For William K. Slattery, the importance of strong family ties goes back to his childhood in Gates Mills, Ohio, where he had nine siblings. The merging of family and work goes back to his youthful summers in Lake George, N.Y., where he toiled with his brothers and sisters at the family’s two Dairy Queen operations, developing an ethic that would shape the rest of his life.
“Bill has always worked with his brothers,” said his wife of 21 years, Tresa Lovio-Slattery. “He had a way of weaving everything together — work, children and family.”
Mr. Slattery, 57, of Crescent Hills in Penn Hills, worked with his brothers at Valpak direct mail marketing, a company that puts special deals and dollars-off coupons in the mailboxes of people in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Toledo.
About 12 years ago Mr. Slattery launched Housetrends Magazine Pittsburgh. The publication — with articles and lush photographs — is more about design than home improvement, Mrs. Slattery said. It is mailed directly to targeted customers and is available in some book stores.
Mr. Slattery died Saturday at home “after waging a heroic 2 ½-year battle with colorectal cancer,” his wife wrote in his obituary. “He did not go peacefully but rather in true Bill style, he fought it fiercely to the end.”
Surgery and countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation “did little to tarnish Bill’s love for life and his desire to be with his family and friends. His whole life was his children and his work,” Mrs. Slattery said.
Mr. Slattery attended Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills before getting his bachelor’s degree in 1982 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
The home office of Housetrends Magazine is in Ohio, and, “Bill was one of the few Housetrends publishers who wanted to make the Pittsburgh magazine more like Pittsburgh and less like Ohio,” Mrs. Slattery said.
Having lived in both states, Mr. Slattery knew and honored the cultures of cities in both states. He remained a Cleveland Browns fan, but wore his orange and brown football garb beneath his black and gold Steelers jersey, Mrs. Slattery said.
As an employer and publisher, Mr. Slattery “was a loyal person and was kind and awesome,” said Joan Pearlstein Dunn of Aspinwall, who writes for Housetrends. “He was a mentor and a friend who gave an unknown writer — me — a chance 12 years ago.”
Phyllis Gricus of Squirrel Hill is a landscape designer who had always wanted to write about gardening. “He launched my garden-writing career,” she said, which now includes writing for other publications.
Mr. Slattery was a member of The Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Conference, the American Society of Interior Designers and the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
His daughter and son are “two of his proudest accomplishments,” Mrs. Slattery said: Erin Fraser Slattery, 26, of Bellevue, and William “Liam” S. Slattery, 17, at home and finishing his junior year at Central Catholic High School.
Survivors in addition to his wife and children include his mother, Gloria Reardon Slattery of Cincinnati; five brothers, James of Sylvania, Ohio, Tim of Denver, Michael of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Robert J. and Kevin, both of Cincinnati; three sisters, Catherine of Cincinnati, Mary Parker of Providence, R.I., and Nancy Weiss of St. Simons, Ga.
Visitation is from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and from 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. at the Burket-Truby Funeral Home Cremation & Alternative Services Inc., 421 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 825 2nd. St., Verona.
Linda Wilson Fuoco: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1953.