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Art teacher created iconic ice cream parlor

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By Jerry Vondas
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Raymond Klavon used his experience as a soda jerk at Isaly's Dairy and his talents as an art teacher to re-open his grandparents' 1920s-era ice cream parlor in the Strip District.

In the long-closed former pharmacy and soda fountain on the first floor of his family home on Penn Avenue, Mr. Klavon re-created a 1923 art deco shop complete with a 16-foot marble soda fountain, a terrazzo floor and a tin roof where his customers could enjoy milkshakes, sundaes, banana splits, penny candy and sandwiches.

Raymond J. Klavon of the Strip District died of cancer in UPMC St. Margaret, near Aspinwall on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. He was 64.

Raymond Klavon was one of eight children of Dr. Raymond J. Klavon and his wife, Martha Dullard Klavon.

Mr. Klavon went to Peabody High School in East Liberty and worked in Isaly's after school and on weekends to help with the family income.

“We considered Ray as our big brother,” said his sister, Gloria Wolak of Plum. “And we were always mindful that he chose to help our parents by working during his spare time.”

After graduating in 1966, Mr. Klavon took classes in Allegheny County Community College before enrolling in Kent State University in Ohio, where he earned a degree in art education in 1971.

“Ray immediately went to work for Pittsburgh Public Schools and spent 32 years as an elementary art teacher in Grandview Elementary School on Mt. Washington,” his sister said.

He retired in 2001.

In addition to his sister, Gloria, Mr. Klavon is survived by his siblings, Mary Ellen Tegtmeier of Ross, Martha Jane Rahuba of Hampton, Geraldine May of the Strip District, James Klavon of Shaler, Audrey Vernon of Lower Burrell and Mark Klavon of the Strip District.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in McCabe Bros. Funeral Home Inc., 5300 Penn Ave., Bloomfield, where the funeral will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by service in Allegheny Cemetery Temple of Memories at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be private.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or

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