Lots of high school coaches like to brag about how many of their players earn collegiate scholarships. For Edward Pastin, though, it was about more than just developing good football players.
Mr. Pastin, who believed a college education would open doors beyond athletics, died Sunday at the age of 92.
He coached football at Stowe High School from 1959 to 1965 and served as the school's athletic director until 1982, overseeing the 1966 merger between Stowe and McKees Rocks to create the Sto-Rox School District. Mr. Pastin also taught Pennsylvania and U.S. history until his retirement.
"He really cared about each person, whether it was an athlete or just a student," Mr. Pastin's son, Jim, said. "He touched a lot of lives outside of athletics by being a teacher."
Born April 1, 1919, Mr. Pastin served as a first lieutenant in the Army from 1941-46. He returned home, finished his degree at Waynesburg College and earned a master's degree in education at the University of Pittsburgh.
"Education was always a driving force," said Jim Pastin, of Kennedy.
Bill Palermo, who played football under Edward Pastin at Stowe, said that in his senior year more than half a dozen players earned collegiate scholarships. Jim Pastin said he remembers his father's students and players coming over to the family's house for help on their college application or resumes.
"His primary goal in sports was to make people better people," Mr. Palermo said. "Not just better football players."
Mr. Palermo has coached the Sto-Rox softball team since 1979 and said the lessons he learned under Edward Pastin have greatly influenced his coaching style.
"His legacy was not just the kids that he coached," Mr. Palermo said. "It's the kids that he coached, like me, and then those people made other kids better people because of him."
As a young coach, Mr. Palermo said, Edward Pastin taught him to have just a little more patience with his young players.
"He never, ever swore," Mr. Palermo said. "He always used to use old expressions like 'gosh, darn it' and 'golly gee.' "
After his retirement, Edward Pastin stayed involved with local sports. Jim Pastin said he enjoyed college football and especially loved watching his two grandchildren, Anthony and Lindsay.
"I know he's known in the community for sports, but he touched more lives than just the athletes," Jim Pastin said. "He was very, very well-respected by those people."
Besides Jim Pastin, Edward Pastin is survived by his sister, Ann of McKees Rocks, and sons Edward Jr., of McKees Rocks, and Richard, of McCandless, as well as his two grandchildren.
Guests will be received today from 1 to 8 p.m. at McDermott Funeral Home in Kennedy. Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at St. John of God Parish, McKees Rocks.
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1459.