A Final Farewell: Mayor Bob O'Connor, 1944-2006

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Multimedia presentation by Steve Mellon
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With the keen of bagpipes, the swell of pipe organ and a Steelers fight song, Pittsburgh buried its mayor yesterday.

Bob O'Connor, whose blunt charm and unpretentious manner lifted him from Greenfield to the mayor's office, was eulogized by his son, who acclaimed his father's "wonderful, terrific, beautiful life."

In a day of mourning for a mayor struck down by a rare brain cancer eight months after his inauguration, the city turned out by thousands, lining streets with signs of thanks and grief, and crowding into the Roman Catholic cathedral for a funeral that was by turns poignant and playful.

Brought to church in a horse-drawn hearse and prayed over by more than two dozen priests, Mr. O'Connor, who died last Friday, took a 60-minute tour of his city one last time. A mile-long cortege spun through Oakland, Downtown, Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and on to Hazelwood before the mayor was laid in the earth of Calvary Cemetery, on a hillside above the city he once said resembled him.

-- Dennis Roddy
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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