Winter 2021-2022
In Memoriam

Passings: Winter 21-22


Evelyn Louise (Klahre) Anderson A&S ’48, June 2021, age 94, of Erie, Pennsylvania. Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, she began what would become a long writing career at 10 years old. She studied chemistry at Pitt, where she made lifelong friends and met her husband with whom she built a family that eventually resulted in eight great-grandchildren. After graduation, she worked as a pathology lab assistant in Johnstown’s Memorial Hospital. Her writing and photographs were published in the Erie Morning News, the Erie Times-News and other outlets. A member of several environmental and historical organizations, she published two nature books and gave presentations to many clubs and educational groups. She collected honors from a number of organizations including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Presque Isle Audubon Society.

Thomas P. Bicanich Jr. EDUC ’70G, January 2021, age 89, of New Kensington, Pennsylvania. A Navy veteran who served in the Korean War, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from what was then Indiana University State Teachers College in western Pennsylvania. He taught business education at Monessen High School for seven years before coming to Pitt’s School of Education, where he became a professor, earned a doctorate, chaired a department and, later, was honored as a professor emeritus. While at Pitt, he met his wife, with whom he shared his life for 42 years. He was a lifetime member of the Pitt Alumni Association and held Panthers football season tickets for 40 years. 

Willard A. Bredenberg MED ’61, January 2021, of Lewiston, Maine.

Virginia B. Byers EDUC ’78G, August 2021, age 92, of Dewitt, New York. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania before earning a PhD at Pitt. During her 40-year teaching career, she worked at Bryn Mawr Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, The Ohio State University, the University of Pittsburgh, SUNY College of Technology and SUNY Upstate Medical University, where she retired as professor emeritus. She was a member of the New York State Nurses Association, which awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award and created an annual scholarship in her honor. She is survived by her husband, daughter, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

John Milton Dunmire Jr. ENGR ’43, January 2021, age 97, of San Diego, California. He grew up in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, and served in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he married his wife, Helen, with whom he had three children. During his long and distinguished career as a mechanical engineer, he eventually found his way back to the Navy, working for the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego until his retirement. An active community member, he was honored as Volunteer of the Year by the San Diego Blood Bank, where he spent many hours as a bloodmobile greeter in addition to personally donating more than 36 gallons of blood. 

James Murray Egan LAW ’51, November 29, 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, at age 90, was navigating the closing of a substantial sale of West 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 in western Pennsylvania serving the needs of children living with intellectual disabilities.   

Henry “Model T” Ford BUS ’55, June 2021, age 90, of Palo Alto, California. He was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania, and attended Schenley High School, where he led the football team to an undefeated season as the team’s captain and quarterback. Earning a full scholarship to Pitt, he was the University’s first African American player to start as quarterback, was co-captain of the varsity football team and was honored as Most Valuable Player. After graduating, he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and, later, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He went on to become an entrepreneur, high school football coach and community leader, as well as a beloved husband, father and grandfather. 

William A. Grant A&S ’50, ’54G, October 2021, age 96, of Las Vegas, Nevada. A Pittsburgh native, he joined the Army as an infantryman in 1943 and served in numerous major offensives, including the Normandy landings and the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. He was discharged in 1945, having earned the European Campaign Medal with Five Bronze Service Stars and a Purple Heart. He attended Pitt on the G.I. Bill and, in 1960, moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he began his 35-year career at the Social Security Administration. After receiving several promotions and becoming division director, he retired and moved to Las Vegas. In 2019, he was awarded the French Legion d’Honneur medal for his service during World War II.

Earl Clayton Hartman Jr. BUS ’56, July 2021, age 87, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Baldwin High School, in college he found his calling as the Pitt Band announcer at football games, a role he filled for a record 63 seasons. In 2016, he was honored by the University for his service, which included announcing some football and basketball games in the ’80s and ’90s. After graduating, he served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force. Back in Pittsburgh, he rose to the role of producer and director for WQED and later taught television production for 17 years at Valley High School. A volunteer firefighter and dedicated member of Hope Lutheran Church, he is survived by his wife, three of his four children and five grandchildren.

