Sylvia J. (Kattouf) Hanna

May 15, 1940 - January 10, 2024

Visitation: Sunday, January 14, 2024, 3-7 p.m.; Devlin Funeral Home, Inc., Ross Twp.

Service: Monday, January 15, 2024 in St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral at 10:00 a.m. Everyone please meet at Church


Heaven has gained an incredibly special angel. With heavy hearts we announce that Sylvia Jane (Kattouf) Hanna, 83, of West View passed away on Wednesday January 10, 2024, after a brief illness. Wife of the late Nicholas J. Hanna, Ph.D.; loving mother of Sophia (Robert) Mooney and Damian (Nicole) Hanna; cherished sister of Theodore (Jeannie) Kattouf, George Thomas (Melanie) Kattouf, the late Subdeacon Gregory Kattouf, and sister-in-law, “the other” Sylvia Hanna; proud grandmother of Chloe (Jordan Blake), Nathan, Aubrey, Brian, Tierney, and Lachlan Hanna and Sierra Mooney; great-grandmother to Messiah and Kyrie Blake; devoted aunt, great-aunt, cousin, and friend to many.
Sylvia, the daughter of the late Habeeb and Victoria (Bahou) Kattouf,grew up in Altoona, PA. She developed a passion for acting and appeared in many plays at Altoona Area High School and The Mishler Theater. She was very involved in the Syrian Orthodox Church where her grandfatherwas the priest and participated in the Syrian Orthodox Youth Organization. Sylvia went on to Indiana State Teachers College (now Indiana University of PA) to study Speech/Language Pathology. While there she continued to act in plays and was a member of Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority. Sylvia furthered her education at West Virginia University where she earned a Master’s Degree in Speech/Language Pathology. Sylvia would later go on to earn a second Master’s Degree in Counselor Education from Duquesne University.
After working for Easter Seals in Altoona and the speech clinic at Ohio University, Sylvia moved to Pittsburgh, PA where she designed and taught a Parent/Toddler Program for the Living Learning Center while also offering private speech therapy out of her home. In 1978, Sylvia took on the position of Speech/Language Pathologist for Hampton School District where she worked tirelessly until her retirement in 2005. After retirement, Sylvia continued to volunteer helping tutor students in a second grade classroom.
Throughout her life, Sylvia continued to act in community theater withsome of her favorite roles being Serafina in The Rose Tattoo, Olive in The Odd Couple (Female Version), Kate in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Yente in Fiddler on the Roof, and Tillie in Dance Like a Butterfly – a one-woman show about an octogenarian reflecting on her life. Sylvia was devout in her faith and regularly attended St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral where she served as president of the Women’s Association and directed the Christmas Yolka for many years, sang in the choir, made pierogies, and ran the religious gift shop. She loved her church and prayer groupfamily.
Sylvia’s other passion was helping others, especially children. She was “mom” to just about everyone she ever met and made everyone feel special. She never forgot a birthday or milestone. She worked to support many charitable causes, most notably Covenant House, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), PA Connecting Communities, and The Women’s Choice Network to name a few. Sylvia was a devoted advocate for individuals with Down Syndrome – in particular her brother,Greg, for whom she was like a second mother. Over the years she helped many parents understand the blessing of welcoming a child with Down Syndrome into their family, and supported them, her brother, and his friends in any way possible.
Sylvia’s greatest joy was her children, their spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She delighted in going to shows, the library, the playground, and Dewey Beach, DE, with them. She attended every performance, sporting event, award night, and event she could and even acted/directed in a children’s theater group along with Sophia and Damianin the 1980s. She is fondly remembered as Grandma Hanna and Mary Poppins!
Sylvia enjoyed cooking, dining out, watching live theater, singing, talking on the phone, giving gifts, playing Boggle, her book club, her prayer group, learning about spirituality and past lives, loving her family and friends, and being a true Good Samaritan. She had the biggest, kindestheart and will be missed beyond measure.
Visitation will be at DEVLIN FUNERAL HOME, INC, 806 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA 15229 on Sunday, January 14, from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. A funeral service will be held on Monday, January 15 at 10:00 AM at Saint Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral 8290 Thompson Run Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 with Father John Mikita officiating.
Everyone please meet at Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the charities listed above.lol

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Guest Book Signatures

  • Sue McGrath

    To Sophia and all of your family ~~ I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your dear, sweet, talented mom. What a beautiful summary of her amazing life. I only knew her through Comtra Theater, where she was a true veteran actress to whom I looked up and admired, and to see that her greatness extended beyond the stage is not surprising. May she rest in the Lord’s true peace. You are all in my prayers.

