Bognar, Franklin, Freeman, Ross, Goldstein, McElhattan, Malone
Nadine Bognar, 87: The co-owner of Bognar and Company, a supplier of coke and coal for the steel industry, she became chairman and CEO in 1992 after her husband’s death. While her business acumen contributed to the company’s continued success, it was her philanthropic efforts and support of a wide range of arts organizations that built her reputation in Pittsburgh as among the region’s most generous women.
Lena Franklin, 89: She was an indefatigable worker to help people of all kinds in Braddock find jobs. For more than 40 years during the worst of the Mon Valley’s decline, she worked at the Braddock Employment and Training Center interviewing job candidates and then finding employment matches for them. Known as a warm woman with a determined, can-do attitude, she was dedicated to her family and church and was an active member of the NAACP and the Western Pa. Black Political Assembly.
Ronald Freeman, 81: Freeman was the most brilliant police detective in Pittsburgh over the last 30 years at least, using drive, guile and intelligence to find and place together the mosaic pieces of the situation that led to an arrest. And he was an innovator of policing methods, creating advances in retrieving DNA from spent shell casings. When he was in charge, the city solved homicides at a rate that led the nation for similar sized cities. He treated everyone, even suspected murderers, as human beings, and that increased his ability to get confessions.
Kenny Ross, 91: From a single Chevrolet dealership on the North side in 1953, he built the Kenny Ross Automotive Group with 10 locations that became one of the region’s largest car dealers. His ads were known for the use of “Aunt Penny,” a white-haired character who was not his aunt but who told viewers, “Tell them Aunt Penny sent you.” Ross also was a co-founder in 1965 of the Pittsburgh chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, which echoed circumstances of his youth in Philadelphia in which he was a “little brother,” who received decisive help.
Donald Goldstein, 86: Goldstein was an Air Force veteran and University of Pittsburgh professor who took his deceased former mentor’s notes about the attack on Pear Harbor and turned them into the best seller “At Dawn Slept.” He was the author of 28 books, but the Pearl Harbor account was the most successful; his mentor, Gordon Prange, had been General Douglas MacArthur’s personal historian and had interviewed the Japanese involved with the attack. Prange asked Goldstein to take over.
Kenton McElhattan, 95: After years with a mining machinery supplier, McElhattan purchased the company’s industrial safety division and created Industrial Scientific, a manufacturer of gas detection equipment that was run by himself, his son and his grandson, until the company was sold last summer. A World War II Air Force veteran, he was married to his wife for 71 years, and they had 14 great grandchildren.
Michael Malone, 65: Malone was a longtime insurance broker, family man and civic volunteer. Great with people, he worked for many years at Fidelity Insurance Agency and later at Henderson Brothers. He was devoted to the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, whose board he chaired. He had also served on the boards of Gateway Rehabilitation and Gateway to the Arts.