Obituaries

Tillotson, Scully, Winner, Soergel, Detre, Brown, Lucas

Willard J. Tillotson Jr., 82 Industry pioneer Bill Tillotson founded and led one of Pennsylvania’s oldest and largest wealth-​management firms, Hefren-​Tillotson. Born with a competitive and friendly nature in the village of Tillotson, near Erie, he served in the U.S. Army for two years before entering Allegheny College, where he…

Lavelle, Chaplin, Hembree, Craig, Schott, Byrd, Ludwig

Robert R. Lavelle, 94 Lavelle founded the Hill District’s Dwelling House Savings & Loan, which helped thousands of people get loans and own their own homes. A devout Christian, the dignified rock of the Hill District viewed his financial work as his mission, advising and helping customers when they were…

Rice, Adebimpe, Genge, Barnes, Tate, Wilson, Williams, Rockwell, Wile, Kidney

Charles Owen Rice, 96: Monsignor Rice was termed “The most important Catholic social activist in 20thcentury Pittsburgh.” Known as the “Labor Priest,” he was a fiery advocate of working people — a regular on picket lines and protests of many stripes from the 1930s until the end of the century.…

Connolly, Maazel, Gordon, Marnatti, Zona, Staley, Hare

J. Wray Connolly, 75 Connolly played a pivotal role in the transition that brought Chancellor Mark Nordenberg to the helm of the University of Pittsburgh. Connolly spent his career at the H.J. Heinz Co., where, among other things, he was credited for the pioneering transition of putting Heinz Ketchup in…

Mays, Kelly, Scalo, Bennington, Connelly, Byron

Billy Mays, 50 Billy Mays was the consummate pitchman, famous to television watchers across the continent for his booming voice, black beard and persuasive infomercials. He believed in his products, such as OxyClean and Mighty Putty, and it showed. The McKees Rocks native got started on the career path…

Gumberg, Cappy, Thomas, Lascheid, Cantini, Handler

Stanley Gumberg, 81 Gumberg joined his father’s real estate brokerage and turned it into one of the region’s most successful real estate development companies, building the Waterworks and Cranberry malls and North Hills Village. Until his death, he remained chairman of the J.J. Gumberg Co., which controls some 15 million…

Semple, Burns, Ellis, Simon, Phillips

Dock Ellis, 63 One of baseball’s most colorful, controversial and bizarre figures, Ellis was a Pittsburgh Pirates star, who once pitched a no-​hitter on LSD. In an era of social upheaval, Ellis was branded a militant by the media because of his vocal advocacy for racial equality. His 1970 no-​hitter…

Purkey, Martin, Forrester, Beckwith, Lacey, Jones, Horan

Lee H. Lacey, 89: For nearly 30 years, Lacey was the president and CEO of Harmarville Rehabilitation Center. During his tenure, the facility, now part of HealthSouth, nearly tripled in capacity and changed from a home for poor mothers into a state-​of-​the-​art center for people recovering from debilitating sicknesses and…

Stanish, Vargo, DePasquale, Cope, Holmes, Cain

Rudolph B. Stanish, 94: Stanish was known as the “Omelet King” for cooking for such personages as JFK, Paul Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Marilyn Monroe. The Yukon, Westmoreland County native was sent as a teenager to Newport, R.I., where he began his career as a domestic worker. After working in…

Cooper, Schafer, Tobias, Wobb, Johnson, Joyner, Harper, Thrift, Fischer, Schloss

Dr. William M. Cooper, 87: William Cooper possessed tremendous medical knowledge, superior diagnostic skills and a compassionate manner that helped many patients and Greater Pittsburgh alike. The hematologist was also an innovator, helping to form the Central Blood Bank of Pittsburgh and serving as its first medical director. He served…

Miller, Rogal, Tannehill, Schmidt, Woodruff, Levinson

Eliza Miller, 92: She was an artist who was best known for her sculptures in steel but whose large, ceramic works can be found in local schools and playgrounds. She was born into a prominent family, and her grandfather designed a famous steel mill in Homestead, which he named after…

Bickel, Nickel, Magobern, Rhoades, Elmer, Lerner, Anderson

Minnette Bickel, 85: A national award-​winning portrait artist, Bickel painted hundreds of portraits of notable Pittsburghers and national figures. She would get a feel for the subject and then be guided by intuition. She was among the founders of Carnegie Museum’s Women’s Committee and was known as a charming, friendly…
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