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Westinghouse exec had soft spot for children

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John C. Marous, Jr., the obituary feature. He is former CEO of Westinghouse and University of Pittsburgh Trustees.

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Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

John Marous and his wife always told guests for their annual Christmas party to bring a present for a child.

Shortly before Christmas Day, he'd load the gifts into his car and take them to a Catholic school in Oakland to distribute.

“This guy was fantastic. ... He had a heart of gold,” said Ambrose Murray, executive director of the Extra Mile Education Foundation, an organization Mr. Marous helped found in 1990 to assist economically disadvantaged children in inner-city parochial schools in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

John Charles Marous Jr. of Fox Chapel, former CEO of Westinghouse Electric Corp. and a former chairman of the University of Pittsburgh board of trustees, died Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. He was 87.

“It was John's drive and his commitment to helping those kids that made Extra Mile what it is,” said Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who called on Pittsburgh business leaders to form the foundation when he was bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese.

Mr. Marous was a graduate of Perry High School and Pitt's School of Engineering. He and his wife, Lucine, endowed a chair in the Department of Religious Studies at Pitt in 1992.

He was an Army veteran who served in Europe during World War II.

Mr. Marous, who was Westinghouse CEO from 1988 to 1990, challenged people at the company to do their best, said Renny Clark, who worked with him for a decade.

“Those were his Pittsburgh roots. He took great pride in the fact that he was a kid from the North Side,” Clark said.

Mr. Marous was chairman of the Board of Regents at St. Vincent Seminary for 17 years. St. Vincent Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki met Mr. Marous in the 1980s when Nowicki was secretary of education at the Pittsburgh diocese and a number of schools were being closed.

Mr. Marous assembled the business leaders necessary to make the Extra Mile possible, Nowicki said. “He was a man of great vision who fully committed his life to helping children.”

In addition to his wife, Lucine, Mr. Marous is survived by three children, a sister and 11 grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at John A. Freyvogel Sons Inc., 4900 Centre Ave., at Devonshire Street, Shadyside. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Vincent Archabbey Basilica in Unity, with Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki presiding.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or

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