Obituary: Joan Lynn Kettering Dalrymple / Football mom had Pittsburgh pride

Jan. 8, 1936 - Aug. 30, 2013

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Joan Lynn Kettering Dalrymple of West View wasn't a football player, but her name will be forever connected to the sport.

She lived in a football house as the wife of the late Jim Dalrymple -- who taught and coached in the North Hills and Pine-Richland school districts -- and the mother of Jeff of Fort Myers, Fla., and Richard of Coppell, Texas, who played high school and college football.

She died Friday -- the first day of the high school football season, which her son Richard called one of her favorite days on the calendar -- of cancer at a hospice in Fort Myers. She was 77.

She regularly spent winters in Hallandale, Fla., but was unable to return to Pittsburgh in April as planned because of illness.

Ms. Dalrymple graduated from West View High School in 1953 and earned a nursing degree from the former Presbyterian University Hospital.

She worked part time as a nurse, including serving as head nurse at the YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee in the summers from 1964 to 1972 and was the band's nurse at North Hills High School band camps from the 1960s to the early 2000s at Kon-O-Kwee.

When her sons played for the high school -- Jeff, class of 1975 and Richard, class of 1978 -- Ms. Dalrymple was in the stands to support them.

"She was as nervous as anybody else in the whole place," said Richard Dalrymple. "She never let anybody see her sweat. She always had that smile on her face and a great sense of 'I have this situation under control' she exuded to other people."

She was not particularly vocal in the stands; she saved her praise for home.

Ms. Dalrymple also was a tour director for Lenzner Coach Lines for trips from Pittsburgh to Atlantic City, New York City, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Amish country and other destinations.

In her later years, Ms. Dalrymple served as a kind of volunteer ambassador, welcoming out-of-towners at the airport or at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

She loved to ask visitors -- and hear their responses -- what they thought of the Downtown view exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel.

"The only thing she loved more than calling herself a Pittsburgher was the people from Pittsburgh themselves. She had tremendous civic pride in her community, locally and throughout the region of Western Pennsylvania," Richard Dalrymple said.

She and her husband, who died in 1994, were married for 38 years.

In addition to her two sons, she is survived by four grandchildren.

A memorial service hasn't been scheduled yet.

The family suggests donations to YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee.


Eleanor Chute: or 412-263-1955.

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