Cover photo for Phoebe Catherine Edalatpour's Obituary
Phoebe Catherine Edalatpour Profile Photo
1995 Phoebe Catherine Edalatpour 2024

Phoebe Catherine Edalatpour

August 29, 1995 — May 5, 2024

Chestnut Hill

Phoebe Catherine Edalatpour, 28, of Philadelphia, passed away in her home on Sunday, May 5, 2024. She is survived by her mother Shelley Drayton Smith, her father Timothy (Emily) Edalatpour, siblings Zoe Valentine, Frances, and William, and many loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Phoebe was born in Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia on August 29, 1995. She grew up in Erdenheim, PA and was a graduate of Springfield Township High School. She attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where she was an active member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and the Georgia Tech Women’s Water Polo club and received her bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 2018. She completed her master's degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2023. 

Phoebe combined her gifts of intelligence, empathy, and enthusiastic optimism into a passion for taking on the inequities in the world and empowering people along the way. She became involved at an early age in her family’s criminal justice foundation, remaining actively involved throughout her life. At Georgia Tech, she was accepted into Grand Challenges, a program designed to tackle complex issues worldwide to create a better future. She was an active member of Engineers Without Borders, which enabled the first of Phoebe’s many service projects in Africa, including trips to Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, and most importantly, Sierra Leone. After graduating from Georgia Tech in 2018, Phoebe was accepted into the Peace Corps, where she was assigned to the village of Tihun in Sierra Leone. The village, and particularly her host family, became her second home, where she quickly became a member of the community. By the time she first left Tihun, every child in the village knew the Eagles fight song.

Upon returning to the United States, Phoebe started her professional career in construction but decided during the COVID crisis that she wanted to do more meaningful work and make a difference. She decided to return to school to study sustainable development. This focus not only combined her background in engineering and construction with her desire to make a difference in the world, but it also provided a platform for her to return to her beloved community in Tihun. Phoebe started Wi Yone Plastik, a non-profit organization run by the women of Tihun and surrounding villages that converts plastic waste into building materials, providing environmental, health, and financial benefits to these communities. After returning home and graduating with her master’s degree Phoebe started a new role as a Management Analyst for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Phoebe will be remembered most for the relationships she built and valued so dearly through all these phases of her life. While she left us far too early, she was a bright light and a bright spirit that lit up the world wherever she went, making an impact on so many who were lucky enough to call her daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, or friend.

Please contact the family at for information on funeral services. Memorial contributions may be made to support the women and children of Tihun.


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