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Obituaries

Stella Cindrich was always there for family, people in need

| Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

Stella Cindrich was the matriarch of a close and successful family that met for pasta dinner every Sunday.

"She was a consummate mother, grandmother and great-grandmother," said son Ralph Cindrich, a Pittsburgh-based sports agent.

"She was capable of great love and spreading it very wide," said son Robert Cindrich, a former U.S. Attorney, federal judge and chief legal counsel for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "She will sorely be missed."

Stella Dolores Cindrich died Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, surrounded by family in her home near Avella, Washington County. She was 90.

Mrs. Cindrich was born in Steubenville, Ohio, on Oct. 4, 1920, four days after her parents, Rocco and Christina Sfara, emigrated from Italy. After graduating from Avella High School in 1937, she wanted to attend college, but her parents saw no purpose in it.

"The loss of that opportunity fueled her lifelong desire to assure that her children and grandchildren would receive the educational opportunity she was denied," Ralph Cindrich said.

She married Anthony Joseph Cindrich in St. Michael's Church in Avella on June 25, 1939. The couple founded the utility contracting firm AJ Cindrich Inc. after he returned home from serving in World War II. They had five children, all of whom attended college. Mr. Cindrich died in 2001.

Mrs. Cindrich was active in the community, serving as secretary of St. Michael's Parish Council; vice president of the American Legion Auxiliary; president of Cedar Grove Water Association; and a director of the A.D. White Historical Society. In 2009, she was named the Outstanding Person of the Year by the Italian American Society.

"She was just a person who was always giving, no matter what happened. If someone was in distress, she was there to help," said former Avella School District Superintendent Dr. Raymond J. Fioroni, a family friend. "I often marvelled that she would go to a dinner and then to a party and then go visit somebody who needed some help. It was pretty well-known that others needed rest, but not Stella. She was always available and always there."

She worked until a few weeks before her death.

"In my mind, Stella was going to go on forever. She was going to be there forever. That's why it's very difficult to accept this," Fioroni said. "We knew it wasn't true, but that's the way it seemed."

In addition to her two sons, survivors include another son, Ronald Cindrich of Thornburg; two daughters, Rita Cindrich Botula of Presto and Rebecca Cindrich of Robinson; 10 grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Two sisters, Theresa Babich and Rose Lonick, and two brothers, Patsy C. and Joseph A. Sfara, preceded her in death.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today in Jerome A. Stefkovich Funeral Home Inc., 18 Campbell Street in Avella. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, 95 Highland Ave., Avella, with the Rev. Pierre G. Sodini officiating. Burial will be in St. Michael Cemetery.

The family asks that memorials be in the form of contributions to the St. Michael Roman Catholic Church Building Fund.

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