Smart Growth office coordinator and grant writer Leanne Griffith passed away after a long and brave battle with liver cancer on August 24, 2022
Prior to joining Smart Growth, Leanne worked as a middle school teacher for Indiana Area Junior High School. She held a B.S. in biology and general science education from Penn State University and a teaching certification from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She previously worked as a dairy farmer, as the conservation educator at the Westmoreland Conservation District, and as the adult education supervisor for Private Industry Council and Education Technology Institute.
According to Smart Growth executive director John Turack, “so much of the Smart Growth program’s impact would not have occurred without her ceaseless commitment and behind-the-scenes foundational support over the past 20 years. She was with us throughout during countless community visioning sessions over the years, and was instrumental in making Better Block in New Kensington and other Placemaking events elsewhere happen starting in 2015.”
Smart Growth web developer Cindy Leonard remarked, “Leanne was a rare person. Always sunny in disposition, hardworking, and kind. She was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known and had amazingly deep faith in God. We will all miss her deeply and can only be consoled by the fact that she is out of pain, at peace, and with her beloved Lord and Savior.”
Leanne was a strong advocate for living organ donation and her family would like to continue her good work. In lieu of flowers, contributions to support donor families like the Griffiths can be made to Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute Development Department, Forbes Tower, Suite 8084, 3600 Forbes Ave. at Meyran Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213.