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Thank You, Sydelle!

Sydelle Pittas was an activist, attorney, wife, mother and actress, who pursued everything with passion and often took  the lead from civil rights and womens’ rights marches in the 1960s, to her involvement in the Women’s Law Association at Harvard Law School. 

Sydelle, formerly of Winchester, Massachusetts, and most recently of Longboat Key, Florida, passed away April 10, 2016, at the age of 71.

Sydelle practiced law in Boston for some 40 years, principally as a business litigator, with intelligence, skill and style and, in 2011 The Women’s Bar Asociation honored her with its highest award, the Lelia J. Robinson Award, recognizing her years of encouraging and mentoring young women law students and lawyers.

Drawn to its motto of “service above self,” Sydelle became active in the Rotary Club. She was elected president of the Winchester, Massachusetts Rotary Club in 2002, and then, within months of retiring with her husband to Longboat Key, Florida, in 2013, founded  the  Rotary  Club  of  Longboat  Key,  Florida where it continues to thrive.

Under her leadership, the Longboat  Key Rotary Club developed a variety of programs with Tuttle Elementary School in Sarasota, including a Food Pantry program and supporting a digital learning laboratory recently dedicated as the “Sydelle Pittas Digital Learning Lab”.

Sydelle also acted in community theater, delighted in being a “super” for opera and ballet and – as a Massachusetts justice of the peace (and former dance instructor) – often rehearsed the happy couple in their wedding dance.

Sydelle was the pride and joy of her late mother Beatrice Rosenberg.  Her loss will be  felt deeply  by  her  husband and life partner of thirty-five years Philippe Koenig, her daughter Pilar Alessandra, son Chris Pittas, stepchildren Michele Koenig Augeri, Suzanne Shafner and Paul Koenig and brothers Gary Goldberg, Nick Goldberg and Aaron Goldberg.  It is wished that Sydelle’s grandchildren Sara Dodson, Rita Dodson, Felix Shafner and Henry Koenig follow her example of embracing life, standing up for one’s beliefs and making real change in the  world.

Sydelle passed away from pancreatic cancer, initially contracted some six years ago. Consistent with her belief in helping to make a better world, her remains will be donated to science, and her funeral services will be private.

Donations can be made in her honor to The Rotary Polio Plus Fund or to The Massachusetts Women’s Bar Foundation .

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1 Response for “Thank You, Sydelle!”

  1. Johndwild says:

    When Sydelle came to Longboat, and formed Rotary, I was President of Kiwanis. She quickly scooped up some great people and created a first class operation. It was a pleasure to work with her on items like the Bell Ringing, especially during our Lawn Party weekend while we relied on Sydelle’s rotarians to stand watch on the bucket and ring the bell. LBK will miss her.

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