Gerald L. Hughes EDUC ’70G, March 2021, age 90, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He had a lifelong love of education and became an elementary school principal for Cleveland Public Schools. He also had a passion for music and sang with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus for 53 years. He was a founding member of Lee Heights Community Church, where he served as the music minister for more than 35 years. A talented gardener and voracious reader, he will be remembered for his kindness, humility and compassion. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, four children and eight grandchildren. 

Frederick S. Humphries A&S ’65G, June 2021, age 85, of Orlando, Florida. He graduated from Florida A&M University before coming to Pitt and becoming the first Black person to receive a master’s degree and PhD from the chemistry department. After teaching at the University of Minnesota and Florida A&M, he served as the president of Tennessee State University before returning to Florida A&M as president. Under his leadership, the school was named College of the Year by Time Magazine in 1997. He was later the president and chief executive officer of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, where he continued his commitment to supporting Black students and advancing historically Black colleges and universities. 

C. Franklin Karns A&S ’62G, ’64G, November 2020, age 98, of Pensacola, Florida. He earned bachelor’s degrees from Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary and Ashland College and then served as a full-time minister for Churches of Christ in Oregon, Missouri, Illinois and West Virginia. His master’s degree and doctorate, both from Pitt, were in speech and communication, and he went on to teach at the University of Florida, Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary, Platte Valley Bible College’s Rocky Mountain branch, and Manhattan Christian College. He was honored as an Outstanding Educator of America, and a scholarship was established in his name at Manhattan Christian College in 2010. He spent 20 years as the full-time preacher for a small church in Pensacola, where he later served as a Sunday school teacher, elder, occasional preacher and general secretary.

Paul G. Lazor ENGR ’61, May 2020, age 80, of Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, he studied chemical engineering at Pitt. After graduation, he enrolled at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York City. A dedicated singer, he sang in and directed several choral octets, through which he met his wife. He was ordained in the Orthodox Church of America in 1964 and subsequently served in several parishes across the country. In 1977, he was appointed dean of students and full-time faculty member at St. Vladimir’s. During his time in academia, he wrote, edited and translated numerous articles and books. He retired from active ministry in 2007 and, in 2015, was awarded the Order of St. Innocent, Silver Medal, for his five decades of service to the church. He is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren.

Loran Edward Mann May 2021, age 74, of Pittsburgh. He was born in Florida but later moved to Pittsburgh with his family, where he attended Pitt and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He became one of the first Black newscasters on KDKA Radio and later transitioned to broadcast reporting. After 20 years in television, he retired to pursue ministry full time, leading the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, which he founded in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood. There, he was instrumental in the church’s acquisition of WGBN-AM, the city’s first 24-hour gospel music station. He was also a founding member of Rejoice! Musical Soul Food Radio Network. Shortly before his death, he was elected to the General Board of the Church of God in Christ, a select group of 12 bishops. 

Gerald Newman BUS ’56, June 2021, age 86, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. After graduating from Pitt, he attended Logan University’s chiropractic program. He maintained a chiropractic practice for 40-plus years in Pennsylvania, first in Swissvale and then in Shadyside. Someone who truly believed that laughter is the best medicine, he was a well-known stand-up comedian during the 1960s and 1970s and frequently performed at the Holiday House, a supper club in Monroeville, just outside Pittsburgh. He enjoyed 65 years of marriage with his wife, Marilyn. 

Diane K. Pile SOC WK ’74, November 2020, age 68, of Rockville, Maryland, formerly of New Paris and Greencastle, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Pitt with a degree in social work and psychology, she earned a master of social work from Florida State University. During her 44-year career as a social worker, she served clients through several agencies in Maryland. A talented singer, she was an alto in Pitt’s Heinz Chapel Choir. She served as choir president her senior year when, in May 1974, the Heinz Chapel Choir made its first trip overseas on a singing tour of four European countries. After college, she enjoyed singing in choral groups in Maryland, including the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Cantate Chamber Singers and Thomas Circle Singers. 

Daniel E. Pokoj ENGR ’70, July 2020, age 72, of Titusville, Pennsylvania. He was a civilian chemical engineer for the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Annapolis, Maryland, where he met his wife. His daughter was born on his 30th birthday, and the two shared many interests, including math, backpacking and simply spending time together. A member of the National Rifle Association and the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association, he was a competition shooter who achieved international ranking in several categories. He also loved reading, photography and model trains. He is survived by his wife, with whom he recently celebrated 50 years of marriage, as well as his daughter, her husband and five younger brothers. 

