Robert Dominick Zanella, 82, of Chicora, PA, passed away at Butler Memorial Hospital on Sunday morning, March 22, 2020, after a very brief illness.
He was born in Goosetown, Donegal Township, on February 20, 1938, to the late Flori and Ambrosina Flori Zanella. Robert was a 1956 graduate of Karns City High School. In his high school and teenage years he played both basketball and baseball on the field very close to the home in which he presently resided. He also coached baseball for many years in Chicora from pee wee through legion. He attended a one room school in Goosetown for the first six years of his education. He went to Karns City in grade 7 and received the 8th grade American Legion Award. In his younger years, he installed hardwood floors in Rochester, New York, and then worked at the Butler Veterans Hospital as an aide and pharmacy tech for several years. He then was employed at Witco Chemical for 9 years, and then worked at AK Steel in Butler for 17 years, retiring from the Strip Shears Dept. in 2003.
He and his wife took many trips after retirement, which included Hawaii, Alaska, and out West. He loved going to Myrtle Beach every year with his family and eating out at his favorite restaurants. His other pleasure was hunting with his sons and his grandchildren, even though he became unable his last few years of life. Family dinners and gatherings were one of his greatest pleasures, and there never was a man who loved his wife, children, and grandchildren more. He was proud of each and every one of their individual accomplishments. He always had a love for horses and had owned a few.
He was baptized, married, and a lifelong member of Mater Dolorosa Roman Catholic Church in Chicora. He enjoyed the Pirates and Steelers, but dearly loved the outdoors and hunting and fishing. He was one of the original members of the “Goosetown Gang,” and was proud of it. He was a soft-spoken man and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce Ferris Zanella, who he married on June 29, 1957, being married for 62 years; two sons, Robert M. (Alissa) Zanella of Saxonburg, and Mark F. (Lauren) Zanella of Chicora, and one daughter, Melissa J. (Bradley) Callihan of Chicora, seven grandchildren Mark (Brittany) Zanella, Christopher (Julia) Zanella, Amber, Robert, and Matthew Zanella, and Dominick and Trevor Callihan; and his great-grandson Luca Flori Zanella. He also is survived by several nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and cousins. He was the last surviving member of his family, preceded in death by his brothers Ralph, Angelo, and George Zanella, and his two sisters Mary Rodgers and Alice Sita.
Friends who were able to attend the visitation were received at the Hile Funeral Home of Chicora, 339 Chicora Fenelton Rd., Chicora, on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. A private family funeral Mass was held Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at Mater Dolorosa Roman Catholic Church in Chicora. Interment was in Hemphill Cemetery in Chicora, just a short distance away from the home where he was born.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Chicora Volunteer Fire Dept., PO Box F, Chicora, PA 16025.
For more information or to send a condolence, please visit: www.hilefh. com.