Jill Corey, 85, of Pittsburgh, Pa., formerly of Los Angeles, and New York City passed away on Saturday, April 3, 2021, at UPMC Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA. Born, Norma Jean Speranza, on Monday, September 30, 1935, in Avonmore, PA, the daughter of the late Bernard and Clara Grant Speranza. Before her good-bye performance for a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall, she signed a contract to the Columbia Records label, she appeared on our “Hit Parade” and was on the cover of Life Magazine in 1953. It was said that she had a voice that would break your heart. She was an avid bird watcher in Central Park, had a dazzling wit, was a loving mother and devoted wife to the late Donald Albert Hoak. Jill took an eight-year hiatus in her singing career to travel with her husband of eight years. He had the distinction of playing for both the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates being part of both of the 1955 and 1960 World Series. After the death of the love of her life she made a comeback in her career. She is survived by her only daughter and best friend, Clare Hoak (Greg Damjanovic) and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, three brothers, Bernard, Dominic, and Earl and a sister Alice Yockey. At her request, all services are private. Interment will take place at the family plot in Westview Cemetery in Avonmore, Pa. At the convenience of the family, a celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jill’s memory to the Humane Society at www.humanesociety.org or by calling 202-452-1100.
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