Share This Page

Teacher's community involvement guided by faith

| Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, 8:30 p.m.

Those who knew her considered Virginia Marie Witney a leader in education, community involvement and arts endeavors, who set a similar pace for her children.

“As we were growing up, my mother stressed to my brothers and me to always do our best and to try to make a contribution in helping to improve the lives of others,” said her daughter, Beth Jack of Squirrel Hill.

Virginia Marie Luther Witney, of Lititz, Lancaster County, formerly of Peters, died on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Mt. Joy, Lancaster. She was 78.

Before raising her children, Mrs. Witney taught in the North Hills School District and in Tennessee, where her husband, whom she married in 1957, was employed by Alcoa. She had a degree in education from Duquesne University, where she was president of the Catholic Student Association.

Mrs. Witney was president of the Peters Township School Board and South Hills Area School Districts Association, where she was a strong proponent of the arts in education.

“It was easy for my mother to assume leadership assignments. She was a people person who knew how to work a room of educators,” her daughter added.

“My mother was also an antique dealer, a skill she acquired from my father's mother, who operated an antique store in Zelienople,” Beth Jack said.

Mrs. Witney, raised in Greenfield and Homestead, was one of four children of William E. and Virginia West Luther.

As a devout Catholic, Mrs. Witney attended St. Rosalia grade school in Greenfield. Upon moving to Peters, the Witney family attended St. Benedict the Abbot, where she taught Sunday School and conducted dance classes.

In addition to her daughter, Beth, Mrs. Witney is survived by her husband, Richard P. Witney; sons, Bruce Witney of Pleasanton, Calif., Douglas Witney of Blacksburg, Va., and Brian Witney of Tucson, Ariz.; five grandchildren; and her siblings, June Cardosi of West Chester, Chester County; Ruth Ardinger of McMurray and William Luther of Triangle, Va.

Family and friends will be welcomed from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in Laughlin Memorial Chapel, 222 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday in the Duquesne University Chapel in the Administration Buidling-Old Main, 600 Forbes Ave., Uptown.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or jvondas@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.