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This page is dedicated to the memory of PGSS alumni and faculty who have left us early in life.  Our classmates have passed away far too young, but still had a great impact on our lives and the world around them.  Please join us in remembering them.

 Jonathan Stigelman (PGSS 1984)


Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013 12:00 am

Staff Writer

Jonathan B. Stigelman, 45, passed from his earthly life on November 9, 2013 at El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, CA. He fought a brave 7-month battle with cancer, with the hope that he could see the birth of his twins, son Stig and daughter Ilira in January.

Jonathan was a 1986 graduate of J.P. McCaskey H.S. and a 1990 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where he received a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. While still in elementary school, Jon was dissecting computer circuit boards and writing computer programs. As a high school sophomore, he was paid to write computer programs for his high school math department; and as a junior, he was invited to the "PA Junior Academy of Science" summer program at Carnegie Mellon University, which he chose for his formal education. After graduation from Carnegie Mellon, Jon moved to the West Coast where he worked for Intel, Amdahl and AT&T, before going independent as a consultant to the tech industry in the Silicon Valley. At the time of his death, Jon lived in Mountain View, CA with his wife, Haiping, a software engineer, and feline buddy, "Socks." In the Information Technology (IT) community, he was known professionally and socially as "Stig Hackvan." Stig mentored many young computer tech builders, creators and engineers; and he was a dedicated volunteer of the "Hacker DOJO," a non-profit community center. Stig was referred to as an "amazing part of the community." For more, go to


Christopher Elliott (2008)

Christopher Elliott, known by his 2008 PGSS classmates as "Leaf", passed away in July 2013. He graduated with a degree in Geosciences from Williams College.

Christopher Michael “Leaf” Elliott
2009 Warwick Valedictorian Passes Away

Christopher (Leaf) Michael Elliott went home to be with the Lord on July 24 at 3:30 pm doing what he loved most at East Rosebud Lake, Carbon County, Montana. Christopher has been described by those who knew and loved him as a ‘dazzling multi-faceted character’ who lived his 22 years to his fullest.

Christopher attended Morningstar Preschool, Lititz Christian School, Lititz Elementary, and Warwick High School. A member of the National Honor Society and French Honor Society, he also participated in the Academic Competition team including the Quiz Bowl and Knowledge Master Open teams, and the JETS team. He was awarded the Warwick Scholar Awards in 11th grade for English, Math, Science and French. The founder of the Drama Club, which still exists today, was one of his proudest achievements. He studied physics at IUP in the summer of 2007. He was selected to attend the PA Governor’s School for the Sciences during the summer of 2008. He graduated from Warwick High School in 2009 as Valedictorian with a GPA of 4.66.

Christopher graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences and was on the Dean’s list 6 out of 8 semesters. As a Geosciences major, he studied Geomorphology, Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Paleobiology, Evolution of Volcanic Arcs, Structural Geology, Sedimentology, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Linear Algebra and Math Methods for Scientists. His studies took him around the globe to Hawaii, Egypt, Ireland, California and lastly to Montana where he was studying Field Mapping through Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association. He also spent one winter study at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts analyzing data from an isotope mass spectrometer. It was his intention to attend graduate school to study structural geology.

His hobbies included photography, philosophy, poetry, sketching, music and playing the guitar. He rode road bicycle, motorcycle and loved climbing- rocks or trees. He taught rock climbing at Williams College for 3 years as part of the Williams Outing Club.

Christopher was born October 7, 1990 in Lancaster PA. He is survived by his mother, Linda J. Elliott, and step father Gregory J. Frey of Lititz; maternal grandparents James and Judy Weisen of Lititz; also paternal grandparents Angelo and Angela Falciani; his father, Mario J. Falciani all of Swedesboro, NJ; and an extensive extended family.

Friends are invited to share in Christopher’s life celebration on Saturday, August 17 at Grace Church, 501 W. Lincoln Avenue in Lititz at 2 PM, followed by food and fellowship at the Hamilton’s, 87 Sego Sago Road, Manheim.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the “Christopher Elliott Scholarship Fund”, c/o Citizens Bank 1 E. Main Street, Lititz PA 17543. The scholarship will be awarded to a Warwick HS senior who best exemplifies the qualities of Christopher’s life.


Adnan Bashir was a member of the PGSS class of 2004.  He had completed the Penn State/Jefferson Medical College dual degree BS/MD in 2011.  He was an anesthesia resident at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine at the time of his passing in 2013.  





Laura Sheard, PGSS class of 2002, passed away in November 2011.  She was from Jim Thorpe, PA, and had been pursuing a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Washington in Seattle at the time of her death.

Vi Nguyen attended PGSS in 1999.  She was from Harrisburg, and had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Biology.

Anthony Canale was from Indiana, PA and was in the PGSS class of 1998.  He died during a trip to Cambodia in 2010, after having spent time teaching in China.

Second Lt. Zachariah Miller, from Stoneboro, PA, was in the PGSS class of 1997.  He was a Truman and Rhodes Scholar, and died during training to become an Army Ranger, shortly after graduating from West Point in 2002.

Haley Surti, PGSS class of 1996, was from Pittsburgh. She had just graduated from 
Harvard University in 1996 when she passed away while traveling in Peru.

Erica Schmitt was in the PGSS class of 1995.  She had attended Montour High School in Pittsburgh.

Michael Rhoads attended PGSS in 1993.  He had gone on to study Biology at CalTech University.

Lena Bruce, PGSS class of 1987, was from Philadelphia.  She died in 1992 just after graduating from Tufts University with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  There is a scholarship in her memory at Tufts.

Also of the PGSS class of 1987, William Lewis, a graduate of Blairsville High School, passed away in April of 1997.  He studied Physics at Carnegie Mellon University.

Nicole Lopresti was from Johnstown PA and a member of the 1986 class of PGSS.  She attended college at University of Pittsburgh.

Kathy Bocchieri, PGSS class of 1984, died while still in high school at Council Rock HS in Newtown, PA.

Frederick Arnold, PhD, who was originally from Monroeton PA, died in 2007.  He was in the PGSS class of 1984.  Frederick had served as a staff scientist at the University of Chicago, and Director of Scientific Computing at Northwestern University.  He was also an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at the State University of New York, Binghamton.

Eric Fleischer was in the PGSS class of 1983.  He was originally from Wyomissing, PA, and is survived by his wife, Sue Ellen.

Angela Gugliotta, PhD, was a PGSS TA in 1986.  She went on the work at the University of Chicago as a lecturer in environmental history.

Delorese Ambrose, EdD, devoted a great deal of her time teaching leadership seminars at PGSS through the 1980's and 90's.  She was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and author of several books.

If you have any memories, pictures, or tributes you would like to add, or if you have any corrections to this page, please email