High School in 1952. Following graduation, Sara lived in New Castle and worked as a bookkeeper. She met Samuel (Sam) Zarilla in 1953, and they married September 11, 1954, in Mercer, PA. They celebrated 65 years of marriage together and during these years they called New Castle, PA, Hollywood, FL, Alliance, OH and Fort Worth, TX home. In 1987 they settled in Houston, TX, their final home.
Sara’s greatest joys and proudest moments came from her love and dedication to her family. In support of her children, she was active in the school PTAs, serving as President one year; she was active in scouting for many years as a Girl Scout leader; and later, continued her dedication to family by participating in her grandchildren’s activities. She could always be found on the sidelines of sporting events, in the audience for Scouting ceremonies, and in the audience of school programs. She also enjoyed spending times with neighbors and friends, having parties, playing board games, poker or bunco and weekends at the campground.
For her personal enjoyment, she loved music, particularly “The Rat Pack”, shared the love of Elvis’ music with her son, Steven and enjoyed dancing with Sam at the Alliance Elks. She enjoyed candy making, cake decorating, crafts of all sorts and attending craft shows. She belonged to the YMCA of Alliance and served on their board; she belonged to the YMCA in Houston and participated in the Silver Sneakers program. She participated in a women’s bowling league for many years, attended yoga classes and was active in the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Alliance Elks (Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks). She loved traveling, enjoyed cruises and casinos, and her final vacation to Hawaii was one of her happiest memories. Most of all, she loved the holidays, especially Christmas. Their house was always decorated for whatever holiday was coming, and Sara would spend countless hours preparing family meals; having her family visit was her greatest joy.
Sara had rheumatic fever as a child that damaged both of her heart valves and was not expected to live. Against all odds and through her determination and modern medicine, she had a long, well-lived life.
Sara is survived by her daughters, Susan Zarilla Jacobson of Houston, TX, and Sandy Zarilla Poole (and husband, Steve Poole) of Magnolia, TX, her son, Samuel Zarilla, Jr of Houston, TX, her grandsons, Nathan “Jack” and Jonathan Jacobson of Houston, TX and Zachary Zarilla, of VA, granddaughters, Christie Zarilla and Mary Morgan of FL, three great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Sara was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 65 years, Samuel (Sam) Zarilla, her son, Steven Zarilla, her parents, Harry and Mary Gregor and twelve other siblings.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 3, 2021, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, with a memorial service to follow at 6:00 pm at Cypress-Fairbanks Funeral Home, 9926 Jones Road, Houston, TX 77065. A live stream of the service will be available through the funeral home website. Her interment will be on Friday, June 4, 2021, at 9:15 am at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77038 together forever with her husband, and next to her son. All are welcome to attend any service in celebration of Sara’s life.
Sara will be deeply missed by all of those who loved her.
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