Helen Joan (Zilla) Strama, 96, passed away peacefully Monday, April 5, 2021, at Arden Courts of North Hills in Pittsburgh. She was born May 15, 1924, in Springdale, where she lived most of her life. She was the daughter of the late Andrew J and Pauline (Grossman) Zilla. She attended Springdale High School and worked as a secretary at Scaife's in Oakmont after graduation. She married her soul mate, John, in 1946 and raised three daughters, Paula, Deborah and Gail. Always a caregiver, she looked after many family members and friends during their illnesses. She enjoyed her home; cooking and baking were her passions, and she was the ultimate hostess. Her pie crusts, potato salad, chicken soup and Texas sheet cake were legendary. She loved having family gatherings on her back porch and we have many warm memories of birthday parties, reunions, and other celebrations there. She loved hot fudge sundaes from Glen's Custard, bus trips to the casinos and shows, and card clubs with her friends. She served for more than 26 years with the Ladies of Charity and previously with the Mothers' Club of St. Alphonsus Church in Springdale, where she was a member all of her life. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was gracious and loving to all she encountered. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 69 years, John; daughter, Deborah; brothers, John, Joe, Paul and Andrew; and sisters, Anna, Paulene and Amelia. She is survived by her daughters, Paula and husband, John, of Linesville, Pa., and Gail and husband, Richard, of Pittsburgh; grandchildren, Sara, Sam, Stefanie, Jacob, Alan, Todd and Geneva; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. The family sends grateful thanks to Arden Courts of North Hills for their nurturing of our mom during the last year, and Heartland Hospice for their compassionate care in the last several months. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association Inc., 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047 (lbda.org/donate). Friends and family will be received from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday April 8, at the CHARLES B. JARVIE SPRINGDALE FUNERAL HOME INC., 801 Pittsburgh St. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in Guardian Angels Parish, Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 1526 Union Ave., Natrona Heights, with burial to follow in Our Lady of Hope Cemetery, Tarentum, next to her husband and daughter.
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