Elizabeth  Svigals

Obituary of Elizabeth Marria Svigals

Elizabeth “Liz” Marria Svigals, 66, of Gig Harbor, WA formally of Vienna, VA, died May 3rd 2019 surrounded by family after a short but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.  

Born in New York City, Mrs. Svigals was the daughter of the late Joseph and Mildred (Ferrara) Scelzo. She lived in Thornwood, NY until leaving for college at SUNY Geneseo where she studied English and History and formed a lifelong friendship with Linda Schlauch. She worked at GTE in Accounting for 7 years while also completing an MBA at the University of Connecticut. It was at GTE where she met her love of 37 years, Howard Svigals, whom she married in 1982. A daughter, Sarah, followed 3 years later and she took immense joy (even during those ever so trying teenage years) in staying home with Sarah and facilitating all her many activities. The Svigals Three shared many adventures over the years traveling throughout the US and Caribbean and enjoyed antique hunting, estate sales and craft fairs especially.  

Several moves followed between Connecticut, Virginia, Georgia and back to Virginia where she lived until 2012. In 2012, she moved to Gig Harbor, WA to be closer to her beloved daughter. She loved living in Gig Harbor and spent much of her time volunteering with Harbor WildWatch, Altrusa and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She was the 2017 Harbor WildWatch Volunteer of the Year. She served as a counselor for the TechTrek camp and loved helping young women discover a love for STEM. She was the chair of the scholarship committee for Altrusa, again, helping young women achieve their academic goals.  Her love, kindness, hospitality and generosity were limitless and will be profoundly missed by those who knew her.  

Mrs. Svigals is survived by her husband Howard Svigals. Her daughter Sarah (Jason) Kriess; sister Denise Scelzo; sisters in laws Laura (Jay) Brodsky and Ellyn (Geoff) Ingalls; nephews Brian (Katherine) Ingalls and Logan (Maureen) Ingalls and several grandnieces and nephews—Oliver, Marty, Simone and Henry.  

The Svigals family would like to thank the staff of Multicare Gig Harbor Oncology, Tacoma General and St. Anthony’s Hospital for providing compassionate and comprehensive care during a terrible time. No services are planned. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that friends donate blood in Liz’s honor. Financial contributions can be made to AAUW Gig Harbor Branch—Special Project’s Fund (P.O. Box 2705 Gig Harbor, WA  98335) or Harbor WildWatch.