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Nor​a D. Zahn, 94, University of Penn Administrator and Local Arts Patron

April 16, 2009
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Nora Dyshel Zahn, 94, a retired University of Pennsylvania administrator and arts patron, died March 9 at her home in Wyncote.

A graduate of Germantown High School, Zahn took an administrative position at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960, where she also attended classes. In the 1970s, she became assistant to Alan Heeger, director of Penn's Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter. She retired in 1982.

Zahn supported several cultural institutions, including the Settlement Music School. She enjoyed European travel, the opera, Philadelphia Orchestra concerts, and visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Longwood Gardens in Chester County. The late landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx named a plant in a garden he designed at Longwood after the Zahns.

Zahn is survived by sons Spencer Zahn, Brian Zahn and Robert Zahn; five grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Her husband of 51 years, Herbert G. Zahn, died in 1989.

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