Colonial Funeral Home

1801 East Red River Street, Victoria, TX


Margaret Myrta Sarlls Vanelli

July 9, 1919April 29, 2020

Margaret Myrta Sarlls Vanelli was born on July 9, 1919, the youngest of eight children. Margaret passed away shortly after midnight on April 29, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband Lewis Vanelli, by her parents Brigid Kavanagh and James Sarlls, by her sisters Agnes, Brigid and Mary, and by her brothers Edward, James, Joseph and Lawrence.

Margaret attended the Wood Hi School and then Patti Welder HS where she played volleyball and softball. Later she gained recognition as a pitcher for the Victoria Rosettes, a ladies league softball team. After the Rosettes beat the Houston team, Margaret was recruited to play for them. But her mother did not like the idea of a young girl living alone in the big city. So Margaret stayed home, continued to play for the Rosettes, and went to work at Levi's Department Store where she met Lewis Vanelli. They married in 1939 and had two children. She never stopped learning and continued her education at Victoria Junior College after the children went off to college.

Margaret was a long time parishioner at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. She made frequent trips to visit her grandchildren in Houston, and in Idaho, and then Alaska, where she eventually lived for several years after Lewis passed away. She also traveled to Mexico City to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and made pilgrimages to religious sites in Portugal and Paris. More recently she has been a parishioner at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Houston.

Margaret is survived by her children, Peggy Cole and husband Kenneth of Big Lake, Alaska and James Vanelli and wife Jackie of Houston, Texas. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Scott Cole, Charles Vanelli, Katie Cole Abraham, Rebecca Cole Panruk, Donald Vanelli, Russell Vanelli, Melanie Cole Pearce and Matthew Middleton. Margaret was blessed with eleven great grandchildren: Aiden, Liliana and Ryon Abraham; Ellyn, Avereigh, Sophia and Aidan Vanelli; Austin, Savanna and Andrew Middleton; and Justin Cole. Margaret leaves a number of nephews and nieces, and their children, all of whom she loved dearly.

Margaret will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Resurrection Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers are John Schell, James Schell, Joseph Sarlls, James Steelhammer, Charles Vanelli, Donald Vanelli, Russell Vanelli and Scott Cole. A memorial service will be scheduled for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Margaret’s name to the Gabriel Project at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church.

Words of comfort may be shared at www.colonialfuneralhomevictoria.com


  • Brigid Kavanagh Sarlls, Mother (deceased)
  • James Sarlls, Father (deceased)
  • Lewis Vanelli, Husband (deceased)
  • Peggy Cole, Daughter
  • Kenneth Cole, Son-in-law
  • James Vanelli, Son
  • Jackie Vanelli, Daughter-in-law
  • Agnes Vogt, Sister (deceased)
  • Brigid Schell, Sister (deceased)
  • Mary Dorweiler, Sister (deceased)
  • Edward Sarlls, Brother (deceased)
  • James Sarlls, Brother (deceased)
  • Joseph Sarlls, Brother (deceased)
  • Lawrence Sarlls, Brother (deceased)
  • Scott Cole, Grandchild
  • Charles Vanelli, Grandchild
  • Katie Cole Abraham, Grandchild
  • Rebecca Cole Panruk, Grandchild
  • Donald Vanelli, Grandchild
  • Russell Vanelli, Grandchild
  • Melanie Cole Pearce, Grandchild
  • Matthew Middleton, Grandchild
  • Aiden Abraham, Great Grandchild
  • Liliana Abraham, Great Grandchild
  • Ryon Abraham, Great Grandchild
  • Ellyn Vanelli, Great Grandchild
  • Avereigh Vanelli, Great Grandchild
  • Sophia Vanelli, Great Grandchild
  • Aidan Vanelli, Great Grandchild
  • Austin Middleton, Great Grandchild
  • Savanna Middleton, Great Grandchild
  • Andrew Middleton, Great Grandchild
  • Justin Cole, Great Grandchild
  • . Margaret leaves a number of nephews and nieces, and their children, all of whom she loved dearly.

Learn more about the Vanelli name


  • John Schell, Honorary Pallbearer
  • James Schell, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Joseph Sarlls, Honorary Pallbearer
  • James Steelhammer, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Charles Vanelli, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Donald Vanelli, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Russell Vanelli, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Scott Cole, Honorary Pallbearer



  • Private Graveside Ceremony

    Saturday, May 2, 2020


  • Memorial Service at a later date


Margaret Myrta Sarlls Vanelli

have a memory or condolence to add?

Donna Bonorden

May 2, 2020

I offer you my sympathies as you suffer the loss of your beloved Mom and Grandmother, the matriarch of your family. Mrs. Vanelli was such a beautiful person. I remember her so clearly from the time I was ten or eleven years old, because Peggy and I were best friends. We often visited at each other's home and I always felt so welcome and loved her desserts! Then I knew her in a different way when she volunteered to sponsor some young ladies in the RCIA. She was an awesome sponsor --she loved to share her Catholic faith! Now she's in heaven rooting for all of you. May your faith and your memories of her help you through this difficult time.

Dianna Thomas

May 1, 2020

Dear Peggy & Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. What a legacy your Mom leaves. So many years have passed since our OLV days. Those are specials memories that will linger. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Rest In Peace, Mrs. Vanelli.
Blessings, Dianna Lee Thomas

Muriel Cullen Argen

May 1, 2020

My deepest sympathy to the Vanelli family
May you Rest In Peace in heaven, dear Margaret

Katie Abraham

April 30, 2020

I will never forget how much joy my children brought to my geandmother. She was always firm but loving and always so generous. I loved watching her feed them and hold them when they were infants and cooing at them. I loved watching her interact with them as toddlers. Even to the last phone call where she absolutely "lit up" when I asked if she wanted to talk to them, they brought her joy. I feel so luck to have had her for my grandma. I will miss her so much!


Learn more about the Vanelli name