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Obituaries

Lackner, Titus, Kessler

Judy Lackner, 98She was the senior school librarian for 22 years at Sewickley Academy, where her voracious reading habits and steel-trap memory caused her to serve as the “book whisperer.” A lifelong learner, Lackner went back to school when her children were grown to get a master’s in library science from Pitt. After graduating from …

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Ackerman, Johnson, Vidunas, Davis, Herchenroether, Deiseroth

Jeffrey Ackerman, 69A founding partner of CBRE, Ackerman was an icon in the region’s commercial real estate industry for decades and served as CBRE’s managing director in Pittsburgh from 2013 until January. He was working at Arnheim & Neely in the 1990s when CB Commercial came looking for an existing brokerage with which to partner. …

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Curley, Martin, Kreisman, Rocher, Sarni, Lampl

Mary Taylor Walton Curley, 97The daughter of John and Rachel Mellon Walton and granddaughter of Gulf Oil founder William Larimer Mellon, she graduated from Vassar and worked at Pitt after World War II assisting women veterans on the GI Bill. She and her husband, oil executive Walter Curley, lived all over the world, from India …

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Hampton, Gumberg, Fox, O’Brien, Weber, Green

Slide Hampton, 89The virtuoso jazz trombonist, bandleader and Grammy Award-winning composer and musical arranger hailed from Jeannette, where his sister gave him the nickname Slide. One of 12 children, he spent his entire life in music, beginning as a singer and dancer with a family band and progressing to trombone at age 12. The Hampton …

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Favorini, DeSantis, Johnson, Virdon, Diamond, Baskin

Attilio “Buck” Favorini, 78After earning a Ph.D. in History of the Theatre from Yale, the New York City native came to Pittsburgh in 1969 and spent 50 years here, founding the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, which became one of the top Shakespeare festivals in America. He joined the Pitt faculty and founded the university’s Theatre …

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Cohill, Corbett, Walton, Lewis, Wymard, Ford

Judge Maurice Cohill Jr., 92A national leader in juvenile justice, Cohill heard hundreds of cases involving juveniles and often had adults tell him how his influence had turned their lives around. He founded the nation’s oldest juvenile justice research organization, the National Center for Juvenile Justice in Pittsburgh, and was its chairman for decades. In …

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Trumka, Strassburger, Deitch, Krupp, Frank, Parham

Richard Trumka, 72: A native of Eighty Four, Pa., Trumka was the president of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States. He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a coal miner, working shifts in both college and law school. At the age of 33, he successfully ran …

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Franklin, Cosetti, Mann, Robinson, Hillebrand, Eide

Don Franklin, 82: A renowned Baroque musicologist, Franklin was professor of music, emeritus, at the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as chair twice from 1970 until his retirement in 2009. A Willmar, Minn. native, he was the youngest trumpet player to play taps at the Willmar Cemetery and was a gifted pianist who earned …

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Wertz, Wilde, Zappala, Rosenberg, Rangos, Blasier

Ricki Wertz, 86: From 1959 to 1969, Wertz hosted the popular children’s show ”Ricki and Copper” on WTAE. Her co-host was a retriever mix who came from a shelter and was Wertz’s own pet, a wedding gift from her husband. She went on to host “Junior High Quiz” on WTAE for the next 20 years …

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Wactlar, Henderson, Figgins, DeFazio, Corry, Toker

Howard Wactlar, 77: During a career of more than 50 years at the National Science Foundation and Carnegie Mellon, where he arrived in 1967 and went on to hold positions in both the School of Computer Science and the Robotics Institute, Wactlar developed an impressive array of technology and software engineering systems. He helped to …

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Flannery, Verrilla, Kudzma, Washowich, Spinabelli, Davis

Tom Flannery, 75: A former Dartmouth football and rugby player who was 6’4” and 230 pounds, Flannery blended an imposing physical presence with a warm, fun-loving personality to become the top headhunter in Pittsburgh. In his role leading the Pittsburgh office of international search firm Boyden, he placed key top executives at countless local corporations …

