Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

A Remarkable Legacy

Mrs. Helen Blockstein Katz of Pittsburgh left the bulk of her estate, more than $5 million, to the Conservancy for the sole purpose of purchasing and conserving land in Western Pennsylvania that supports preservation of rare and endangered species of plants and animals.

A native of Youngwood, PA and one of five children of Russian immigrants, Mrs. Katz was not the recipient of inherited wealth. Rather, she worked diligently, lived conservatively, saved and invested wisely throughout her lifetime.

“Thanks to her foresight and generosity, Mrs. Katz has created a legacy that will significantly benefit the people and natural places of the region for generations to come,” said Tom Saunders, President and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

“We are humbled and honored that she entrusted us with these resources. They will have a tremendous impact on our ability to meet the Conservancy’s goal of significantly accelerating land conservation in high conservation value areas and areas of regional and local importance,” he added.

A graduate of Seton Hill College with a degree in home economics, Mrs. Katz was a registered dietician who worked in New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Ohio before returning to Pittsburgh to work at Montefiore Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital System, where she spent the last 26 years of her career. Later in life, she married Louis Katz, a Pittsburgh physician.

“She was a good and generous person,” said her brother, Robert Blockstein, M.D., of Pittsburgh, who pointed out that she was an avid reader who was very intelligent and curious. In her free time, Mrs. Katz enjoyed painting and drawing as well as travel.