Seamstress energetically served church, veterans
By Bill Zlatos
Published: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Liz Yanni arrived two hours early to prepare St. Alphonsus Church in Springdale for Mass and volunteered more than 8,000 hours in 20 years for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“An aunt once joked, ‘If she didn't do so much, there would be more room for someone else to volunteer,'” said son Jim Yanni of Wexford.
Elizabeth “Liz” A. Yanni of Springdale died Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Harmar Village in Harmar from a heart attack. She was 93.
She was born Jan. 4, 1919, in Springdale to Edward and Hilda Prohaska. Her father was an organizer for the United Mine Workers, and her mother was a homemaker. She waited tables at age 10 in Power City Restaurant and worked in Winchelle's five-and-dime store after graduating from high school.
She married her high school sweetheart, Salvatore “Jim” Yanni, on July 28, 1939. To make ends meet, she sewed drapes in the basement of their home for Altmeyer's Fabrics. She was so good at sewing that she designed and sewed the costume for Reddy Kilowatt, a light bulb with antennas that was the mascot for the Springdale High School Dynamos.
An active member of St. Alphonsus, Mrs. Yanni would unlock the church in the morning, wash priests' vestments, usher people to their seats, collect donations and dispense Holy Communion. She performed similar duties at the VA Center in Aspinwall and wheeled patients to its chapel for Mass. She also coordinated poppy sales for the VFW.
“She loved — loved — doing stuff for the vets,” said son Jack Yanni of Palmyra in Lebanon County. “My Dad was a Seabee. She got involved in that through him.”
Mrs. Yanni volunteered so much that the state House of Representatives cited her in 2006 “for her exemplary citizenship and working with the community.” The Cheswick-Springdale Lions Club named its Distinguished Service Award for her to honor her many years of service.
“She taught us to think about others,” Jack Yanni said. “My career was in law enforcement, and that's what I love to do — help others. That's the way my mother was — do things and not brag about it.”
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by half brothers, Richard and Charles; a half sister, Julia; sisters, Virginia and Dolores; and a brother, Edward. Survivors include a sister, Theresa Prohaska, now Sister Hilda of Allison Park.
The family will hold a private interment on Thursday in Greenwood Memorial Park with a memorial Mass to be celebrated at a date to be determined in St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and the Sisters of Divine Providence Mother House in Allison Park. Charles B. Jarvie Funeral Home Inc. in Springdale/Cheswick is handling the arrangements.
The family asks that memorials be in the form of donations to the Elizabeth Prohaska Yanni Community Service Award at the Cheswick-Springdale Lions Club, P.O. Box 164, Springdale, PA 15144.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Motivated quarterback Roethlisberger fights to prop up Steelers
- Kovacevic: Why give credence to Heisman?
- Bengals’ balanced offense poses threat to Steelers
- Pitt’s Donald wins Lombardi Award
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line
- Pirates sign free agent pitcher Volquez
- Baldwin-Whitehall School Board eliminates controversial administrative position
- Daily News roundup: Top-seeded Elizabeth Forward rolls past Frazier
- High school roundup: Franklin Regional tops Norwin to win host tournament
- Shaler grad Thorpe finding his way at PSU
- South Allegheny wrestlers shooting for more this season