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September 28, 2006

Obituary: Lynn Schwartz Katz

Education professor Lynn Schwartz Katz, 69, of Upper St. Clair, died July 31, 2006, following a lengthy illness. Katz retired in 1999 as an associate professor of educational psychology after 37 years at the University, although she continued to teach and advise students following her retirement.

She also worked for 40 years as a consulting psychologist for Allegheny County’s Family Court Juvenile Division, experience that put her in close contact with troubled children and with the situations they faced, said former colleague Anne Golin. “She learned a lot and was able to pass that on to her students to make them better psychologists.”

Golin said Katz’s students and colleagues responded to her integrity, caring and respect. “She was good with the best students and also with the weaker students who needed her help,” Golin said. “She was equally good with her colleagues who all had respect for Lynn and always listened to her. She was always very sensible, down-to-earth and straightforward.”

Professor emeritus Raymond Hummel, a longtime colleague and friend, remembers Katz as a private person whose forte was teaching and advising. Her students regarded her with “tremendous affection,” Hummel said, noting that she continued to correspond with several of them for many years.

“Lynn Katz was regarded widely as an accomplished teacher, a wise adviser and a model of responsibility in faculty tasks,” Hummel stated. “Her legacy, however, as one of her students noted, is less in such facts than in who she was. In their many letters of condolence, students and colleagues write about Lynn’s thoughtfulness, her gentle sense of humor, the safety and encouragement that they felt in her presence, and how she modeled a way to live with dignity and grace.”

Katz received her BS in psychology in 1959, an MS in educational psychology in 1962 and a PhD in developmental psychology in 1965, all at Pitt. She became an assistant instructor in Pitt’s Department of Psychology in 1962. Her work there led to her appointment in 1967 in the School of Education.

Among her many awards, in 2005 Katz was honored by the Pittsburgh Psychological Association with its Legacy Award for excellence in teaching.

She is survived by David, her husband of 47 years; a brother, Edward, and five nieces and nephews.

The family suggests contributions to the American Cancer Society, 320 Bilmar Drive, Pittsburgh 15205; the Susan G. Komen Foundation, P.O. Box 224523, Dallas, TX 75222-4523, or Family Hospice & Palliative Care, 50 Moffett St., Pittsburgh 15243.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 39 Issue 3

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