PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2020WWW.POST-GAZETTE.COM
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LATEST DEATHS

The Post-Ga­zette’s com­pre­hen­sive re­port of re­cent deaths in­cludes three types of obit­u­ar­ies. News obit­u­ar­ies, pre­pared by our staff, are pub­lished at the dis­cre­tion of our ed­i­tors. Clas­si­fied obit­u­ar­ies are paid death no­tices pre­pared by fu­neral home di­rec­tors. To place a clas­si­fied obit­u­ary, call

412-263-1371. To sug­gest a news obit­u­ary, call 412-263-1601. Funeral home di­rec­tors may also call 412-263-1601 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to note a death for which there is no clas­si­fied obit­u­ary. Those names will be listed un­der other deaths.

CLASSIFIED OBITUARIES

BOVIDOS, Bar­bara C., Pitts­burgh

BROWN, Betty Lee, Va­len­cia

DeSHANTZ, Sally Ann

GERMANOS, Lois Rae Kon­tu­lis, Pitts­burgh

HUGHES, Lou­ise Stair, Bethel Park

IORIO, Anita Marie

JONES, The­odore R. Jr. “Ted,” North Brad­dock

MANGOLD, Alan “Al,” New

Se­wickley

MASCASI, An­gela C. For­tu­nato, Brookline

MASSARO, Nancy L., Pitts­burgh

McFADDEN, Rich­ard E., Bald­win Bor­ough

McKAY, San­dra Mel­drum

RATWAY, Mi­chael, Mount Wash­ing­ton

REKASIE, Rose M., Brookline

SCHRECENGOS, John Ward “Jack,” Greens­burg

SMITH, Sis­ter Clare

SOBECK, Lynn, Canon­s­burg, for­merly White­hall and Car­rick

TRANGO, Mary K. Auth “Karen,” El­li­ott

TROUTMAN, Rebecca Ann Ram­sey, Bethel Park

TURNER, Eugene III, Pitts­burgh

Eleanor Schano |
Pittsburgh TV pioneer, broadcast news anchor
July 31, 1932 - Nov. 9, 2020

Eleanor Schano, a pi­o­neer­ing broad­caster whose firsts in­cluded be­ing Pitts­burgh’s first fe­male solo news an­chor, died Mon­day night from COVID-19. She was 88.

An out­pour­ing of sym­pa­thy and re­spect was shared on so­cial me­dia for the trail­blazer, who also was one of the first fe­male com­mer­cial an­nounc­ers and first “weather girl” — at KDKA-TV fore­run­ner WDTV — and the first fe­male TV news re­porter on Chan­nel 4.

Ms. Schano, who lived in Shadyside, grew up in Green Tree, the old­est of three chil­dren. Her father took the high schooler to see her first TV in the win­dow of a Craf­ton hard­ware store in 1949.

In 1951, while at­tend­ing Duquesne Univer­sity, she took her first TV job — as a model. She earned a pro­mo­tion by con­vinc­ing an ad­ver­tis­ing agency that if she were go­ing to sell clothes, she should talk about them as well.

The self-de­scribed lover of words told the Pitts­burgh Post-Ga­zette’s Pa­tri­cia She­ri­dan in 2007: “It was an in­stant love af­fair. ... When I saw this me­dium,

where peo­ple were go­ing to be able to speak on tele­vi­sion, I just knew this was go­ing to be great. My dad said it’s never go­ing to work. He said, ‘Do you think, Eleanor, any­body, any­body is go­ing to sit in a room and stare at a box?’ ”

She fought through sex­ism and dis­crim­i­na­tion to have a five-de­cade ca­reer, in­clud­ing as host of WQED-TV’s ground­break­ing “LifeQuest,” the first U.S. TV show for older peo­ple. She chron­i­cled her jour­ney in her 2006 book, ”Rid­ing the Air­waves: The Life and Tele­vised Times of Eleanor Schano.”

One high­light: While John F. Ken­nedy was cam­paign­ing here for pres­i­dent, she in­ter­viewed his wife, Jackie, in a night­club rest­room.

She han­dled the

low­lights, in­clud­ing, as she re­counted in 2000 to the Post-Ga­zette’s Bar­bara Vancheri, hav­ing to de­liver the weather while wear­ing a neg­li­gee in a bed made by a spon­sor.

In one of her more widely told sto­ries, Ms. Schano de­liv­ered the weather one Fri­day night — and de­liv­ered daugh­ter Lorie the next day. She re­turned to work two weeks later, af­ter us­ing her va­ca­tion as ma­ter­nity leave, she told Ms. Vancheri.

In 2008, co­in­cid­ing with WTAE’s 50th an­ni­ver­sary, ever-blond, still-sooth­ing-voiced Ms. Schano told the PG, “I’m re­in­vent­ing my­self again,” as she re­turned to Chan­nel 4’s air­waves with “Live Well/​Live Long With Eleanor Schano.”

The next year, she was feted with a Board of Gover­nors’ Award from the Mid-At­lan­tic Chap­ter of the Na­tional Acad­emy of Tele­vi­sion Arts & Sciences for life­time achieve­ment. Pre­vi­ous re­cip­i­ents in­cluded Fred Rogers, Joe DeNardo and My­ron Cope.

