Stella (nee Kenar) Sobilo, Age 96, of East Chicago, passed away peacefully at home on May 9th. She is preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Stanley Sobilo Sr. and her son Larry (Lorna) Sobilo as well as 11 sisters and brothers.
She is survived by her daughters Denise Sobilo, Adrianne (John) Ansay, Stacey (Robert) Zurek, sons Stanley Sobilo Jr., and Richard (Cathy) Sobilo, as well as 16 loving grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Stella was a lifelong East Chicago resident and lifelong parishioner at St. Stanislaus Parish. A graduate of St. Stanislaus School and East Chicago Roosevelt High School, class of 1942. Right after high school, Stella aided the war effort by helping to manufacturer tank track plates at Blaw Knox in East Chicago. She also played sports in the Women’s Industrial Leagues in the area during WWII.
A pioneer of women’s sports, Stella coached volleyball, basketball and track at St. Stan’s for over 25 years. She was also instrumental in the East Chicago CYO that boasted several teams in both boys and girls and a high school division at one time. For her efforts, she was presented the Fr. Vincent Mooney Award from the Diocese of Gary.
Her efforts with youth sports extended to East Chicago recreational programs and merited her inclusion into the East Chicago Hall of Fame in 1993. Stella also coached at the High School level and was the first softball coach at Bishop Noll Institute, earning conference and sectional titles. She believed that volunteering and sending her children to a Catholic high school was important, and her dedication to BNI’s mission earned the Sobilo family, and Stella as the Matriarch, a place in the Bishop Noll Family Hall of Fame. Through raising six children, Stella also helped numerous brothers and sisters in her life, caring for them and their families through hardships and illnesses. She lost both of her parents before she was 14 which inspired her belief in a strong family support system.
Stella was also proud of her Polish-American heritage and served as a National Delegate and Women’s Division President of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. She also hosted and chaired numerous National PRCUA Sports Tournaments in Northwest Indiana, bringing participants from all over the country. Stella stayed active throughout her life playing softball, volleyball and bowling well into her 60’s, keeping up with her daughters and her younger friends.
Throughout all activities and accolades, Stella’s life has been most guided by her faith. She was a member of the St. Stan’s Rosary Sodality, a volunteer at Church and School, a member of St. Stan’s Happy Timers and devoted Catholic. She is a great admirer of Saint John Paul II, like him she has suffered and sacrificed much in her long life and left earth dignified and full of faith.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Stella's name may be made to The Bishop Noll Scholarship Fund or for Memorial Masses.
Due to restrictions at Holy Cross Cemetery, attendance should not exceed 10 people at one time for burial.