Ravenstahl's parents relieved the 'weight' has been lifted from son's shoulders
By Salena Zito
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013, 10:18 p.m.
Bobby and Cindy Ravenstahl stood near their eldest son, Luke, for 44 minutes while he talked to reporters about why he won't seek a third term as mayor.
They struggled with tears and laughter as the news conference progressed.
Robert Ravenstahl, 58, a district judge in Perry North, told the Tribune-Review afterward that he thinks his son is relieved to make public his decision.
“I could not ask for a better son,” he said. “And I could not be more proud of him for making the decision. I know it was not an easy one, and there were many people trying to persuade him to not do it.”
Cindy Ravenstahl, 57, who works as an aide at Allegheny Intermediate Unit, starts treatment Monday for breast cancer. She feels fine, she said, though she clutched a Kleenex to contain her emotions.
“He has a weight lifted off of his shoulders,” she said about the mayor as she relaxed in his office in an oversized leather chair. On his desk behind her, framed photographs showed the three of them and Luke Ravenstahl's son Cooper, 4.
“I think he has been doing this job for everyone else and not for himself for a long while,” she said.
Like any mother, she is protective of “any of my boys” when they endure sharp criticism or difficulties in their personal lives.
“In many ways it was unnatural for a young person to have to conduct their life this way,” she said, citing constant attention that intensified with blogs, Twitter and Facebook postings. “From my perspective, it is very unsettling.”
The mayor told reporters the job he has held since September 2006 took a toll on his family, despite the family's roots in North Side politics. Ravenstahl's grandfather, Robert Sr., was a state House member and Democratic ward leader. One brother, Adam, 28, of Summer Hill is a state representative. Their brother Brad, 31, a retail sales representative for a bulk tobacco supplier, lives in Mars.
When he became mayor upon the death of Mayor Bob O'Connor, Ravenstahl, 33, had been married for two years to his high school sweetheart, Erin. They separated in 2009, about a year after Cooper's birth, and divorced in 2011. When they made their separation public, they noted the stress of the spotlight on their marriage.
Additionally, said his mother: “So many vacations or family events he could not attend because of the job.”
The close-knit family will be there for Luke Ravenstahl when he takes his life in a different direction after his term ends in December, his parents said. His mother stood with him the night he was sworn in.
“It will be so good to have him around the family home, and I am so glad we all have each other,” she said. “We are very blessed.”
She's thankful that her grandson will have the opportunity to spend more time with his father. “I know (Cooper) is proud of him. He always says, ‘My dad works at the Downtown city,' ” she said.
“Right now I am very relieved; we all are. But even more importantly, my son is happy and he has peace of mind. As a mother, that is the most I could ever want for him.”
Salena Zito is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wilkinsburg woman, 24, dies in crash
- Former PPG executive indicted in fatal N.H. crash
- Trial begins in Steelers stabbing
- 4-car crash near Fox Chapel snarls Route 28 traffic
- Bullied South Fayette student’s case prompts wiretap overhaul legislation
- Landmark former school in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to incubate startups
- Wuerl tells faithful all Catholics are responsible for schools
- Post 9/11 veterans lend skills to community leadership course
- Proposal to drill in West Deer and Frazer draws comments from both sides
- Film tax credits bill would bump up state budget
- Parties at Moose Lodge have Lawrenceville complaining