Obituary: Sanford 'Sandy' Mankin / Owned Sandy's Deli in Highland Park

June 23, 1930 - Oct. 11, 2012

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Sanford "Sandy" Mankin "did everything" at the Highland Park deli he owned and operated for decades.

"It was our store," said his son, Leonard Mankin of Clearwater, Fla. "The man never could sit still."

The elder Mr. Mankin was still involved with the operation of Sandy's Deli on Mellon Street, which is now called the Highland Park Deli, even after selling it several years ago.

Mr. Mankin died Thursday at his home in Fox Chapel. He was 82.

The new owners of the deli came to Mr. Mankin's funeral, and the reception after the service was catered by the deli.

"He had that kind of effect on people," the younger Mr. Mankin said. "They loved him."

Mr. Mankin grew up in Oakland on Dawson Avenue right down the street from where Andy Warhol grew up, his son said. He enlisted in the military after graduating from Schenley High School.

Mr. Mankin opened the deli in 1958 after returning from service in the Korean War, where he learned to cook and served as a mess sergeant.

"The deli was his life," said his son, Bennett Mankin of Phoenix, Ariz. "The customers were his friends."

He said his father, who worked as a supervisor in the Allegheny County Treasurer's Office later in life, was always actively involved in politics.

Bennett Mankin remembers going out with his father to put up campaign signs at polling sites the day before Election Day.

So it wasn't a surprise when Mr. Mankin decided to run for a Wilkinsburg council seat in 1991, defeating a challenger in the Democratic primary and a Republican incumbent in the general election.

Bennett Mankin said he ran for the council seat because he wanted to "make a difference."

"Today, I want to fix it so my family can walk safely down Penn Avenue and shop in those stores," Mr. Mankin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1991. "I want to look for a good tax base ... and have a visible police force on the street."

Mr. Mankin resigned the council seat in 1993 because he moved to Fox Chapel.

Bennett Mankin said his father had a successful life and left a good legacy in the Pittsburgh region.

"He made a big difference while he was here, and that's the most important thing," he said.

Mr. Mankin was preceded in death by his first wife, Esther Mankin. In addition to his sons Leonard and Bennett, he is survived by another son, Alan Mankin, of Baldwin Township; his wife, Janice Mankin of Fox Chapel; and a brother, Gerald Mankin of Woodland Hills, Calif.

A funeral was held Sunday. The family suggests memorial donations be made to a charity of the donor's choice.

obituaries

Annie Siebert: asiebert@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1613.


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