May 5, 1950 - February 10, 2021
N. UTICA - Zoraida (Garcia) Abeling, age 70, went home to the Lord on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 with the love and support of her sisters by her side. Sadly, her passing was due to the Corona Virus. Born in Cayey, Puerto Rico on May 5, 1950, Zoraida was the daughter of the late Juan and Irene (Vega) Garcia. As a young woman, she came to Utica with her maternal grandparents, Santiago and Juanita (Vega) Rivera. She was a graduate of T.R. Proctor High School/Class of 1968 and continued her education at SUNY Oneonta where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Science and Education. Zoraida was married to Ronald D. “Ron” Abeling with whom she shared common interests and faith. Their relationship was blessed and bonded by the Lord. Ron passed away on May 23, 2015. Zoraida had zest for teaching and a love of children. She taught multiple subjects in the Utica City School District at numerous local schools, retiring in 2009. She then continued teaching as a tutor for students who were homebound. She was an awesome educator who touched so many lives, and testimony has been given of her compassion, patience, and love for teaching. She had a lovely laugh, filled with joy and non-judgmental sincerity. Her generosity and helping hand extended above and beyond, and in many thoughtful ways. It was a renewed faith that she found over 40 years ago that transformed her priorities in life. A God fearing woman, her renewed faith aided and sustained her positive nature and compelled her to do God’s work. As her fellow brethren of River of Life Christian Church in Rome attest, “Zoraida was a mother to us all, always checking up on us every week to see how everyone was doing. She was the last to leave the church building every Sunday because she wanted to make sure everything was in its place”. She loved to decorate and organize the Bulletin Board at church so everyone would be aware of upcoming events. She was simply sweet, down to earth, humble, and so helpful. God graced Zoraida with great friends who meant the world to her. They often gathered to enjoy a day and each other’s company, and that was her outlet; they were all soul mates. Christian music filled her space as it ministered to her heart. She had a deep desire to share her enlightened soul through a mother’s love, so she took her cousins, Anna Rose Colon, Leslie Diaz, and Diana Jones, into her home and raised them as her own. Currently, she was a nurturing guardian to Jayovani “Jay Jay” Santalucia and De-Analis “Dee Dee” Santalucia. She gave them a new outlook on life, and in turn, they gave joy to her life. They motivated her, and she was filled with love. Her unexpected passing has broken the children’s hearts, but Zoraida will continue to watch over them from above. Zoraida was instrumental in touching so many lives, in so many ways, many known only to God, alone. Her conviction as a guiding light and her sacrifices for others came from a genuine place. This is the path that led her to selflessly help lift so many souls. God was first. Zoraida mentored others to know His glory. “Good night, sister Zoraida. We love you”. You heard the clarion call of the voice of God, and you spread His word with love in your heart. Zoraida is survived by her siblings and their loved ones, Marta and Diego Carriero, Jose Garcia, Nidia Rivera, Frank Garcia, Juan and Tata Garcia, Mike and Lety Garcia, Michele and Ken Whittemore, David and Laurie Garcia, Adelaida “Ollie” and Josue Pagan, Andy Garcia, Janie Jardieu, Stevie Garcia, and Sam Garcia; her many, many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and her late husband’s children, Christopher and Jacky Abeling, and Roy Abeling. In her circle of life, Zoraida was also blessed with Janet Oyer who she truly considered an additional sister. They shared a special bond and Janet was there to the end, helping and blessing Zoraida’s life. Zoraida’s untimely passing has left her family and her friends in such shock, and in order to properly celebrate her life they have chosen to gather at a time when it is safe and healthier due to the pandemic. Please await further details through this website and the family’s emails. During this time of social distancing that we are all experiencing, please take a moment to connect with Zoraida’s family through the “Memories” section of her obituary. Our prayers go out to all as a sign of our continued support.
N. UTICA - Zoraida (Garcia) Abeling, age 70, went home to the Lord on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 with the love and support of her sisters by her side. Sadly, her passing was due to the Corona Virus. Born in Cayey, Puerto Rico on May 5, 1950,... View Obituary & Service Information
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