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Banker was a big man with a big heart

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By Jerry Vondas
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Throughout the Mon Valley, Hugh Coughanour was respected for his commitment to his country, family, community and faith.

A banker, Mr. Coughanour served on numerous boards, including those of UPMC McKeesport and its foundation, Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Penn State Greater Allegheny and the University of Pittsburgh Business School.

But the one for which he had the greatest empathy, said his daughter, Lesley Gradone of Cincinnati, was McKeesport Meals on Wheels. “He felt that he was helping those who could not help themselves,” she said. Hugh Coughanour of White Oak, a retired Integra Bank executive, died Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in UPMC McKeesport. He was 83.

“My father, who was 15 years old when his father was killed in a mine accident, went to work as a laborer helping in the construction on Route 51,” Gradone said. “He was a big man who lied about his age. With what he made, he supported his mother and a younger brother.”

After graduating from Marion High School in Indiana County, Mr. Coughanour held several jobs. He served with the Air Force in England during the Korean War, attended Duff's Iron City College in Downtown and the University of Pittsburgh.

He joined the staff of Western Pennsylvania Bank, which later became Integra Bank and then PNC Bank, where he remained for more than 40 years. In 1958, Mr. Coughanour met Marleen Sutter at a dance at the Palisades in McKeesport.

“I not only found him to be a good dancer and a gentleman, but he was also a modest man who had compassion, especially for those who were hurting and needed a helping hand,” she said.

The family joined the First Evangelical Church in McKeesport, where he served as a deacon and a trustee.

“Dad used his skill with computers and set up a computer system for the church,” said Gradone.

In addition to his wife, Marleen, and daughter Lesley, Mr. Coughanour is survived by his daughter, Lisa Dorsey of Wexford; a brother, Raymond Coughanour of Belle Vernon; and three grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday in Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home Inc., 301 Curry Hollow Road, Pleasant Hills. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home chapel.

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