Marcela <I>Zabala</I> Howard

Marcela Zabala Howard

Salinas, Monterey County, California, USA
Death 31 Mar 1987 (aged 83)
Montecito, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
Burial Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
Plot Sunset section, Block C, Lot 25
Memorial ID 7871742 · View Source
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Thoroughbred Racing Figure. Widow of early Western U.S. automobile sales magnate-turned racehorse owner Charles S. Howard, Seabiscuit being the most notable in Mr. Howard's stable of thoroughbreds. Marcela was a descendant of early California families. After the death of Mr. Howard's young son, Frankie, and the break-up of his first marriage, he met and fell in love with Marcela, the older sister of Howard's daughter-in-law Lin. Marcela, a former convent student, a young actress at the time of meeting Mr. Howard and 25 years of age (he was 52), shared Mr. Howard's passion for horses. They married in 1932. Along with Mr. Howard, she experienced the Seabiscuit years. Mr. Howard passed away in 1950. In 1952, Marcela married Leslie C. Fenton, a British actor, director, and decorated Royal Navy officer. (He had been previously married to film actress Ann Dvorak.) The Fenton's resided in Pebble Beach, developed the Carmel Plaza shopping center and opened an antique shop. They moved to Montecito, near Santa Barbara, in 1976, where Mr. Fenton passed away in 1978. Throughout, Marcela supported various California art, historical and ecological organizations. Marcela was one of the subjects in Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling sports history book, "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" (2001) and was portrayed in the film version (2003) by Elizabeth Banks.

Bio by: Theologianthespian

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Theologianthespian
  • Added: 16 Sep 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7871742
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marcela Zabala Howard (22 Sep 1903–31 Mar 1987), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7871742, citing Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .