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Veteran continued service in Reserve, on council

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Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
 

Worried that bad weather early this week would damage the American flag flying outside his home, West Homestead borough Councilman Dan Isaacs asked his son Dane to bring it inside. He took pride in the flag, wore a flag lapel pin and carried spares to give others, Dane said.

“He loved God, country and family, all of the time,” said Mr. Isaacs' wife, Lois. “He wouldn't wear a T-shirt without an American flag on it; I have a drawer full of them.”

When Dane raised the flag again, he could only raise it to half staff: Daniel G. Isaacs, a 40-year member of the West Homestead council, longtime accountant for U.S. Steel and former member of the Air Force Reserve, died in his home Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, surrounded by his family. He was 84.

Born to a family of Lebanese immigrants in the Lower Hill District, Mr. Isaacs moved to Homestead at a young age. His future wife, smitten with him as a young gas station attendant, would wheel her bicycle down to what is now K&E Automotive with two flat tires just to have him pump them back up, Dane said.

After graduating from Homestead High School in 1948, Mr. Isaacs joined the Air Force and served in the Korean War. After active duty, he remained a reservist with what became the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon. He studied accounting at the Duff's Business Institute, Downtown, and got a job in U.S. Steel's offices in the Homestead Works.

When John Dindak, brother of Mr. Isaacs' Air Force colleague Michael Dindak, was elected to the borough council, he persuaded Mr. Isaacs to join. Together they served through the closure of the steel mills and some of the borough's darkest times.

“We went through some good times and some bad times; I don't know to this day how we were able to survive,” Dindak said, noting that the borough never was classified as “financially distressed” like so many other struggling steel towns. In addition to being allies on council — Dindak continues to serve as mayor — the two were close friends, traveling to Steelers games and raising their children together.

Mr. Isaacs was a member of the Homestead Elks Lodge, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 91 and the U.S. Steel bowling team. He loved to fish and farm, traveling to farmland he owned in Indiana County to tend its orchards and lawns.

In addition to his wife, Lois, and son Dane, Mr. Isaacs is survived by his brothers Paul Isaacs of Munhall, and Joseph Isaacs of Homestead; his sisters Anna Marie Compomizzi of Coraopolis, and Mary Magdeline Banik of Chicago; his sons Danny Isaacs of West Mifflin, and Dennis Isaacs of Eden Prairie, Minn.; and many cousins, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alexander and Mary Isaacs, along with a sister, Theresa.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday in Savolskis-Wasik-Glenn Funeral Home on Main Street, Munhall. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Therese Church, also in Munhall, with interment in Calvary Cemetery & Mausoleum in Hazelwood. A luncheon will follow in Thompson Athletic Club in West Mifflin.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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