Garrel Shane Pottinger A&S ’68G, ’72G, May 2021, age 76, of Lansing, New York. He earned three degrees in philosophy, the first from Michigan State University and the second and third from Pitt. He then served as a professor of philosophy at California State University in Hayward, followed by Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, where he met his wife. He later joined the faculty at SUNY Potsdam before moving to Ithaca, New York, and becoming a computer scientist. He went on to work with his wife at her museum consulting firm and afterward joined Tops Friendly Markets in Lansing. 

Edward D. Rawski ENGR ’85, April 2021, age 57, of Camphill, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Pitt with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering before earning a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Penn State Harrisburg. He served for 34 years as an environmental engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, where he worked in offices focused on air quality, safe drinking water and waste management. An avid outdoorsman, he was a whitewater kayaker, SCUBA divemaster, snowboarder, and downhill and cross-country skier. He coached softball and was commissioner for a state league. He loved the Steelers, frequently taking vacation time to go to the team’s training camps. He is survived by his longtime girlfriend, as well as his sister and niece, and their husbands.

James Dean Steele ENGR ’75G, GSPIA ’75, September 2021, age 77, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, formerly of Webb City, Missouri. He graduated as his high school’s valedictorian in 1962, after which he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1966. He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force and attained the rank of captain before being honorably discharged. He went on to earn two master’s degrees from Pitt. In 1976, he began his 32-year career at Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company in Kansas City, earning several professional awards and retiring as corporate administrator of specifications. A longtime member of the Central United Methodist Church, he was also a Master Mason and a member of Shriner’s International.

Rebecca J. Taksel A&S ’66, ’70G, August 2020, age 76, of North Versailles, Pennsylvania. Raised in White Oak, Pennsylvania, she became a dedicated advocate of civil rights and a fan of jazz at a young age. She was a longtime educator who loved her job, teaching classes at Pitt, Point Park University and Carnegie Mellon University and volunteering at the C.C. Mellor Library in Pittsburgh’s Edgewood borough. A lover of the arts, she also contributed to the Redwood Coast Review, taught Latin dance and worked for her sister’s interior design firm. She championed animal rights and environmental causes. Her book of poetry, “The Bench” (MadBooks), was published posthumously.

John “Jake” Kelly Young ENGR ’91, July 2020, age 51, of St. Charles, Illinois, formerly of Monessen, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Pitt with a degree in mechanical engineering, after which he worked in various engineering and operations roles. He most recently served as director of advanced engineering at Burgess-Norton Manufacturing Company. He volunteered at multiple charities, enjoyed traveling the world and lived life to the fullest. A beloved son, brother, favorite uncle and friend, he will be remembered for his quick wit, contagious smile, incredible generosity and genuine kindness. 

Joseph M. Young A&S ’49, October 2020, age 92, of Monessen, Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation from Pitt, he studied medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and practiced internal medicine in Monessen and at Monongahela Valley Hospital, where he was a founding board member and president of the medical staff. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves during the Korean War and was the industrial physician for the local Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel plants, president of an American Heart Association affiliate and president of the City of Monessen Redevelopment Authority. The treasured patriarch of his family of six children, their spouses, 12 grandchildren and his wife of 53 years, he will be remembered for his infectious laugh; passion for his work; and bright, energetic attitude.

Betty Klein Zelouf A&S ’53, December 2019, age 88, of Ambridge, Pennsylvania. She was a schoolteacher who went on to manage an off-track betting office. Active in politics, she served the United Way of Long Island and was president of the Commack Community Council. She volunteered at museums and hospitals and also traveled extensively. She wrote vividly of her life experiences in “In-Klein’d to Say,” a continuation of a column that she started while studying at Pitt. A devoted mother and grandmother, she was considered the glue that kept her family together. She is remembered for her zest for life and wicked sense of humor.


This story was posted on January 7, 2022. It is from Pitt Magazine’s Winter ’21-’22 issue, which will be mailed in January 2022. 

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