Sally Mrvos, age 94, of Oakland, died on October 8, 2021.
Sally was born in Tarentum, Pa., on July 5, 1927. She was the daughter of the late Dan and Mary Mrvos. She and her brothers grew up in McKeesport, Pa., where her parents owned a neighborhood restaurant and bar. Her parents were immigrants from the former Yugoslavia and did not speak English when they came to the U.S. seeking a better life. Her parents had very little formal education of their own, but nonetheless instilled in each of their children the value and importance of hard work and obtaining an education.
Sally graduated from McKeesport High School in 1945 and completed her undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh in 1949 with a B.S. in chemistry. She earned her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 1962. Sally served as Assistant Dean at Duquesne’s law school from 1963 to 1972 where she taught legal writing and research, and was responsible for registration, curriculum and teaching schedules. In 1974, she was appointed statewide Prothonotary by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. She was the first woman to serve in that capacity in the 251-year history of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. She left that position in 1980 to accept an appointment as Clerk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. At the time, many of her colleagues commented that "the Third Circuit's gain will surely be the loss of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania." Among her achievements were the implementation of an automated case docketing and management system and the supervision of a case management system that resulted in the court having one of the shortest mean disposition times among the federal courts of appeals. She served in this position until her retirement in 1993.
Soft-spoken and thoughtful, Sally was widely admired and respected, and often referred to as the "First Lady" by her colleagues on the Third Circuit. She was a trailblazer in the legal field at a time when few women held such positions in the law.
Sally was an excellent cook and an even better baker. She hosted countless family dinners and holiday celebrations at her Oakland apartment. She read cookbooks instead of novels. The more complicated the recipe, the better. Her desserts were legendary and family gatherings were replete with her homemade pies, tarts, cakes and cookies. The justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court also were beneficiaries of her baking talents and big fans of her banana cream pie and cheesecake, which she made for special court sessions.
After retiring from the court, Sally moved back to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia to be closer to family. Nothing gave her greater joy in life than being with her family. She doted on her nieces and nephew, and relished any opportunity to advise young people on their personal lives or educational and career prospects -- always pushing them to aspire to greatness. She was a fiercely independent woman who held high standards and served as a role model to many. Her unwavering love and devotion to her family will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
She is predeceased by her parents, brothers Miles D. Mrvos, M.D. and Ned "Sonny" Mrvos, and cherished special cousin, Diane Walker.
Sally is survived by her brother, Donald M. Mrvos, M.D. (Sahli); nieces Diana Mrvos Rath (Frank), Mertyce Mrvos (Timothy Sudeith) and Mara Mrvos (Beth Fedorowich); nephew Dan Mrvos (Hope Sullivan); sister-in-law Mary Lou Mrvos; great-nieces Christina and Allison Rath and Meryl Sudeith; great-nephew Logan Sudeith; cousins Chrissa W. Sullivan (Lane Stoner), and Peyton and Zoey Sullivan; and many other cousins.
At Sally's request, there will be no funeral or visitation. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church (450 Maxwell Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15236) or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105).
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