Organist from Wexford used music, education to practice faith
Fifi Utz was best remembered for her musical talents, which included singing in the choir and playing the organ in Salem United Methodist Church in Wexford.
And in her career as a home economist, Mrs. Utz was recognized for knowledge and talents in helping women in their homes.
“When electric ranges became popular following World War II, she would visit the homes of West Penn Power customers who bought an electric range and instruct them on proper usage,” said her husband, Charles “Chuck” Utz.
Elfrieda “Fifi” J. Utz of Wexford died on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, in her home. She was 87.
“When my wife decided she wanted to do something, such as playing the piano and the organ, she let nothing stop her. She took lessons and spent hours practicing, and then spent 44 years as the organist at our church,” her husband said.
“Fifi was a woman who practiced her faith by using both her musical talents and background in home economics to benefit our church. Besides preparing young men and women for service to our church, she gave piano lessons in our home.”
Born in Germany and raised in Troy Hill and Wexford, Mrs. Utz was an only child of shoemaker John Runner and his wife, Elizabeth.
“Fifi and I first met while we were attending Mars High School,” Mr. Utz said. “When we graduated in 1943, Fifi went to Penn State, where she received her degree. I entered the Army Air Corps and ended up as a tail gunner of a B-29.”
The couple married in 1948.
“Although we devoted ourselves to raising our children and providing them with college educations, we made time to be with each other. We both skied and went boating,” he said.
In addition to her husband, Chuck, Mrs. Utz is survived by her children, Linda Coulson of Clarion, Barry Utz of Mars and Bonnie Herold of Middlesex; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a son, Roy Utz.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in Salem United Methodist Church, 350 Manor Road, Wexford. Arrangements are being handled by George A. Thoma Funeral Home, Wexford.
Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or email@example.com.
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.
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Perryopolis man killed in 1-car crash
- Unusually cold winter, spring reduces population of Western Pa. stink bugs
- Steelers notebook: Keisel always hoped to return
- Woman in stable condition after Hill District shooting that killed daughter
- Hero Franklin Regional security guard out of work
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Records: Steelers RB Bell admitted smoking pot before traffic stop but denied being high
- Harrison’s 5 RBIs help Pirates pound Brewers
- Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Sanchez makes 1st start at first base with Indy