Sylvan "Sy" Holzer
June 16, 2024

Visitation Information

June 20 2024 - 9:30 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue (Shadyside) Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Funeral Information

June 20 2024 - 11:00 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside), Pittsburgh 15232

SYLVAN "SY" HOLZER: It is with profound sadness that we announce that Sylvan Holzer, of Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, passed away in his sleep on June 16, 2024, at the age of 75. He was surrounded by his loving children and grandchildren in the days leading up to his passing. Sy was a man of immense selflessness, sarcasm and wisdom, cherishing every moment spent with his family and close friends who came from all walks of life.  His passion for giving to others and his unwavering spirit will forever be remembered. He is survived by his wife Cathy of 54 years, his brother Dennis (and his wife Adrienne), his two children-Brian (his wife Lucy), Jodie (her husband Jarrod), and five grandchildren who will continue to honor his legacy by living their lives to the fullest. Sylvan ("Sy") was born on January 25,1949 to Max and Charlotte Holzer in Squirrel Hill, PA.  After Sy graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1966, he received degrees from Duquesne University, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University and the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business-Management Program for Executives before starting as a management trainee at PNC Bank in 1972. Sy went on to dedicate the next 45 years of his career to PNC bank and the city of Pittsburgh in ways that so few have done. Over his 45-year career, he held executive positions in corporate and retail banking with a scope of responsibility including financial services relationships with all large government entities, higher education institutions, health care organizations and labor unions throughout Pennsylvania. Sy most recently served as PNC Bank's regional president in Pittsburgh from 1997 until his retirement in 2017. Sy simply referred to himself as a "Pittsburgher", dedicating countless hours to the community and non-profit and charitable causes.  He was chairman of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, as well as a member of the board of directors of the UPMC Cancer Centers. He was appointed by Pennsylvania's governor to serve on the board of trustees of the University of Pittsburgh. He served on the board of visitors for the Katz Graduate School of Business, and Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He also served as a member of the executive committee on the board of the Children's Hospital Foundation. Additionally, he served on the boards of directors of the Bethany Board of Trustees, The Pittsburgh Opera, Fred Rogers Foundation and the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and was chairman of the Pittsburgh Strategic Investment Fund. He was appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judiciary Advisory Council by the Chief Justice. He received numerous local honors for his community leadership over the years including a doctor of humanities degree from Bethany College and induction into the Taylor Allderdice Hall of Fame in 2013. Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Thursday June 20, 2024 at 11 AM. Visitation one and one half hour prior to services (9:30 AM to 11 AM). Interment Mount Lebanon Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sy Holzer Endowed Immunotherapy Research Fund at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Please mail to: Development Office, UPMC Cancer Pavilion, Suite 1B, 5150 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. 


Send Condolence

Cathy, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your beloved husband. My heart breaks for you and this tremendous loss. Sending you my deepest condolences and prayers for peace. May Sylvan’s memory be for a blessing and may he rest in eternal peace.

By Deb Goldberg Amelio - June 22, 2024

When PNC Park opened, I remember Sy sending over some tickets for Opening Day. We raffled them off in the newsroom amid much excitement. He also sent a crate of apples at Christmas time. No one else does things like that. In later years, I got to work with Sy on quite a few projects, such as 40 Under 40 and One Young World. He always made me feel important and special. I think he made everyone feel that way! Sy was a true Pittsburgh character. Condolences to the family.

By Betsy Benson - June 21, 2024

Sy thank you for always being there for me. You were the perfect mentor, friend and confidant. I will forever miss our conversations and laughs. You were a real treasure to Pittsburgh, PNC and to the countless people you touched. Rest in Peace my friend.

By Daniel Taylor - June 20, 2024

Ellen and I were very sad to hear the news of Sylvan's passing. We enjoyed getting to know Sylvan and wish we had more time together. He really enjoyed spending time in Mediterra with Cathy and family and the puppy. Ellen and I wanted to send our heartfelt sympathy to the entire family of the loss of such a nice and gentle soul. He will be sorely missed by all. Our deepest sympathy Your neighbors in Mediterra With much love Ellen and Mike 28104 Serata Court

By michael and ellen fedida - June 19, 2024

I came to know Sy casually when we both swam laps early in the mornings at the Rivers Club, probably beginning sometime in the mid-to late 1980s. We were among a small group of \\\"regulars\\\" who would congregate in the stairwell waiting for Kelly to open up and let us in at 5:30 am, so I knew Sy was dedicated to his profession, but also a little crazy, like me. At some point he moved on from that venue and I relocated, but I fondly recall enjoying his company in the wee hours of the morning and could recognize then, and remember now, all of the things that made him the very good man described in the many tributes I have read since his passing. You have my sincere condolences!

By Mike Borasky - June 18, 2024

On behalf of my wife, Scheryl, my sons, Dirk and Jeff, and my daughter, Jamie, we offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Cathy and her family. Sy was an amazing, funny, wonderful, and yes sometimes grumpy man. He was a true Pittsburgher, who loved his family, his City, and PNC. Everyone I met knew Sy and had a funny, heartfelt story about Sy. I had the privilege of knowing Sy for nearly 20 years and I enjoyed every moment I had the opportunity to spend with him, which always involved many laughs. His sense of humor was unique and always had a purpose. For the last 5 years he and Cathy lived on the same street as my son Jeff and daughter Jamie. They loved their interactions with Sy and look forward to providing continuing friendship to Cathy, as do Scheryl and I. Sy was a remarkable man and will be missed. God Bless Sy, Cathy and their family.

By Rich Harshman - June 18, 2024

Sy and Cathy Thankyou for your long term friendship. Sy was always there for me and everyone. His no was no problem. ! We all learned so much from him and he took the interest to know our entire family ! From advisory meetings to cook offs , to attending family celebration's to him reaching high up in my wine room , all his wit and one liners we enjoyed every minute - I don’t know anyone that touched this many people and gave so much of himself A true pgh icon will be missed because there will never be another one like him ! To the holzer family from the scalo family we love you and Thankyou for sharing a piece of sy with us !

By The scalo family - jack , carole , john , and jesse and Patrick - June 18, 2024

Pittsburgh Opera extends our heartfelt condolences to Sy’s family and friends. Sy served on our Board for eight years. He leaves a wonderful legacy and will be greatly missed. We were very sorry to learn of his passing.

By Pittsburgh Opera - June 17, 2024

I want to express my deepest sympathy to you Cathy and your family. I’m filled with much sadness when I heard of Sy’s passing. When we first met we immediately became friends. Sy took me by my hand, as he would always tell me, and introduced me to all the great people in Pittsburgh. Sy stepped in and introduced me to several doctors when he heard my daughter had a severe chronic illness. Sy would break walls down to help you. We had many dinners and lunches together and we would laugh out loud the entire evening. I will miss him as we all will. Sy was and always will be remembered for giving back and making a difference in our lives. Sy was my friend and will forever be remembered. RIP my friend.

By Jerry MacCleary - June 17, 2024

My deepest condolences to the Holzer family. Sy was an extraordinary man of integrity and honor and always pushed everyone around him to be their best. His longstanding accomplishments personally and professionally are exceptional. He was a titan of industry and a true Pittsburgher who will be missed by so many. He was a great a great friend and mentor and will forever be missed.

By Mark Sevco - June 17, 2024

Kathy, Pat and I were simply heartbroken to hear of Sy’s passing! What an incredible man he was. Taken way too soon. Please know we will be holding your family in prayer and if you need anything please reach out! Carrie and Pat Prosser

By Carrie Prosser - June 17, 2024