Obituary: David E. Boroch / Radio-TV newsman, furniture maker
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Throughout his life, David Boroch did what he loved, from spinning the discs at high school dances to crafting an award-winning documentary about Pope John Paul II, to expanding his tiny storefront showcasing his handmade furniture into a giant showroom patronized by generations of Pittsburghers.
And through the years, his desire to make a good life for his wife, Kathy, and his children, Steven and Susan, guided that path.
"He tried to make things happy for his family," Mrs. Boroch said. "We're all just so proud of him."
Mr. Boroch, of Whitehall, died Sunday of lung cancer. He was 67.
Originally from Carrick, Mr. Boroch loved music and radio from a young age, working as the disc jockey for his dances at St. Wendelin High School in Carrick on Sundays, and spinning discs for pay on Friday and Saturday nights.
In his senior year, Mr. Boroch took a course in radio broadcasting at the American Broadcasting School then located Downtown. So after he graduated from St. Wendelin's in 1963, he married his high school sweetheart and found a job as a radio announcer in Lewisburg, Union County.
"He did everything -- he spun the records, he read the news, he called Bucknell [University] games," Mrs. Boroch said. "It was a small radio station and that's how he started."
After a few years in Lewisburg, the couple moved to Tyrone, Blair County, where he worked for another radio station reporting stories as diverse as the Harrisburg Farm Show and the Miss America pageant.
From there, the couple moved to Somerset, where he worked as news director for a local radio station, and then to Pittsburgh, where Mr. Boroch worked for KQV.
In the early 1970s, he was hired as a news producer at Channel 11, producing the first hour-long newscast on WIIC, "The Ones to Watch," along with "Pittsburgh at Noon," which featured celebrity guests, and other shows. He also traveled to Rome to produce "Viva la Papa," about the ascension of Pope John Paul II, for which his three-man team won a Golden Quill Award, his wife said.
At Channel 11, Mr. Boroch was promoted to assigning editor, the person in charge of deciding what news to cover and where to send news crews. But after years of covering the news -- under constant deadline pressure and timing every story to the second, stopwatch in hand -- dealing with death and destruction became unbearable for him, Mrs. Boroch said.
"He said, 'You know what? I can't take it anymore,' " she said. "We lived with a police scanner by our bed and it would go off all night and he would have to get up and send crews out. He ate, drank and slept it."
Ready for a change, Mr. Boroch decided to turn his hobby -- wood-working -- into a new career. In 1975, while still working at Channel 11, he opened a 750-square-foot shop at a shopping plaza in Whitehall to sell at retail the wooden candlesticks and shelves he had been making and selling wholesale. He ultimately retired from Channel 11 in 1983.
Naming the store the Old Allegheny Shoppe, the Borochs sold cigars, pipes and tobacco, too, and added to the handmade furniture collection.
The store prospered, moving to a 4,000 square-foot store in the same plaza, and ultimately to a 16,000 square-foot store on Route 51.
The couple's grown children, Steven Boroch of Scott and Susan Airhart of Jefferson Hills, joined their parents in the family business that is now in its 37th year.
"The customers we had back then, their children are coming in and buying furniture from us now -- it's just so gratifying," Mrs. Boroch said. "We're all going to stay together and keep it going."
A funeral prayer will be said at 9:15 a.m. today at John F. Slater Funeral Home, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood, followed by a Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin Church in Whitehall.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Family Hospice and Palliative Care, 50 Moffett St., Pittsburgh, PA 15243.
Correction/Clarification: (Published June 22, 2012) David Boroch worked for KQV Radio in Pittsburgh. Incorrect call letters were given in an obituary Wednesday.
First Published June 20, 2012 12:00 am