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Sinda B. Dianzumba, 81, of Sewickley, PA passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on Friday, December 22, 2023 due to prostate cancer. He was born on August 28, 1942 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as one of seven children. His birth name was Bernard Dianzumba, but in 1972, Congolese people were mandated by the country to change their first and middle names. Although the legal restrictions were lifted and the ability to return back to one’s birth name was allowed in 1990, he kept the name Sinda for the rest of his life.
In the early 1960’s, Sinda’s eldest brother Thomas worked with the U.S. ambassador to the Congo. The ambassador was interested in awarding two scholarships and asked Thomas to introduce him to his family. Through Sinda's intellect, talents, and dedication, the introduction to this ambassador led to him earning a scholarship to study medicine in the United States.
In addition to native fluency in three other languages (French, Lingala, and Kikongo), Sinda studied at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in 1963-1964 for a 15 week program to learn English. He continued his studies at Oregon State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Medicine (Zoology major) in 1967. He earned his M.D. in 1971, graduating from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowships in Chicago, IL over the next 5 years.
Moving from Chicago to Pittsburgh to be mentored by Dr. Claude Joyner at Allegheny General Hospital was pivotal to Sinda’s growing career in cardiology. Calling Pittsburgh home for more than 40 years, Sinda would go on to be a renowned cardiologist at Allegheny General Hospital for 25 years as an Associate Director then Co-Director of the Noninvasive Cardiac Laboratory.
Throughout his career, he dedicated his time to many other institutions as a physician, faculty member, and leader, including the University of the West Indies and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was a volunteer and served on the Western Pennsylvania Board of Directors for the American Heart Association. As a lifelong learner and dedicated mentor, he practiced and taught cardiology throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area, Chicago and southern Illinois, Philadelphia, PA, and Kingston, Jamaica. He presented his research both nationally and internationally.
Medicine led Sinda to his wife, Lilieth, an ICU Nurse whom he met in Jamaica as a friend and colleague. Their fond friendship blossomed into a strong marriage and beautiful life together. Supporting, taking care of, and building up one another through shared faith and loyalty was the foundation of their relationship. Devoted to their faith, both Sinda and Lilieth are named as founding members of Christ Church at Grove Farm in Sewickley, PA. Always humble in all areas of his life, Sinda dedicated himself to his family and friends, and to his church, medical, and educational communities.
True kindred spirits, Sinda and his daughter Nicole had an unbreakable bond fostered by mutual selflessness, understanding, laughter, and many shared interests and hobbies. It was never lost on either of them how wonderful it was to be able to talk about anything and everything for hours with one another.
Sinda’s favorite hobbies included cooking and creating new recipes, listening to music (classical, hymnal, Congolese, jazz, Calypso, and Reggae) and singing, reading novels and educational articles, writing non-fiction and poetry, swimming, jogging, traveling, taking photos of nature, and attending symphonies and theater performances. He was an avid sports fan, watching soccer, basketball, and always cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers.
Sinda loved spending quality time with his family and friends. To know Sinda meant that you had a friend for life. He considered his closest friends as his family. A generous and patient man, he always made time for others and put their needs before his own. He encouraged others’ curiosity and reminded us all that it is never too late to learn something new. He was a confidant, a best friend, and the first person his loved ones would reach out to for support, advice, and a good laugh provided by his quick wit. Especially as a loving husband and incredible father, he was the best friend anyone could ask for to both his wife Lilieth, the love of his life, and his only child Nicole, his pride and joy.
Preceded in death by his mother Marie Bazungula, father André Miala, brothers Thomas Mianziula and Joseph Dimbelolo, mother-in-law Sylvia Gopaul, father-in-law Alfred Gopaul, and brother-in-law Gene “Keith” Gopaul. Sinda was followed in death by his brother-in-law Lancelot “Tat” Gopaul.
Sinda is survived by his wife of 33 years, Lilieth Dianzumba; daughter, Nicole Dianzumba (Brandon Verh); siblings Gabriel Mayenda, Antoine Mayiza, Marguerite Diasonama, Germain Mangungu; sister-in-law Cynthia (Reynold) Foster; brothers-in-law Clyde (Loletta) Gopaul, Carlyle “Wilton” (Paulette) Gopaul, Conroy “Verley” (Carmeta) Gopaul, and Trevor “Danny” Gopaul. He is also survived by his loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He is treasured by many cherished family members, friends and colleagues throughout Pittsburgh, the United States, and around the world.
Sinda and his kind presence will be immensely missed and fondly remembered forever.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 2:30 PM at Christ Church at Grove Farm, 249 Duff Road, Sewickley, PA 15143.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to assist with funeral and medical expenses. Donations can be sent to Sinda’s daughter Nicole via Venmo @ndianzu.