Sophia Marie Tuinstra, 17, of Westmont, passed away on August 31, 2021 at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh from complications due to a pre-leukemia syndrome.
Sophia was born December 1, 2003 in Pittsburgh to Timothy and Roxanne Tuinstra.
A Westmont High School senior, Sophia was a cheerleader on the varsity team. She excelled in school, particularly in Forensics and Student Technology Association (TSA), winning state awards and moving to nationals. Serving on the Tribune-Democrat Reader’s Committee, Sophia was the founding member of On Point, a section of the newspaper by and for youth. She helped garner teen interest across Cambria County to participate in writing about topics of interest to students and young people, while helping to craft journalistic ethics and standards. A Girl Scout Troop 40309 member, Sophia completed the requirements for the prestigious Gold Award, the highest level a Girl Scout can attain. Her project was to sew, recruit others to sew, and deliver cloth facemasks for immune-compromised children at Children’s Hospital, an effort started well before the COVID pandemic. Altogether, she made and donated over 2,000 masks. Sophia’s greatest joys were her cat Snickers, reading in her hammock in the backyard, and spending time with her siblings.
In addition to her parents, Sophia is survived by brother Patrick, and sister Elena. She is also survived by her uncle Greg Reichard, aunt Mary (Tuinstra) Reichard, cousins Greg, Mary Anna, Trey, and Addie Reichard, uncle Peter Tuinstra of Bangkok, as well as grandparents Timothy and Mary Tuinstra of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. On her mother’s side, Sophia is survived by uncle Travis Scala of Dallas, aunt Rosalind (Scala) Holloway and uncle Kenny Holloway, and cousins Jake and Teddy Holloway of Nashville, and uncle Joseph Scala of New Castle, Pennsylvania.
She is preceded in death by grandparents Eugene and Paula (Griffith) Scala.
Friends will be received on Thursday, September 2, 2021 from 4-7 PM and Friday, September 3, 2021 from 2-5 PM at Frank Duca Funeral Home, Westmont Chapel, 1622 Menoher Blvd. Johnstown PA 15905.
Masks will be required
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Child Life Services, 4401 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15524, or via website: https://www.myregistry.com/wishlist/upmc-oncology-children-s-hospital-pittsburgh-pa/2512220/giftlist. They provided Sophia and fellow pediatric patients with countless toys, trips, and more.
Condolences and other information can be found at www.ducafuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sophia Marie Tuinstra, please visit our floral store.
UPMC Children’s Hospital, c/o Child Life
4401 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224