Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Howards in:
 • Santa Barbara Cemetery
 • Santa Barbara
 • Santa Barbara County
 • California
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Marcela Zabala Howard
Original name: Marcela Fenton
Birth: Sep. 22, 1903
Monterey County
California, USA
Death: Mar. 31, 1987
Santa Barbara County
California, USA

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) 
Family links: 
  Pedro Eduardo Zabala (1867 - 1928)
  Alica McQuaid Wilkes (1876 - 1944)
  Leslie Fenton (1902 - 1978)
  Charles Stewart Howard (1877 - 1950)*
  Marcela Zabala Howard (1903 - 1987)
  Anita Consuelo Zabala Vanderbilt (1904 - 1973)*
  Pedro Luis Zabala (1906 - 1973)*
*Calculated relationship
Santa Barbara Cemetery
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County
California, USA
Plot: Sunset section, Block C, Lot 25
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Theologianthespian
Record added: Sep 16, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7871742
Marcela <i>Zabala</i> Howard
Added by: Richard Cross
Marcela <i>Zabala</i> Howard
Added by: John Gallo
Marcela <i>Zabala</i> Howard
Added by: Tom Denardo
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Jackie
 Added: Aug. 20, 2017

- Kramer
 Added: Aug. 19, 2017

- Lillian
 Added: Mar. 31, 2016
There are 80 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.9 after 47 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service