Leon S. Zionts
November 10, 2019

Visitation Information

November 13 2019 - 10:30 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside), Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Funeral Information

November 13 2019 - 12:00 pm
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside), Pittsburgh, PA 15232

(March 11, 1958 - November 10, 2019): Actor, singer, producer, mentor, friend and lawyer. Born in Wheeling, West Virginia to Shirley and Albert (z”l) of Pittsburgh.  Adored husband and partner of Nancy Drazner Zionts of Montreal. Beloved father of Allison Laine (James Curtis) of London, UK, and Dani Lyon of the Bay Area and Pittsburgh – who dropped everything to come home and take incredible care of their Papa. Brother of Gail Raz (Micha) of Hatzeva, Israel, Harry Zionts (Laurie) of Pittsburgh. Brother-in-law of Susan and Jeffrey Bercovitch of Montreal, Ellen Drazner of Toronto, Stephen Winikoff (Susan Renda) of Wexford and Lisa Winikoff of Montreal. Son-in-law of Heather Tinkoff and the late Michael Drazner of Montreal. Special family to Jane and Larry Plotnick. Fun uncle to 18 nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Loving dog father to Fiyero and the late Fievel and Fezzik. Dear friend to many. He was an attorney with the firm of Citron Alex and Zionts PC for twenty years until he retired with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer earlier this year. Leon was passionate about theater – he loved performing and singing with many theater companies and venues across the region. In co-founding Front Porch Theatricals, Leon was committed to creating opportunities for actors, singers and tech professionals at all stages of their careers. Leon hoped his legacy would be the joy he brought to people as a performer, and the encouragement he provided from his heart. Leon was incredibly grateful for the many family who are friends and friends who are family for the love and care over the past months of his illness. Special thanks to Leon’s extended medical and spiritual partners: Nathan Bahary MD, Jason Ng MD, Myles Zuckerman MD and the team at Family Hospice, Jonathan Weinkle MD and Debi Gilboa MD. The family will always be grateful for the 23+ years that Leon was afforded by his medical partner and hero, Saul Silver MD. Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Wednesday at 12 Noon. Visitation one and one half hour prior to services, (10:30 AM to 12 Noon). Interment Beth Shalom Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to Congregation Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or Front Porch Theatricals, 112 Sewickley Ridge Circle, Sewickley, PA 15143 or www.frontporchpgh.com.  www.schugar.com


Send Condolence

My mother Helen K Lazarus just passed away, and I was going to call Leon today who was so kind to me at my stepfather's funeral 2 years ago. I attended some of his performances as well. I had moved to NY this fall and didn't realize what happened until I logged on today 11/25/19. Leon was such a smart, kind, and supportive person, and I am so very sad at hearing about his passing. May his memory be a blessing.

By Cathy Tyma - November 26, 2019

In our early years in Wheeling, my family shared many wonderful times with the Zionts family. There were many similarities: our mothers were both named Shirley, my sister Pam was the same age as Gail, I was a year or so older than Harry, and my sister Susan was roughly the same age as Leon. It was very touching reading the beautiful eulogy for Leon and discovering what a special person he became and how many people's lives were affected for the better by him. I join my sisters in extending my condolences to Leon's family and friends.

By Bruce Favish - November 22, 2019

So very sorry, dear Nancy. We will always have the fondest memories, and thinking of him will always put a smile in our hearts. All our love to you and the girls. We are thinking of you. Claudine and Henri of Montreal.

By Claudine & Henri - November 18, 2019

Rest in peace Leon our prayers are with your family and friends, will miss your smile and jovial personality

By John Bond and Lori Serbak /all the staff at WWTC upmc Shadyside - November 15, 2019

Dear Nancy, We feel very honored to have met Leon. He will always be remembered by us as a warm, gentle, kind, and humorous man full of life. Deepest condolences ❤️Marge and Bob

By Marge and Bob Rubin - November 15, 2019

Shirley, Gail & Harry, Some memories we have of others just make you smile. Leon was one of those smiles. My best to you all during this period of sorrow. David

By David Zimmer - November 14, 2019

Nancy, please accept my sincere condolences regarding Leon’s passing. You and he made a wonderful, fun couple. Know that you are in my prayers during this difficult time. Mike Evans

By Mike Evans - November 13, 2019

So sorry for your loss

By Lynne and Bobby Schaffer - November 13, 2019

Dear Nancy and family, My heartfelt condolences on the loss of Leon.Please know that I am thinking of you during this time of mourning. With sadness Sari

By Sari litman - November 13, 2019

We had the pleasure and privilege of sharing the stage with Leon for several Pittsburgh Savoyards performances. He was graced with great talent, quick wit, and seemingly effortless fellowship with everyone he encountered. Our hearts go out to all his family and friends; he will be dearly missed.

By Marichristine Storch and Chris Carter - November 13, 2019

I am so sorry to hear about Leon. I remember playing with Gale as Leon followed us around the house. Good memories as children. We lost our mother to Cancer and the loss is and was unbearable. My thoughts are with all of you.

