Spring 2022
In Memoriam

Passings: Spring 2022


Clarence “Butch” Adams Jr. EDUC ’72G, December 2021, age 73, of South Park, Pennsylvania, formerly of Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Pitt’s School of Education with a master’s degree and spent 37 years teaching English in the Steel Valley School District in Pittsburgh’s South Hills. He loved sports and was a coach for the softball team at Thomas Jefferson High School, a wrestling referee for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and an umpire for the McKeesport Daily News League. An avid Pitt fan and a longtime supporter of the athletics department, he cheered on the Panthers at every football and basketball game. He is survived by his wife, Sharon, their three children and four grandchildren.

Nicholas F. “Nick” Burnett A&S ’89G, December 2021, age 65, of Sacramento, California. He grew up in Augusta, Maine, before attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies and met his wife, with whom he shared 38 years of marriage. After teaching at Emerson College in Boston, he came to Pitt, where he earned a PhD. During his 30-year career at California State University, Sacramento, he served as a debate coach, professor, department chair and associate dean before retiring in 2017. An accredited orchid judge through the American Orchid Society, he enjoyed raising orchids and served on the Sacramento Orchid Society's board, among others. He was also an avid fisherman and debate enthusiast.

Thomas J. Davies GSPIA ’62, December 2021, age 82, of Oakland, California.

Robert E. Dunkelman ENGR ’52 May 2022, age 91, of Pittsburgh. A native of Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, he studied industrial engineering at Pitt. After working in accounting for Westinghouse Electric Corporation and serving in the military, he returned to his alma mater in 1958 and launched a 44-year career at Pitt. Among the positions he held were vice provost for resource management, interim senior vice chancellor for business and finance, and secretary of the Board of Trustees and special assistant to the chancellor. When he retired, he became the only former board secretary to be named secretary emeritus by Pitt's Board of Trustees. He served as an elder of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, president of the Pitcairn-Crabbe Foundation and a member of the Board of the Pennsylvania Organization for Women in Early Recovery. He also was a 33rd degree Mason and was active in the Pittsburgh Children's Dyslexia Center. He is survived by his wife of almost 56 years, a daughter and a granddaughter.

Margaret “Peggie” Miller Dunklin A&S ’88, December 2021, age 55, of Pittsburgh. A lifelong Pittsburgher, she grew up in the nearby suburb of Cranberry and studied communications at Pitt. She worked at her alma mater for 33 years and held roles in various departments, including the Office of University Communications and Marketing and the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. During her nine-year tenure as the director of budget and human resources, Pitt saw significant growth in undergraduate enrollment. She earned a Human Resources Online Law Certificate from Pitt’s School of Law in 2020. She is survived by her husband and their children. In celebration of her legacy, The Peggie Miller Dunklin Memorial Fund was created, for which there is an EngagePitt fundraising campaign. 

James Murray Egan LAW ’51, November 2021, age 95, of O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania. He actively practiced law for more than 65 years, both as a partner with Weller, Wicks and Wallace and, after the practices combined, with Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe. The capstone of his career came at age 90, when he navigated the closing of a substantial sale of western Texas mineral rights for the benefit of a Pittsburgh-based charitable organization. He was a co-founder of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and a co-trustee of the Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust, where his stewardship benefited many organizations serving the needs of children with intellectual disabilities living in Western Pennsylvania.

Edward G. Ferrang SCI ’76G, March 2022, age 71, of Grovetown, Georgia. A Pittsburgh native, he received a master’s degree in library science from Pitt before continuing his education at the University of South Carolina and DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Business. His work in education and library and book services took him to positions in high schools, universities and libraries in Pittsburgh, rural Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona and finally Georgia, where he worked as a media services librarian. He was the owner/director of Oxford Learning Center in Evans, Georgia. He served on the boards of a number of charitable, tourism and commerce organizations. He enjoyed traveling, sky diving, hot-air ballooning, wind surfing, singing and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is survived by his wife, two children and four grandchildren.

