Sad News to Share

Sight + Sound, Fall 2021

The Eye & Ear Foundation (EEF) lost a beloved friend and supporter in Peggy Smyrnes-Williams, who passed away on October 9, 2021. A vice president at the Ladies Hospital Aid Society (LHAS) and an EEF Ambassador, Smyrnes-Williams, leaves a legacy of stalwart support.

“Peggy loved both Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology fiercely,” said Heather Chronis Danek, EEF Director of Development – Individual Giving and Corporate Relationships.

She co-chaired the LHAS Gala in 2017 that honored ophthalmology, helped spotlight Morgan Fedorchak as one of the young researchers at the 2018 Gala, and championed the idea of Survivorship for the next LHAS Gala. “Up until her final days, she was thinking of creative ways to highlight the innovative work of the Survivorship team,” said Chronis Danek.

Smyrnes-Williams got involved with EEF for several reasons. Her late mother had diminished eyesight, so Peggy directed her mother’s memorial donations to the Eye & Ear Foundation. As VP of LHAS, she championed Dr. Jose-Alain Sahel’s arrival in Pittsburgh. “She got to know all of us and fell in love,” Chronis Danek said. “Peggy would constantly state that EEF had the best fundraising team at the University of Pittsburgh. Period. With her raising funds for the Foundation, she became one of us.”

On top of being a renowned classical pianist and trial attorney, Smyrnes-Williams was a devoted wife to Dr. Karl Williams and mother to their son Michael.

“Peggy will be sorely missed by all of us at the Eye & Ear Foundation,” said EEF CEO Lawton Snyder. “In addition to being one of our Ambassadors, she was always looking for ways to apply her many talents to help our cause. She was a wonderful person and a dear friend.”