October 5, 1934 - September 15, 2021
Sam Kiss (86) of Mount Washington, Pittsburgh PA, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday surrounded by family. Born in Antwerp Belgium to Robert Kisnitzer and Stella Eichel Kisnitzer. Sam was a citizen of the world. Fluent in 7 languages, he was an avid traveler, an ambitious architect, talented storyteller, ballroom dancer—and 30-year life partner to Nora Lorraine Blaha Malcolm. Sam lost his mother as a child during WWII. After the war he moved to Pittsburgh with his father, brother Robert and sister Mina. While learning to speak English, Sam attended Taylor Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill. He was a recipient of the GI Bill and a graduate of CMU (formerly Carnegie Tech) architectural program. During his architectural career, Sam lived and worked on projects in New York City, Paris, Spain and Pittsburgh. Among his achievements Sam was part of the architectural design team for the Opera House at Lincoln Center for Performing Arts NYC. On his return to Pittsburgh in 1970s he worked for the County for 30 years, eventually becoming Allegheny County’s Chief Architect. Included in his body of work: a hand in designing the “round” bank on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill as well as the fountain courtyard at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh. Sam’s love of people, art and culture never waned. He was keenly interested in everyone he met, no matter what their age. He will fondly be remembered for asking young students, “What did you learn in school today?” Sam traveled the globe, always keen to go on an adventure and even picked up a paint brush in retirement to become an avid painter. “Never a dull moment,” can be said of time spent with the extraordinary larger-than-life Sam Kiss. Sam is survived by his partner, Nora Lorraine Blaha Malcolm; son Aaron Kiss, daughter Deborah (David) Holtschlag; their mother Lois Kiss; grandchildren Eli and Veronica Holtschlag; stepfather to Rob, Susanna, Becky Blaha, and the late Benjamin Blaha; grandkids Shelly Blaha, Alaina Elias, Ashlyn (Chris) Russo and greatgrandchild, Lucas Russo. Shalom our Sam. Cremains will be interred at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. A celebration of life will be planned at a later date.
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