An Em­mys news re­lease at the time lauded the “woman of firsts” for hav­ing been Pitts­burgh’s first solo prime time an­chor woman from 1969 to 1974 at WIIC-TV (now WPXI-TV), where she also hosted the

weekly half-hour pub­lic af­fairs pro­gram “Face to Face.”

She moved to KDKA Ra­dio as a gen­eral as­sign­ment re­porter and news­caster on the “Jack Bogut Show.” In 1975, she re­turned to KDKA-TV to work as a news an­chor, con­sumer re­porter, gen­eral as­sign­ment re­porter and pub­lic af­fairs host. From 1978 to 1982, she was both host and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of WPGH-TV’s daily pro­gram “Good Day Pitts­burgh” and weekly “Pitts­burgh Women ’79.” In 1982, she left Pitts­burgh briefly to work as solo an­chor on the 6 p.m. news­cast at WPEC-TV in Palm Beach, Fla., re­turn­ing later that year to Pitts­burgh to work at KQV-News Ra­dio while also work­ing at WQED-TV.

Her pub­lic tele­vi­sion col­league Rick Se­bak re­called that “she was al­ways full of zip and joy and sup­port for all our ef­forts.”

“Re­sil­ient” is a de­scrip­tor used by Aviva Rad­bord. The free­lance jour­nal­ist, who worked off-cam­era for nearly 44 years as KDKA’s pub­lic af­fairs pro­ducer and week­end as­sign­ment ed­i­tor, said she ad­mires Ms. Schano and her pi­o­neer­ing fe­male con­tem­po­rar­ies for “pav­ing the way” for women in broad­cast tele­vi­sion while also bal­anc­ing

mar­riage and chil­dren. She re­mem­bers Ms. Schano as “al­ways friendly and ap­proach­able” and at­trac­tive. “But there was more. ... She did the work.”

Ms. Schano’s awards in­cluded a 1989 Ma­trix Award for out­stand­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tive news cov­er­age, plus five Golden Quills and a life­time achieve­ment award in 2000 from the Press Club of Western Penn­syl­va­nia.

She also re­ceived the City of Pitts­burgh’s Love Award for hu­man­i­tar­ian ser­vice to the com­mu­nity, and served as a mem­ber of the Great Pitts­burgh Com­mis­sion for Women and on the boards of Civic Light Opera and Car­ne­gie Science Center.

Funeral ar­range­ments had not been an­nounced.

Her grand­son, Bren­dan Helt, said Ms. Schano is sur­vived by two daugh­ters, Lorie Ber­rick and Jen­ni­fer Welch, both of Green Tree. She has five grand­chil­dren and two great-grand­chil­dren.

Said Ms. Ber­rick, “She had an out­stand­ing ca­reer, but her fam­ily was ev­ery­thing to her, and she was ev­ery­thing to us.”

Bob Batz Jr.: bbatz@post-ga­zette.com, 412-263-1930.

By Bob Batz Jr.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eleanor Schano
News Obit­u­ar­ies

EAST

Lewis-DelRosso
de­clares vic­tory

Oak­mont Bor­ough Coun­cil­woman Car­rie Lewis-DelRosso de­clared vic­tory Tues­day night in her bid to win Al­le­gheny County’s 33rd State House Dis­trict seat.

The dec­la­ra­tion from Ms. Lewis-DelRosso, a Re­pub­li­can, came shortly af­ter in­cum­bent Demo­cratic State Rep. Frank Der­mody con­ceded the race in a state­ment Tues­day.

Ms. Lewis-DelRosso was born in Scran­ton, Pa., but moved to Al­le­gheny County in 1993 to at­tend the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh, ac­cord­ing to the an­nounce­ment of vic­tory from her cam­paign. She has served on the Oak­mont Bor­ough Coun­cil since 2017.

Mr. Der­mody has rep­re­sented the 33rd Dis­trict since 1991. He has also served the Penn­syl­va­nia House Minor­ity Leader since 2011.

CITY

Of­fi­cials re­lease iden­tity of shoot­ing vic­tim

Au­thor­i­ties on Tues­day re­leased the iden­tity of man shot dead Mon­day in Brigh­ton Heights.

Ernest Nevin Mills Jr., 28, was shot about 3:30 p.m. on Brigh­ton Road at Davis Avenue. First re­spond­ers tried to save Mr. Mills, but he died at the scene, of­fi­cials said.

REGION

Veter­ans Day clos­ings

All City of Pitts­burgh, Al­le­gheny County, Com­mon­wealth of Penn­syl­va­nia, and fed­eral of­fices and courts are closed to­day for the Veter­ans Day hol­i­day. Banks are closed. Post of­fices are closed, with no pickup or de­liv­ery of reg­u­lar mail. State li­quor stores are open. Gar­bage in Pitts­burgh is be­ing picked up as nor­mal.

The Port Au­thor­ity of Al­le­gheny County is run­ning reg­u­lar bus, in­cline and T ser­vice. The Down­town ser­vice cen­ter is closed.