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Jeanne Gregg passed away peacefully at the age of 89 on Sunday, November 5th, 2023 in her home on Frosty Valley Road in McMurray. Affectionately known as “Gram”. She was born to William and Caroline Lehrman and grew up with her 10 siblings on Mount Washington. Throughout her life, she was often described as a living saint and an angel on Earth to every soul she encountered.
As a child of the Great Depression, Jeanne had stories of taking the Mount Washington Incline and walking across the Smithfield Street bridge to and from downtown Pittsburgh. Working at Woolworths during high school, she was known as the waitress who could hold 6 cups of coffee at the same time without spilling any. She always loved to serve – in so many ways. Shortly after high school, she took a job as a secretary at Morrison & McCluan Food Distributor. Fate soon took her hand as she met a persistent young Italian named Sam Gregg. He would often say that he knew from that first time he laid eyes on her that she would be his wife. Others said he was “out of his league” but proved them wrong. They were married in May 1955 and were blessed with four daughters. Thus, beginning of the focus of their lives – FAMILY.
On November 6, 1969, Sam and Jeanne bought 10 acres of land in McMurray, Pennsylvania, christening it “Frosty Valley.” On this land, they built their dream home and the foundation of a family known to many. There, they raised horses, dogs, and cats – loving every minute of their lives. Their door was always open and there was always 1 more seat at the table. Jeanne and Sam watched three generations of children grow up from their porch on Frosty Valley. They were blessed with family, and Jeanne was always the center of it - the soft-spoken matriarch who held it all together with pasta and pie, Sunday dinners and ice cream evenings. Gram’s passion was bringing people together.
She had an admirable way of putting things into perspective and was a model of humble, serving gratitude. But she packed her own punch too – she was a ball of fire! She would make even the strongest men wince as she wound up her bony arms and challenged them to let her punch them as hard as she could. She was also known to greet you with a bite to the ear, which led her grandchildren’s friends to nickname her “Tyson”. She could play a mean game of Free Cell, and was quite proud when earned “Champion Player” over the last year.
In her later years Jeanne was challenged with Parkinson’s disease. As her health challenges became more apparent, she always had family there for support. Her loving husband Sam, being a devoted husband, learned many domestic skills as they took care of one-another into their late 80’s. As he cooked and did the laundry under her watchful eye, Sam FINALLY realized a woman’s work was never done.
Sam passed away in 2020 but took every opportunity he had to gather his entire family in the same room, especially his grandchildren (and eventually great grandchildren too), to tell them how he was “the Luckiest Man in the World.” On the long list of reasons why, Jeanne was always at the top.
Jeanne was the beloved wife of the late Samuel Gregg, loving mother of Patti Yingling (Jeff), Jeanne Ruffing (Dan), Shari DeNardo (Joe) and Sami Barry (Julius Troiani), Grandmother of Abby Yingling (Art Rehner), Melina Enterline (Westley), Daniel Ruffing (Megan), Ross Ruffing (Julie), Jeremy Yingling (Claire), Maria Brunetti (Jason), Jeana Kruszynski (Michael), Hannah Mannherz (Michael), Nicholas DeNardo (Macy), Angeline Latinovich (Kenton), Cody Ruffing and Michael Barry, Great-grandmother of Wyatt, Rowan, Emmett, Mason, Avery, Arthur, Norah, Cecily, Eloise, Maxwell, Lucy, Josephine, Lilly, Emily, Molly, Colton, Beau, William, Theodore, Nash and George.
Jeanne will be remembered for her kindness, patience, and endless love. Her glass was always half full. Although the world is different without her, we hear her voice telling us of the beauty and the joys of life we have still to enjoy. Her family and friends will miss her, but we will continue looking up to her for her wisdom and guidance. And, of course – the key ingredients she’d conveniently leave out of her recipes!!! All while knowing it was really her love that made her food so amazing. We know that she will continue to guide us and love us, forever the heart of our family.
A Roman Catholic mass will be held on Monday, November 27th at 10 am in St. Benedict the Abbott/St. John XXIII Parish, McMurray, PA, officiated by Fr. Richard Jones with a celebration of life immediately following at Valley Brook Country Club. Please RSVP for luncheon by Wednesday November 17th to (724) 986-5127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, contributions may be made in Jeanne's memory to Little Sisters of the Poor, 1028 Benton Ave., Pgh., PA 15212, www.littlesistersofthepoorpittsburgh.org, or St. Jude's Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org.