Willa Ruth Gift (Hitchens), age 77, of Penn Hills, PA, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on December 14, 2019 at Presbyterian University Hospital. Willa was the beloved wife of John Martin Gift for 57 years. She was the loving mother of Jennifer (Gift) Stolarz, mother-in-law of Matthew Stolarz, and grandmother of Michael, 19, and Benjamin, 14. Willa was born on October 14, 1942 to the late Herbert and Ruth (Dechert) Hitchens in Pittsburgh, PA. She was sister of Herbert (Mary Sue) Hitchens and the late Joyce (Hitchens) Ogilvie; the sister-in-law of Robert (Jody) Gift, William (Karen) Martin, and Thomas Martin; the aunt of Robert Gift, Jon Gift, David Hitchens, Kelly (Hitchens) McCall, and Tracy (Ogilvie) Maggio; and great-aunt to all of their children. She also leaves behind many cousins, extended family members, and wonderful friends. Willa was a special neighbor in her Penn Hills community, as well as the Holiday Camplands in Andover, OH, and she was an active member of Hebron United Presbyterian Church.
Willa grew up in Homewood and Wilkinsburg. She attended Crescent Elementary, Baxter Jr. High, Westinghouse High, and Wilkinsburg High Schools. Her first job was at the G.C. Murphy’s five and dime store in Wilkinsburg. After staying home to raise her daughter, she was a dental office receptionist in Penn Hills for Burton F. Tucker, D.D.S. from 1981-1994 and for William E. Garver, D.D.S. from 1994 until her semi-retirement in 2012.
Family and friends will be received at a Memorial Service on Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 11:00 am at Hebron United Presbyterian Church, 10460 Frankstown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15235.
A luncheon will be provided immediately following the Memorial Service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Hebron United Presbyterian Church or the American Heart Association.
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