Sylvia Sachs
March 5, 2018

SACHS, SYLVIA: On Monday, March 5, 2018, age 96 after a short illness. Beloved daughter of the late Gus Sachs and Sarah Tobenfliegel Sachs. Sister of the late Leonard Sachs.  Loving aunt of Carol S. Weisman of Hershey, PA, Gail E. Sachs of Palmyra, PA and David E. Sachs (Deanna Morris) of Mill Valley, CA. Loving great-aunt of Sarah Weisman (Aaron Fredrickson). Loving great-great aunt of Benjamin Fredrickson. Sylvia grew up in Squirrel Hill with no plans to enter the family’s real estate business, but with dreams of becoming a feature writer at the Pittsburgh Press. She sold books at the old Kaufmann’s Department Store, Downtown, until there was an opening at the Press as secretary to the Outdoors Editor, Roger Latham. While working at the Press, Sylvia earned her B.A. degree at the University of Pittsburgh. She soon proved her reporting and writing skills with feature stories and book reviews. When the Pittsburgh Press began sponsoring Book and Author Dinners at Kaufmann’s in 1974, Sylvia became the organizer of the quarterly events. Over the years, Sylvia brought in more than 500 authors to speak at the dinners, which attracted hundreds at each event. She was involved in all details – including picking up authors at the airport! She was so successful that when the Post-Gazette later took over the Book and Author Dinners, she was persuaded to coordinate the programs until they ended in 2002 – even though she had already retired. Sylvia’s retirement from the Pittsburgh Press was more of a transition into continuing to do the things she loved, including traveling, volunteering at the Carnegie Library, tutoring, taking up chess and bridge for weekly games, spending time with friends and family at the family’s summer cottage in Zelienople, and teaching courses at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. For her Osher Hot Topics class, she drew on her years of reporting to bring in Pittsburgh’s leaders and celebrities to speak to packed rooms of retirees. She also shared leading class discussions on New Yorker articles. At the same time, Sylvia was known to stay up all night – night after night – to finish her latest mystery book. She regularly scoured the Carnegie Library and Oakmont’s Mystery Lovers Bookshop. She kept books piled high enough to serve as a side table next to her reading chair. Throughout her life, Sylvia developed a number of deep and lasting friendships. She will be greatly missed by her extended family and friends and by dear Pam Devando who provided loving companionship and care. Sylvia will be missed as well by her beloved cat Toby. Services and Interment Private. Contributions may be made to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.


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