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Rooney, Clarke, Habegger, Miller, Thornburgh, Gale, Robinson

Patricia Rooney, 88: Married to the late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney for 65 years and one of four matriarchs of longstanding NFL families, Mrs. Rooney combined her love of family with a commitment to many causes, especially in the North Side neighborhood where she grew up and lived until her death. The mother of nine …

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Barnes, Rogers, Dawson, Houston, Cavalier, Taube, Feeney

J. David Barnes, 91: After graduating from Harvard Law in 1954, Mr. Barnes spent two years in the Army and then joined Mellon Bank. He retired 30 years later as the chairman and chief executive officer. Active on many corporate and philanthropic boards through the years, he was especially fond of the Ellis School, helping …

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Mowod, Twerski, Sommers, Schano, Connelly, Burke

Tony Mowod, 85: The longtime host of the WDUQ jazz program “Nightside” and founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, Mr. Mowod grew up in the Hill District surrounded by jazz. His parents ran a restaurant, and he would go on to own several including the Vogue Terrace Dinner Theatre, which burned down after one production …

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A Reflection on the Life of Dick Thornburgh

Written by his son David Bradford Thornburgh, read by his granddaughter Blair Elizabeth Thornburgh at Shadyside Presbyterian Church on Jan. 16, 2021. It’s my great honor to read the following reflection about the life of my grandfather, as written by my father, David. In my dad’s words, about his: I’m sure all of us have …

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Remembering Prominent Pittsburghers Who Passed Away in 2020

We’ve said goodbye to many influential Pittsburghers this year. Remember those who have passed away and their impact on the region—and the world—in this compilation of our Last Chapter department. Editor’s note: After we published this compilation, a reader astutely asked, “Why would Paul O’Neill, 72nd Secretary of the Treasury, CEO of Alcoa for 13 …

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Springer, Dickerson, Fink, Betters, Cozewith, Smith, Piatt

Eric Springer, 91: A man of erudition, letters and the law, Springer was a founding partner of the Pittsburgh law firm Horty, Springer and Mattern. He was an avid writer who was involved in the arts, civic progress and social justice. He was the first black president of the Allegheny County Bar Association and former …

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Last Chapter, Fall 2020

Judge John Corbett, 73: Corbett lost the use of his body from the chest down after a diving accident when he was 15. Despite that, he became a distinguished jurist and lawyer, once arguing a case before the Supreme Court. After Pitt Law School, he and two classmates with disabilities formed the Downtown firm of …

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Wymard, Carreau, Sepic, Leberman, Cibik, Goldstein

Joe Wymard, 84: Though he started his career as a corporate lawyer, Wymard found his calling in family law and became known for his feminist perspective and dogged persistence in divorce cases representing women. He showed the same passion for the arts, in particular the Pittsburgh Symphony, hosting an annual fundraiser at his Florida home …

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Nathanson, Cannon, Jansons, Hartford, Wolf, Armstrong, Siewers, Goodfriend

Harvey C. Nathanson, 83: Nathanson was chief scientist for Westinghouse Research Labs, pioneering numerous technologies including micro-electro mechanical (MEMS) devices. An electrical engineer, he had more than 50 patents and was honored with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Millennium Medal. Glenn Cannon, 72: Cannon was a dedicated and successful public servant, leading emergency …

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Remembering Prominent Pittsburghers Who Passed Away in 2019

We’ve said goodbye to many influential Pittsburghers this year. Remember those who have passed away and their impact on the region—and the world—in this compilation of our Last Chapter department. Carol Massaro, 79: A mother of four, she raised nearly $1 million for Alzheimer’s research after the disease took her late husband, contractor Joseph A. …

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Fisher, Roseman, Ziegler, Stein, Roderick, Hillenbrand, Pessolano, Booth

Dr. Bernard Fisher, 101: Dr. Fisher was a giant in the field of breast cancer, leading large-scale randomized clinical trials that revolutionized understanding and treatment of the illness. His earlier surgical work included performing the first kidney transplant in Pittsburgh and doing pivotal work that cleared the way for future liver transplantation. Believing that data …

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