George Howard Foster Jr. A&S ’74, October 2021, age 73, of Orlando, Florida. He was born in Munhall, Pennsylvania. After moving around for several years, his family returned to the Pittsburgh area and settled in West Mifflin. Throughout his career, he held project-management roles at PNC Bank and other major companies in the United States and Canada. An Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War, he had a keen interest in military history and read about it extensively. His other hobbies included hunting and technology. He is survived by his wife and stepson, as well as a brother and three sisters.

Lawrence Marshall “Larry” Gilford A&S ’55, MED ’59, August 2021, age 88, of Brookville, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Pitt with bachelor’s and medical degrees, he interned at Hamot Medical Center in Erie and completed a pediatric residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. As a physician in the Army, he served as the chief of pediatrics and assistant medical director at a military hospital in Orléans, France. He loved to learn and took every opportunity to gain new experience, leading him to accept roles in disciplines such as emergency care and geriatrics. He found his dream job at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, where he was the director of medical services from 1969 to 1990. Known for his dedication and work ethic, he was the recipient of several honors throughout his career, including Clarion University’s distinguished service award and the Army Commendation Medal. He is survived by his wife of 65 years and three of their four children.

Claudia Gollop SCI ’93G, May 2022. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in New York City, where she grew up. After working as a library and information sciences professional for nearly 15 years, she earned her doctorate from Pitt, after which she headed to the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Information and Library Science. She retired from UNC after 25 years of teaching and serving as a distinguished tenured faculty member and associate dean. Her research focused on the acquisition and dissemination of consumer health information, particularly among older adults. In 2007, she launched a new line of inquiry into cardiac rehabilitation referrals practices with the goal of improving the heart health of women and minorities. She received a number of accolades, including the Association for Library and Information Science Education Award for Professional Contribution.

Edward A. Guzik BUS ’75G, January 2021, age 78, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, formerly of Pittsburgh. He attended Villanova University as an undergraduate and served in the U.S. Army’s Medical Service Corps, from which he was honorably discharged as captain in 1969. He then moved to Pittsburgh to attend Pitt’s executive MBA program and work at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh Central Clinical Chemistry Laboratory. In 1978, he became the first risk manager for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and later became vice president of professional services. He was appointed a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2007. A loving husband, father and grandfather, he appreciated music and bad "dad jokes.”

Joan C. Hoffman A&S ’54, May 2022, age 90, of Pittsburgh. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology after switching her major from chemistry when an aptitude test revealed she was too sociable to be working alone in a lab. She later proved this assessment true. She served as administrative assistant in the Chancellor's Office at the University of Pittsburgh for three chancellors. For 30 years, many people's first contact with that office was her voice saying, "Chancellor's Office, Joan speaking." She was beloved by coworkers and devoted to the University; she served the Pitt community with professionalism, kindness, and charm before opting for an “early retirement” at 80. She is survived by four children (three of whom are Pitt graduates) and two grandchildren.

Nancy Lane GSPIA ’69, March 2022, age 88, of New York. A longtime corporate executive, she held positions with companies including the National Urban League, Chase Manhattan Bank and Johnson & Johnson. Over the course of her career, she broke race and gender barriers as a Black woman in various leadership positions. She was a board member for several organizations, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she was the longest-serving board member. An art lover and determined advocate, she was committed to supporting Black artists and their work.

Alvin Markovitz A&S ’54, MED ’58, August 2021, age 89, of Los Angeles. He played basketball as an undergraduate at Pitt and, after earning his bachelor’s degree, attended the University’s School of Medicine, where he studied under polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk and acclaimed pediatrician Benjamin Spock. He then interned at the University of California Medical Center and San Francisco General Hospital and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Following a hematology fellowship at the University of Utah, he went overseas to Germany, where he served with the Army Medical Corps for two years. When he returned to California, he opened a practice in West Los Angeles and frequently volunteered at Venice Family Clinic. He is survived by his wife and children.

