For 36 years, Edward A. Iandiorio Sr. worked at the Eliza blast furnace on South Side, first as a crew member and later as a foreman.
His son, Edward Jr., recalled that when Jones & Laughlin Steel wanted to promote him into the management ranks, "My mother told him, 'If you leave the union, after all they've done for you, then I'm leaving you.' "
The solution: Mr. Iandiorio became the only hourly supervisor at the plant, overseeing operation of the furnace while retaining his United Steelworkers membership. "He was in charge of what was put in and what came out, everything," his son said.
Mr. Iandiorio, a South Side resident, died Sunday from complications related to diabetes. He was 84.
Born in the Hill District, Mr. Iandiorio went to work for J&L in the early 1950s after working for a time as a waiter at the William Penn Hotel. For decades, his son said, he worked the swing shifts, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. one week, 4 p.m. to midnight the next, and midnight to 8 a.m. the week after that. By the early 1970s, he was running the Eliza furnace.
"He was very proud of what he accomplished there."
He and his wife, Loretta, moved their growing family to a large house in Wilkinsburg, taking in two other young relatives when their mother died.
Despite his work responsibilities, Mr. Iandiorio always had time for family, his son said, as well as painting and furniture building -- which he did without power tools. "He did it all by hand."
Mr. Iandiorio was featured in a 2004 Post-Gazette story marking the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Ann furnace, which had been built in 1899.
"It was a sad day," Mr. Iandiorio said in the 2004 story.
In addition to his wife of 64 years, Mr. Iandiorio is survived by sons Edward A. Jr. of Blairsville, Indiana County, and James of Seattle; daughters Lucia Conn of South Side and Carole Duffy of Clairton; sisters Elaine McGovern of North Braddock and Margie Neal of Las Vegas, Nev.; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave. at Cable, East Pittsburgh, where a blessing service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday.
Steve Twedt: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1963.