By Pam Favish Waugh - November 12, 2019

Leon’s radiant smile and robust personality will live on in us all. His memory is a blessing

By Joan Stein - November 12, 2019

Nancy, Ally & Dani, sending our love, prayers and sympathies for the loss of a great and unique man. I remember Leon being energetic, fun, passionate and unique. Always took the time to talk & more importantly listen. he will be missed. May you cherish all the wonderful memories you have had together.

By Jason Mars - November 12, 2019

To the Zionts family- I am so terribly sad to hear this heartbreaking news. I have such wonderful memories of playing with Leon in Wheeling and then seeing him in Pittsburgh. We were such good buddies and our families for such close friends for so many years. This terrible disease has taken too many too young. May his memory serve as a blessing in the days, weeks and years ahead.

By Susan Levy (Favish) - November 12, 2019

Leon's light will forever shine upon us all. It was indeed an honor to have him in my life. My heart will forever miss him.

By Colleen Doyno - November 12, 2019

My deepest sympathies, Nancy. We all will miss him terribly!

By Wali Jamal - November 12, 2019

All my love to Nancy, the Zionts family, & Front Porch. Pittsburgh arts scene won’t be the same without Leon, but we will strive to make thoughtful & beautiful work in his honor.

By Michelle Engleman - November 12, 2019

Dear Nancy Allie and Dani I was so shocked and saddened by the news that your dear Leon succumbed to that dreaded disease last night. Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies on the loss of a wonderful talented capable and fun loving human being !!! I’m sending you all love, Auntie Eunice

By Eunice(Auntie Dolly)Mayers - November 12, 2019

So very sorry for your loss. Leon was a warm and generous person who will be greatly missed by all. With great affection, The Krakoff Family

By The Krakoff Family - November 12, 2019

Leon, I will miss YOU my dear friend! You have been a true friend & our attorney for the past 25 years! We shared many good times with you & your family at business! We had many many BS sessions at ICW, and I enjoyed everyone ! May God bless you and family! You my dear friend are in a better place, with no more suffering and pain! I will never forget all you did for me and my family over the years ! RIP LEON

By The DeBaldo Family - November 12, 2019

The world lost a truly beautiful person.

By Bil Railing - November 12, 2019

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Leon was one of my friends from the Kings Dale neighborhood. I will keep you in my prayers.

By Jeff and Linda Glace - November 12, 2019

Nancy, I will never forget the kindness and empathy you and Leon bestowed upon us before, during and after Jeffrey’s surgery. The world has lost not only a talented man but a kind, thoughtful and generous one as well. It was a privilege to know him.

By Lyn Ackerman - November 12, 2019

Please excuse if this is a duplicate. I was Leon's second cousin (my dad, Samuel E. Zionts, an architect, was his dad's first cousin). I don't believe that we ever met, but my wife and I are saddened by his death. We send his family our deepest condolences.

By Stan Zionts - November 12, 2019

I am so sorry and sad to learn of Leon’s death I remember all the fun and laughter we had on Kingsdale. Sending love to everyone ❤️❤️

By Sue gefsky - November 11, 2019

Nancy and family, I am profoundly sorry for the loss of this dear sweet friend. I am fortunate to have been one of the lives he touched and will forever be grateful for every laugh, every piece of wisdom and for every smile he sent my way. Please know you are thought of and prayed for as well. Kim

By Kim Haldeman Culpepper - November 11, 2019

Dear Shirley and Nancy Our hearts and love go out to you. Leon was a very special person. I had some business dealings over the years and always considered him a credit to his profession. When he and our son Jeff met in Israel years ago, Leon was extremely nice to Jeff. I know that everyone who knew Leon will greatly miss him With lots and lots of love George and Cynthia

By Cynthia and George Karlin - November 11, 2019

My heart goes out to Nancy and all Leon’s family, and like so many theater people I feel we have lost a pillar of our beautiful community of artists and enablers of good and thoughtful theater, that which makes us better. We must all step it up in Leon’s honor.

By Karla Boos - November 11, 2019

Thank you for sharing your husbands precious gifts.We did not know him personally But knew of his goodness. We are so sorry for your loss. Rachael and Bruce Rosen

By Rachael &Bruce Rosen - November 11, 2019

Nancy, I read of Leon's passing on Mindy's Facebook . Though I only met Leon a few times, he always had a smile and a good story to tell. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

By Eileen Johnson - November 11, 2019

Dear Shirley and Nancy Out heart goes out to both of you I dealt with Leon several times over the years on business matter and he was wonderful.He was certainly a credit to his profession We miss you and the family very much and wish we could be with you during this trying time Lots of love to both of you and all of the family George and Cynthia

By Cynthia and George Karlin - November 11, 2019

Dear Shirley and Nancy Our heart goes out to both of you. We wish we could be with you during this very trying time. Miss you and the family very much Lots of love to all Cynthia and George

By Cynthia and George Karlin - November 11, 2019

We are so very sorry for your loss. May Hashem comfort you and your family.

By Ilana Schwarcz - November 11, 2019