Julius Pegues ENGR ’59, March 2022, age 86, of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He came to Pitt from Booker T. Washington High School, where he had garnered statewide attention for his talent on the basketball court. The first Black student to play for Pitt men’s basketball, he was awarded an athletics scholarship after an impressive first season and started on the team for the next three years. After graduating with a degree in engineering, he went to Missouri to study meteorology at Saint Louis University. He served in the Air Force as a weather forecaster before heading back to Tulsa, where he held roles at Douglas Aircraft, American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration. Deeply involved in a wide range of community efforts, he was a steadfast advocate for Black Tulsans and a leader in initiatives to honor Black history and celebrate Black culture. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Helen Marie Sandor SCI ’76G, January 2022, age 90, formerly of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. She was a proud Air Force veteran with degrees in education and library science. She worked as both a teacher and librarian. A devout Catholic who enjoyed traveling, she took special pleasure in visiting faraway places with sacred sites and relics. Though preceded in death by her 10 siblings, she is survived by many nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.

Norton “Nort” Seaman A&S ’60, EDUC ’62, May 2022, age 84, of Westtown, Pennsylvania. Born in Calcutta, India, he began his decades-long career in education at Lower Merion School District’s Harriton High School in 1969 — first as physical education teacher, then as assistant principal, acting principal and finally principal, a role he held until he retired in 1998. He again served as acting principal after retirement, filling the role at Harriton High School, Gladwyne Elementary and Lower Merion High School. An inspiring coach, leader and teacher, he is survived by four children and 12 grandchildren.

Juanita Lee (Ryzner) Signs SOC WK ’68G, December 2021, age 78, of Saint Joseph, Michigan. She worked in social services for 53 years and was licensed in Michigan and Indiana. A passionate animal lover, she had many pets over the years and asked that any donations in her memory go to the Animal Placement Bureau in Lansing, Michigan.

Thomas F. Staley A&S ’63G, March 2022, age 86, of Austin, formerly of Tulsa. After graduating from Pitt with a PhD in English, he studied as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Trieste in Italy. He spent 25 years at the University of Tulsa, where he was a literature professor and the founding editor of the James Joyce Quarterly, now considered the flagship journal of international Joyce studies. During his tenure, he also served as dean of the college of arts and sciences as well as university provost. In 1988, he became the director of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. For nearly three decades, he worked to grow the center’s archives and secured the work of numerous renowned writers, including Don DeLillo, Norman Mailer and David Foster Wallace. He is survived by his wife, four children and six grandchildren.

Joseph S. Wilkoski BUS ’81G, October 2021, age 69, of McMurray, Pennsylvania, formerly of Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He worked at Pittsburgh Testing Laboratory (PTL) as a high school student before attending Pitt. Beyond the professional success he achieved at PTL, it was also the place where he met his future wife, with whom he would enjoy nearly 40 years of marriage. After reaching the position of assistant treasurer at PTL, he became the chief financial officer of Watson Standard Company, a role he held for more than 20 years. In addition to being a dedicated colleague and mentor, he was a devoted husband, father, uncle and friend. He had many outdoor hobbies and was known for his skills as a do-it-yourself enthusiast, never turning down an opportunity to build or fix something.

Stephen William Zanardelli A&S ’00, April 2022, age 44, of Bethel Park. He graduated from Bethel Park High School in 1996, where he was co-captain of the varsity basketball team and received the Bob Watson Memorial Award for most valuable player, as voted by his teammates. At Pitt, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in mathematics and a certificate in accounting. After graduation, he became a certified public accountant and worked for several accounting firms in the Pittsburgh area. During that time, he spent three months in Australia studying international financial accounting. A senior vice president of accounting for a local bank, he was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair. He was a connoisseur of fine watches and clothing and he enjoyed listening to music, bicycling and watching Pittsburgh sports--especially Pitt basketball. He is survived by his son, who he loved dearly, and his parents.