Rochelle Claire Landis
June 9, 1942 - November 23, 2022

Visitation Information

November 25 2022 - 8:00 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside) Pittsburgh 15232

Funeral Information

November 25 2022 - 9:00 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue (Shadyside) Pittsburgh 15232

ROCHELLE CLAIRE LANDIS: Was the wife of Thomas "Red" Whittington. She was predeceased by her parents, Mildred and Paul Smoller, and brother, Sanford (Sandy). Rochelle and her mother were very close, and Rochelle never stopped missing and mourning her mother after her death.

Rochelle found the love of her life in Red Whittington. In Hollywood parlance, they had a “meet cute” at Carnegie Hall in Oakland during a concert intermission, when she dropped her program and Red picked it up for her. She then asked if he was familiar with the Barber violin concerto and invited him to sit with her. This was the beginning of a long partnership. Through the years, Rochelle and Red shared their love of music and attended many concerts. It is fitting that their relationship began at one—and that days before Rochelle’s death, Red arranged to have two violinists come and play for her at home. In part, this loving gesture acknowledged that Rochelle had been first chair violin at Allderdice High School.

A lifetime resident of Squirrel Hill, Rochelle earned an undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Her graduate program was part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society effort. In exchange for her tuition, she taught in underserved areas. This included a Hill District school for pregnant students and the Holmes School (formerly in South Oakland), where students called her and two other young teachers the “Mod Squad.” (And indeed, Rochelle was always hip and stylish.) She spent most of her career teaching English at Peabody High School, where she also directed and choreographed student performances. She had a lifelong passion for dance as well as music.

The concerns that were at the core of Rochelle’s being were animal rights and animal welfare. In fact, Rochelle asked that these words appear on her headstone: Remember the pain of living things.

For decades, Rochelle worked tirelessly to relieve the animals’ pain. She was active in many local animal rights and animal welfare organizations. She stood up for all animals, including racing greyhounds who were used for sport and greed, and pigeons who were victims of a cruel annual shooting event. She was a longtime vegetarian who would not support the horrific practices of factory farms. She made her home a haven for countless dogs and cats. All were dear, but none so dear as greyhound siblings Normy and Nova, whom she so greatly missed after their deaths. Rochelle leaves behind two beloved felines, Gracie and Tovah.

Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Friday, November 25, 2022 at 9 AM. Visitation one hour prior to services, (8 AM - 9 AM). Burial will be Private. Donations may be made to animal charities, such as Humane Animal Rescue Pittsburgh, Animal Care and Welfare Pittsburgh, and Going Home Greyhounds Wexford.


Send Condolence

I was a student of Ms. Landis at Peabody HS in 1977. She always connected with students. I remember t5he day I came in to class, and she had a quote written on the upper right corner of the blackboard "I may make you feel, but I can't make you think". It is a line from a Jethro Tull song. I thought she was soooo cool using this quote.

By Stoughton B Bailie Sr - November 28, 2022

Was sadden today to hear the loss of a amazing women and a wonderful teacher. She will be missed dearly. Red thank you for allowing me to speak with her on Monday when you called the clinic. My sympathies to you and her family.

By Karen Trzeciak - November 28, 2022

When I was the editor of Going Home Greyhounds ' newsletter, Rochelle wrote several articles. I enjoyed long phone chats with her about those articles and about writing in general. Two English teachers discussing the art...and life, death, and the Universe. Cherish the memory.

By Sharon Dubiel - November 27, 2022

Red, you have our deepest sympathy and prayers🙏🏼

By Ron Hosek - November 26, 2022

Dear Red, im so sorry to hear of the passing of your wife. I don't believe i ever got to meet her but i know what a great person you are and i offer my sincere condolences.

By Carl Vesch - November 25, 2022

Red and family, I am deeply sorry to learn of Rochelle’s passing. My thoughts are with all of you.

By Luke Skywalker Self - November 24, 2022

Our prayers and sympathy for your loss.

By Tom & Mary Ellen Moeller - November 24, 2022

I regret not being able to attend her funeral but she will always be in my heart. as we were friends for many years. Will miss you, Rochelle.

By Alice Richards - November 24, 2022

So sorry Red…. This is just devastating. I know how much you loved her and how well you took care of her at the end. Peace.

By Lilian Akin - November 23, 2022

Red, I am so sorry for the loss of your love. Watching you two always brought light to my heart. Your love was so sweet. Rochelle had a heart of gold here on earth. May her memory always be a Blessing,

By judith levy - November 23, 2022