Winter 2020
In Memoriam

Passings: Winter 2020


John Ammer MED ’59, August 2019, age 86, of Fox Chapel, Pa. After serving as a captain in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Air Force at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, he returned to Pittsburgh to finish his training in obstetrics and gynecology at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. He spent more than 30 years at Western Pennsylvania Hospital, where he received the Gold-Headed Cane Award in 1993.

Theresa O. Binkley ENGR ’85G, September 2019, age 84, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Throughout her career as an engineer at IBM, she was awarded four patents and traveled to Europe, Africa, and the Pacific Rim. Outside of work, her love of adventure also took her to Egypt, Russia, Alaska, and the Caribbean. Her hobbies included playing cards and bird-watching, and she was a member of Saint Martin de Porres Parish and Senior Center, the Red Hat Society, and IBM Retirees.

Camille Cash EDUC ’89G, July 2019, age 77, of Mt. Lebanon, Pa. She had a lifelong passion for education and helping others that led her to become an award-winning counselor and teacher. Her private practice, 3 Rivers Counseling, specialized in treating women and families. After converting to Catholicism in 1980, she became highly involved in the church, becoming a Eucharistic minister, as well as founding and leading a Bible study at St. Bernard Church with her husband.

John Kevin Cotter A&S ’88G, August 2019, age 76, of West Newton, Mass. An actor, singer, and dancer, he shared his talents on stage as a performer and off stage as a teacher, mentor, director, and friend. He taught acting and directing at Cornell University, the University of Pittsburgh, Ithaca College, the Michael Chekhov Studio in New York and London, and Temple University, where he was a tenured professor at the time of his retirement.

Dana Coyne BUS ’92G, September 2019, age 51, of Latrobe, Pa. She joined the Army after high school, serving as a communications specialist in Germany and Oklahoma. The first in her family to graduate from college, she earned degrees in both psychology and criminology. Remembered as kind-hearted with an inclination to help others, she worked with the Westmoreland County Housing Authority and UnitedHealthcare, among other organizations.

Virgil Fassio A&S ’49, September 2018, age 91, of Seattle. A Navy veteran of World War II, he started his first newspaper at the age of 20. The publications he went on to work with include Valley Daily News, Detroit Free Press, the Chicago Tribune, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In 2017, he published Steel City to Emerald City: A Newspaperman’s Life Journey (CreateSpace), a memoir detailing his many years in the newspaper industry. 

Jill Freedman A&S ’61, October 2019, age 79, of New York City. A native of Pittsburgh, she studied sociology at Pitt. She worked as a singer and then in advertising before finding her passion in documentary street photography, through which she immersed herself in the lives of her subjects. Her work has been shown in galleries, collections, and exhibits worldwide, including in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The recipient of several grants and fellowships, she published eight books of photography.

John H. Kilwein A&S ’58, GSPH ’70, SOC WK ’73G, March 2019, age 83, of Bethel Park, Pa. His passion for learning resulted in an extensive career as both a student and a teacher. He was a professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy from 1973 to 2002 and received the Hygeia Teacher of the Year Award in 1980. In addition to authoring more than 100 publications, he served as the commentary series editor for the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. He also enjoyed reading literature, listening to and playing music, gardening, and cooking.

Cela Mascarenhas A&S ’91G, ’99G, July 2019, age 84, of Sewickley, Pa. She excelled in academics from a young age, ranking first in her class in high school and college. After emigrating from India to the United States, she served as vice president and treasurer of Mascarenhas Consulting Services before deciding to go back to school for her second master’s degree and Ph.D. She taught English literature and composition at the University of Pittsburgh for 14 years. She served as a board member and president of the Coraopolis-Sewickley branch of the American Association of University Women, among other positions in community organizations.

Thomas James McLean LAW ’80, August 2019, age 71, of Okemos, Mich. At Pitt he wrote for the University of Pittsburgh Law Review and served as assistant to the dean. He worked for 17 years as a contract attorney at Schnader Harrison Segal and Lewis, LLP, a firm where he became partner. He dedicated considerable time to the community and spent his retirement pursuing a variety of creative endeavors—from caring for bonsai to building autonomous robots. A devoted husband and father, he is remembered as an energetic Renaissance man, as well as a free spirit with great wit.

Nancy Jane Uzarski Pease LAW ’92, September 2019, age 52, of Lafayette Hill, Pa. After passing the bar exam and moving to Philadelphia, she served as a law clerk under the Honorable Frederica Massiah-Jackson and a litigation associate at two major law firms, Post & Schell and Rawle & Henderson. Later, she became a stay-at-home mom to her three children and volunteered for a variety of school activities. Upon returning to the workforce full-time, she was hired as a paralegal specialist in the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Paul A. Penzo A&S ’57, August 2019, age 91, of Fairfax, Va. He was an astrodynamicist who worked in mission design in the aerospace industry. A prominent figure in his field, he received numerous awards from NASA, including the Apollo Award and the Voyager Exceptional Service Medal, and he was active in several professional organizations, namely the American Astronautical Society; the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and the Planetary Society, of which he was a charter member.

Morris Shratter EDUC ’50, ’56G, July 2019, age 94, of Pittsburgh. Even as a teenager, he was dedicated to serving the Pittsburgh community. He joined the Air Force soon after graduating from high school and later became the president of the Jewish War Veterans in Pittsburgh. His 30 years in public service included time as a history teacher, guidance counselor, Rodef Shalom volunteer, and head of the Scholars Program. After retiring, he and his wife created the television program More Than Just Learning, which highlighted the importance of education through interviews with famous guests.

Doren L. Slade A&S ’73G, June 2019, age 74, of Unadilla, N.Y. She became a certified psychoanalyst in 1986 and worked in private practice. Her passion for Mexican culture led her to write her book Making the World Safe for Existence, a study of the role saints play in an indigenous Mexican community. She was also a published author in various psychoanalytic journals. She is remembered as an understanding, insightful, and empathic person who helped enrich the lives of many.