Cover photo for Theodore J. Szalla Sr.'s Obituary
Theodore J. Szalla Sr. Profile Photo
1934 Theodore J. Szalla Sr. 2024

Theodore J. Szalla Sr.

March 3, 1934 — February 7, 2024

Mt. Washington

Theodore "Ted, Pap" .J Szalla, Sr., 89, of

Pittsburgh (Mt. Washington), passed away

on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at home with his loving family by his side.

Ted was born on March 3, 1934, in Pittsburgh to the late Theodore .L Szala and Florence C. (Waleczewski) Szala. He

was a U.S. Army veteran, having served in the U.S. and Germany between December

1956 and December 1958

and in the U.S. Army Reserves from December 1958 to

1962. Upon returning to Pittsburgh, Ted

worked a myriad of jobs before becoming a member of Plumber's Union Local 27

and recently received his 55-year membership certificate from the United

Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe

Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. Upon retiring from the Local in

 1996, he worked in the Maintenance Department for the Catholic Diocese of

Pittsburgh in their main office downtown, from which he retired in 2011. Ted was an

avid Pittsburgh sports fan, especially of his "Stillers"; he

also enjoyed bowling, playing golf and dancing in his younger


Theodore is survived by his son Donald E. (Fred Lytle) Gillenberger; daughter-in-law

Kathy Gillenberger; daughter Patricia

Gillenberger; daughter-in-law Cathy

Gillenberger; daughter Kathleen Chapman;

son Dennis (Barb) Gillenberger; daughter

Marie Gary) Trilli; son Ted (Julie) Szalla, Jr.;

son Jim (Donna) Szalla; and daughter Lisa

(Brian) Cratty, with whom he made his home and was cared for over the last 13

years. Also surviving Theodore are his sister Mary Lou (Zubik) Fullard; sister-in-

 law Etta Jean Morehouse; 40 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and

4 great-great-grandchildren, all of whom he thought the world of - he was always

happy to see them and find out what was going on in their lives; and numerous loved nieces and nephews. Ted will

be greatly

missed by the family dog, Champ, his best friend with whom he watched Ancient

Aliens every day and liked to sneak table food to as a show of how much he loved


In addition to his parents, Theodore was

preceded in death by his wife of 37 years, Lillian "Lil" (Hanbury) Gillenberger Szalla,

who passed away on July 1, 1996; son Ronald "Mickey" Gillenberger; son John "Jack" Gillenberger; son-in-law Charles Chapman; son-in-law Dorsey Palmer; grandson Michael Bronder; and brother

 Louis F. Szala in 1935.

Visitation will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on

Sunday, February 11, 2024 at WM. SLATER

&SONS, INC., 301 Virginia Avenue, Mt.

Washington, PA 15211 ( 412-381-3345). Funeral Mass

will be held at 10

a.m. on

Monday, February 12, 2024 at Mary Queen of Peace

Parish, St. Mary of the Mount Church, burial to follow in Jefferson Memorial

Park. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in memory of Ted to UPMC Children's Hospital of

Pittsburgh, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Little Sisters of the Poor, or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Theodore J. Szalla Sr., please visit our flower store.


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