Nita Ann Harris Siciliano, age 76, of West Chester, PA, passed away on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Nita was born in Troy, NY, to the late Harry and Anna (Szabiet) Harris.
Growing up, Nita sang in her church choir and on radio and television in the Albany, NY area for many years. Nita graduated valedictorian from Shaker High School in 1960. She attended Russell Sage College in Troy, NY on a vocal scholarship and sang as a soloist in their choir. In her Junior year, she changed her major to chemistry and went on to graduate with honors.
Upon graduation, Nita worked at Sterling Winthrop as a research chemist for five years before returning to her alma mater to teach chemistry. After moving to Pennsylvania in 1978, she was a chemistry lab instructor for seven years at Swarthmore College. In 1986, Nita began as a chemistry teacher in the Downingtown Area School District and taught there for 23 years (known affectionately as “Mrs. S”), retiring in 2009. Thereafter, she continued to stay actively involved by acting as a tutor.
Nita loved her students, keeping in contact with many of them long after they graduated and having inspired many to pursue a career in science. She enjoyed watching Jeopardy, discussing politics, and was passionate about environmental conservation; she was proud to have marched in the first Earth Day parade. She loved her family, and enjoyed the time they spent together, especially weekends at her lake house in the Poconos. She ardently kept in correspondence with her many friends from all decades of her life. She was also active in the Orthodox Christian church as a member of several parishes: St. Basil’s in Watervliet, NY, St. Herman’s in Gradyville, PA and Holy Ascension in West Chester. She particularly enjoyed singing in the church choir.
In addition to her parents, Nita is preceded in death by her brother Gregory Harris of Latham, New York.
Nita is survived and missed by her husband George Siciliano, who together shared 53 years of marriage, and her two sons; Peter and Mark Siciliano; and many cousins, nephews and nieces. May her memory be eternal.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018, at the James J. Terry Funeral Home, 736 E. Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335, where friends and family may visit from 6-8PM. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, June 1, 2018 at the Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, 558 Highland Rd, West Chester, PA 19380. Burial will follow to Oakland’s Cemetery, West Chester, PA.
In lieu of flowers, a donation in Nita’s name can be made to charity of one’s choosing.