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Obituaries

Sarris, Stever, Height, Poupko, Bold, Stewart, Rust

Frank Sarris, 78 Sarris was a self-made man whose generosity helped a spectrum of his fellow citizens—from community organizations in his hometown of Canonsburg to the University of Pittsburgh, where he donated $5 million to the liver transplant program. He and his wife Athena were a team, and in the 1950s they began experimenting with …

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Zanos, Hagan, Fazio, Shogan, Musick, Cianca, Honsberger

Yvonne Zanos, 60 A former Miss Pennsylvania runner-up, she was a tall, striking woman who became beloved in Pittsburgh as KDKA-TV’s reliable and savvy consumer reporter. Known for her warm and winning personality, she was also a tough advocate for consumers. Zanos believed in and was dedicated to television’s public service role, which included her …

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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 a plastic bottle. It was …

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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 that would make him famous …

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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 square feet of retail property. …

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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 came about after he had …

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Melodia, Cai, Jaffurs, Sittsamer, Lee, Edmunds, Healy, Packer

Mario Melodia, 78 He returned to Pittsburgh from Broadway, building a career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. He danced and choreographed for national audiences but left his biggest mark as a teacher of dancers of all stripes, launching the careers of many.He had a dance studio Downtown, taught for more than three decades at …

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Donovan, Morris, Hattler, Schloss, Pausch, Pidgeon, Diven, Witter, Handy, Harmeier, Jones, White

Bishop Edward V. Donovan, 76 After working as a metallurgist with U.S. Steel for 20 years, Edward Donovan turned to religion, forming a prayer group that ultimately broke away from the Catholic Church and became the Community of the Crucified One.Under Bishop Donovan’s leadership, the Community grew to include its own priests and nuns and …

Donovan, Morris, Hattler, Schloss, Pausch, Pidgeon, Diven, Witter, Handy, Harmeier, Jones, White Read More »

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 injuries. Robert T. Purkey, 78 …

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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 the kitchen, he soon became …

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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 her — the Eliza Furnace. …

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McCullough, Chiodo, Boesel, Bernard, Moore, Wargo, Hansen, Prosser, Aiken

C. Hax McCullough Jr., 81 McCullough was a writer and a great advocate for Pittsburgh. His projects often included supporting the arts, and he wrote histories of the Pittsburgh Symphony, opera in Pittsburgh, West Penn Hospital, The Pittsburgh Golf Club and corporate histories.He had a love for music which began as a youngster in Point …

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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 and stylish person. Elbie Nickel, …

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Lewis, Becker, McCarl, Shafer, Giddens, Frick, Jacobs, Fowkes, Campbell

Raymond P. Shafer, 89: Pennsylvania’s Republican governor from 1967 to 1971, Shafer of Meadville extended the legislative term to two years, made Pennsylvania the first state to allow public workers to unionize and tried unsuccessfully to institute income taxes.He later chaired a national commission on drugs, which recommended the Nixon administration legalize possession of small …

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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 as medical director of the …

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Heyward, Soffer, Trimarchi, Shekell, DeBolt, O’Connor, Rea, Edwards, Little

E. James Trimarchi, 83: Over the past 23 years, Trimarchi built a small Indiana bank with $31 million in assets into the $6 billion First Commonwealth Financial Corporation, serving as its first president and CEO and retiring as chairman six months before his death.A native of Indiana who served as a naval officer in the …

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Smith, Detre, Ringer, Marshall, Hodges, White, Kerr, Patrick, Halpern, Hazo, Stautner, Lowenthal, Irvis, Hodges, Walton, Turner

James Ignatius Smith III, 74: Smith became the first executive director of the Allegheny County Bar Association and built it into one of the most vital in the country. He was in charge from 1963 until 2001 and built membership from 1,900 to 6,500 and staff from seven to 70.Smith was dedicated to the association …

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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. He delivered the invocation for …

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