  • Linda Tunie

    So deeply sorry for your loss.
    Sylvia was not only an amazing colleague to me when I began my career at Central Elementary, but she was also an amazing woman of God.
    God’s earthly angel has claimed her Heavenly Wings. Rest with God my friend.

  • Maureen McQuaide Miller

    My deepest condolences Sophia and Damian. Your mother was such a special person.

  • Jane and Ed Bradley

    You will be missed dear Sylvia. We always enjoyed talking with you and felt we knew you better through Nick (a frequent houseguest), whom we miss so much. Rest in peace.

  • Robert A Nassif

    Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of dear Sylvia. Remember fondly of good memories from Altoona and St George. She was always a positive influence and valuable asset of our community( as was her parents and siblings).
    May her Memory be Eternal!

  • The Boyd Family

    Memory eternal, dear Sylvia. We thank the Lord for your support and lovingkindness toward our boys. You will be missed much. We love you!

  • Tanya Rinaldo

    Sylvia was such a wonderful person. We will really miss her at church. Keeping Sylvia and her family in our thoughts and prayers.
    May her memory be eternal.

  • Diane Zebrine

    Sylvia was that light that couldn’t be put out, and I have no doubt she’s shining even more in God’s presence. We were colleagues at Hampton but were so much more, as she was so much more to everyone! Just reading the messages on this page, let alone Sylvia’s obituary, I marvel at the extent of her mission, which is what her life truly was. She always had time for one more student, one more problem to solve, one more conversation. We talked often about our families. I trusted her guidance and cherished her prayers. Sophia and Damian, how she loved you! And Greg and Jeffrey, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren, you were all cherished.

    Her quietest and most important gift may have been the way she helped children to feel about themselves in school.

    Sylvia was many things, some of which were compassion, humility, talent, friendship, warmth, generosity, charity, spirituality, and love. She truly did the Lord’s work, and her words and her actions reflected the words of Christ.

    I just wish we had stayed in touch when we retired, so we could have sat side by side and rocked our grandbabies together. ❤️

  • Lisa Mauro FitzGerald

    Sylvia was a shooting star, shining so bright and lighting up the sky with God’s love. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, that is no question. The love she has shown to our entire family won’t be forgotten. Her memory will remain a blessing in our lives. I know my mother is rejoicing in heaven to have her dear friend with her again. Sending much love and prayers to Slyvia’s entire family during this difficult time. Love, The Mauro (and FitzGerald) family

  • Larissa and Ben Lindquist

    We will miss our sweet Sylvia at St. Alexander Nevsky! She was my fellow Alto choir buddy, pieorgie pincher and O.C.Life ministry member. She meant so much to so many, her kindness and caring words will never be forgotten. It truly won’t be the same without her, but we can all take comfort knowing her deep faith and love for the Lord. May He welcome her with open arms into His heavenly kingdom and may her memory be eternal!

  • Hayley Markoff

    This one hurts. Really going to miss Sylvia at church. She was a big fan of mine and loved seeing my children on Sundays. I’ll never forget her love for me and my family.

  • Judith Witkowski

    Sylvia was a very special angel that God created to be on this earth she help everyone and anyone whose life she touched. She was my rock and my support during my loss of my husband and always there. Whenever I needed a helping hand God bless her watch over her and may she rest in peace.

  • Marissa Polk

    Sylvia was loved by all. She will always have a special place in our hearts. She is up in heaven with my mom and having a great time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  • Patti Helfrich

    “Aunt” Sylvia was a joy to Burchfield. The time that she spent with the students will never be forgotten. On the coldest days, you could count on Aunt Sylvia to come, listen and read with the students. She was pure joy.

  • Sue Weber

    Syl was my dear Pa. friend in school and to this day. We shared many times together over the years, the last time was at our 50th HS class reunion. Our last conversation may have been around my bday last year. My sympathy to her children and brother and the rest of her lovely family!

  • Roy and Eileen Glisan

    Syliva was so loved by everyone at St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral. She was our prayer warrior who prayed for everyone in need. She worked tirelessly for our Orthodox Christians for Life Parish Ministry. We will miss her warm smile and supportive words. Memory Eternal!

  • Lindsey Papakirk

    We’re really going to miss you at church. Memory eternal!

  • Judy and Nick Tesone

    We will be missing a wonderful lady. May you rest in peace.

 

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