Obituary: Anna D. Egan / Served on Sewickley zoning board with fairness

Nov. 18, 1942 - April 27, 2014


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Unfailingly gracious and proper, Anna D. Egan presided over Sewickley's Zoning Hearing Board for the better part of 17 years with impeccable diction and a strong sense of fairness.

"We had many complicated and controversial cases come before us in those years, and she was always very fair and honorable and respectful to people who came before the board," said Michael R. Freed, who was the board's solicitor for about 20 years and worked with Ms. Egan extensively during that time. "She was just an extremely fair and honorable person and tried to do the right thing for the community within the constraints of the zoning law."

Ms. Egan, who was also a longtime case manager at HealthSouth, formerly D.T. Watson Rehabilitation Hospital, and a member of the Sewickley Valley Historical Society, died April 27 of cancer.

A native of Exeter, N.H., who held bachelor's and master's degrees, she moved to Pittsburgh with her late husband, Roy Egan, a psychologist who grew up in Massachusetts and earned his doctorate at Duquesne University.

The couple settled in Sewickley in the 1970s because of its resemblance to the New England towns they grew up in, said Ms. Egan's son-in-law, Peter Theis, a Realtor.

"Sewickley is about as close as you get to those towns in Pittsburgh," said Mr. Theis, who is married to the couple's lone child, Alexis. "It was one of the things that was near and dear to Roy and Anna's heart: protecting that small-town character."

A brush with a developer that razed homes in their neighborhood to build a condominium project led Ms. Egan to the three-member Zoning Hearing Board, which she served on for 17 years, mostly as chairwoman, before stepping down in the late 1990s.

"She was very diligent in her work and was always very respectful of people when they came to speak," said Kevin Flannery, who has been Sewickley's borough manager since 1993. "She was just a very good citizen for the town."

"I think she liked giving back to the community," he continued. "When she made a decision, she would have her facts in order."

Ms. Egan also was a devoted grandmother who made a point to attend her grandchildren's school events even as her health waned.

"She was just a wonderful human being who doted on her grandkids. She was absolutely fantastic with the kids," Mr. Theis said. "That was phenomenally important to her."

A gathering for family and friends will be from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Copeland's Funeral Home., 702 Beaver St., Sewickley. A memorial service will be 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrew's United Presbyterian Church, 801 Beaver St., Sewickley.


Robert Zullo: rzullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3909.


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