Bernice A. Svitana

Bernice A. Svitana, 78, East Freedom, died Sunday afternoon at the Presbyterian Village at Hollidaysburg after a brief illness.

She was born in Altoona, daughter of the late Herman and Josepha (Ropp) Elder. She married Paul Svitana on July 31, 1954, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

Surviving are her husband, with whom she shared 59 years of marriage; a daughter, Denise Roudabush and husband, Ira, of Claysburg; three sons: Stephen and wife, Jamie, of East Freedom, Kevin and wife, Christine, of Westerville, Ohio, and Aaron and wife, Kim, of Mill Valley, Calif.; nine grandchildren: April, Sean, Jeremy, Dustin, Abigail, Madeline, Joseph, Samuel and Jacob; a great-granddaughter, Amelia; and two sisters: Donna Pike and Mary Regina Schneiderbauer.

She was preceded in death by a brother, C. Joseph Elder.

Bernice was a 1953 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School and a homemaker. She was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Newry, where she served on the Altar Guild and was a charter Eucharistic minister and faithful volunteer.

Bernice enjoyed the Altoona Curve and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball teams, her dogs, gardening and landscaping.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Sorge Funeral Home Inc., Hollidaysburg, where a vigil service will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Newry, by Father Allen P. Zeth. Committal will be at Old St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Newry.

Memorials may be given to St. Patrick’s Church Building Fund.