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Shaler teacher thrived on music, heritage, faith

| Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010

As a public school music teacher and founding member of the Alumni of Duquesne University Tamburitzans, Edward Sambol was remembered for his contributions to the field of music.

"Ed was gifted in writing his music, and creating a marriage between the music and abundant talents of his students, for a complete and beautiful presentation," said Carol Cubelic, a former president of the alumni group.

Edward M. Sambol of Shaler, a longtime music teacher in Pittsburgh Public Schools, died on Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, in his home. He was 88.

"Music was Dad's life," said his daughter, Anita Sambol of Shaler. "Besides teaching in the city schools and Croatian and Slovenian choral groups, Dad volunteered to play the organ for St. Nicholas Church in Millvale."

Born and raised in Lawrenceville, Mr. Sambol was one of three children in the family of barber Michael Joseph Sambol and his wife, Johanna Modic Sambol, immigrants from Croatia and Slovenia.

"Dad was committed to the Croatian community," Anita Sambol said. "He volunteered to teach Croatian chorale groups, like the Javor Singing Society in the North Side and at St. Nicholas Church."

Upon graduating from Schenley High School in Oakland in 1938, Mr. Sambol at 17 was accepted as a Duquesne University Tamburitzan and began his music studies.

Upon receiving his bachelor's degree in music from Duquesne in 1942, Mr. Sambol entered the Army Air Corps Band, where he played the trombone stateside during World War II.

After his discharge in 1945, Mr. Sambol returned to Duquesne, earned his master's degree in music education, and began his 33-year teaching career with the city schools.

"As we were growing up, Dad impressed upon us his love and commitment to his Catholic faith and his Croatian and Slovenian heritages," said his son, Michael Sambol of Shaler. "All of his children, at one time or another, were Tamburitzan dancers."

His children recalled their father as a loving, generous and humble man who was willing to work as a handyman and tune pianos in the evenings and weekends to enable his children to receive a Catholic school education and to put four of them through college.

"And if a family needed work done around their house and Dad knew they couldn't pay him, he did the job at no charge," Michael Sambol said.

In addition to his daughter, Anita, and son, Michael, Mr. Sambol is survived by his children, James Sambol of Milwaukee, Michele Sambol of Lancaster, Evelyn Clarke of North Carolina, Carol McKaveney of Greensburg and John Sambol of Harrisburg; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Alice Sambol and Geraldine Sambol, both of Shaler.

Mr. Sambol was preceded in death by his wife, Teresa V. Oslovcan Sambol, in 1994.

A funeral Mass will be offered at noon today in St. Nicholas Church in Millvale, followed by interment in St. Nicholas Cemetery, Millvale.

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