Ilkin, Stabile, Weizenbaum, Harper, Wholey

Noting the Passing of Prominent Pittsburghers

Tunch Ilkin, Lois Wholey Sr., Robert Berkley Harper

Tunch Ilkin, 63

The Steelers two-time Pro Bowl tackle, team captain and longtime broadcaster on the Steelers Radio Network died of ALS. He played 13 seasons with the Steelers and one with the Green Bay Packers before retiring in 1993. Ilkin was also vice president of the NFL Players Association from 1989 to 1994. He joined the Steelers’ broadcast team in 1998, becoming lead analyst when Myron Cope retired in 2004. He also hosted a weekday radio show, “In the Locker Room with Tunch and Wolf,” on ESPN Pittsburgh with his best friend and former teammate Craig Wolfley. A devout Christian, Ilkin volunteered at Light of Life Rescue Mission for more than 30 years. He and Wolfley prepared and served food to the homeless there every Thanksgiving.

Jack Stabile, 90
His father, John, Sr., was an entrepreneur who started a parking business in the Golden Triangle in 1925. Stabile joined him and they grew the business into Alco Parking Corp. and the Grant Oliver Corp., becoming the largest parking facility owner and operators in Western Pennsylvania. Stabile was involved in numerous civic, charitable, and arts organizations. He served on the board of the Vocational Rehabilitation Center, the Pittsburgh Opera Society and the Civic Light Opera. He was an active member of Rotary Club, Amen Corner, and was past president of the University Club of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Club. He was also a major supporter of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Norman Weizenbaum, 90
A second-generation member of one of the five families who founded Giant Eagle, Weizenbaum started working alongside his father, Morris Weizenbaum, who with his partner Hyman Moravitz started a small supermarket called OK Grocery in the 1930s. As a teenager, Weizenbaum worked in the grocery stores after school, including as a butcher, stockroom clerk and bagger. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he held various roles in senior management at Giant Eagle, which is now one of the largest privately owned companies in America. Weizenbaum was involved with numerous charities, the Hebrew Congregation of Chautauqua, the Chautauqua Opera and served on the board of The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Robert Berkley Harper, 82
He grew up in the Hill District, the son of a Pullman porter, and was a member of the National Honor Society when he graduated from Fifth Avenue High School. A legal scholar, Harper became the dean of students and the first tenured black professor at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh Law School. One of a blended family of 17 children, Harper paid his way through Pitt by working a full-time night job at the post office. He enlisted in the Army and served in Korea, achieving the rank of first lieutenant, and after law school went to work for the police department, eventually becoming chief legal adviser. Harper, an avid squash player, wrote a column, “Black on Black,” in the 1980s and 1990s for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Lois Wholey Sr., 97
For 60 years she was known as Frances Fish, the pseudonym she used to write weekly newspaper ads for the family business she co-founded with her husband, Robert Wholey & Co. A 70-year member of the Confraternity of Christian Mothers, Wholey graduated from Carlow University in 1945 and was inducted into the National Who’s Who of American Colleges. She taught as an adjunct professor at Carlow while working as a writer for Equitable Gas and later, as a copywriter for Kaufmann’s. Pre-internet, a daily cab from Kaufmann’s would deliver the merchandise she was to celebrate with ad copy. Wholey also co-authored “International Cuisine by the World’s Great Chefs,” recipes from acclaimed chefs at the 1961 Culinary Olympics, which is still in print.

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