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Dedicated athlete known for congeniality

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James 'Jimmy' Morasca, 57, of Scott Township, died Saturday, Feb. 16 2013.

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Jimmy Morasca last year added a bodybuilding championship to his list of athletic accomplishments.

“He came to me in January and said, ‘I always wanted to do a bodybuilding contest,' ” said personal trainer Gary Udit, who trained Mr. Morasca for the 2012 Mr. Pittsburgh contest, where he took top honors in the over-50 category.

“He was an example of how other guys should be,” Udit said. “He was an amazing guy. He was the caretaker of his family.”

James “Jimmy” Morasca of Scott died on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, of pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

In his younger years, Mr. Morasca was a member of the 1972 Chartiers Valley Conference Championship football team and played at California University of Pennsylvania. He became a National Physique Committee athlete and Golden Gloves boxer.

Mr. Morasca won several marksman awards, said his brother, Michael Morasca of South Fayette.

“He was competitive, a fun-loving guy,” his brother said. “He was my golfing buddy.”

Michael Morasca usually won those contests, he said, mainly because he had been playing longer.

“He started late,” said his brother, who played football at Chartiers and went on to have a couple of professional tryouts.

Mr. Morasca loved to cook and worked as a demi chef in the Westin Convention Center before taking other positions in the hotel.

“He was a good guy. Everybody here just loved him, said hotel General Manager Tom Martini. “He always had time to listen to everybody else's stories.”

Mr. Morasca will be honored posthumously in April as Athlete of the Year by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Italian Sports Hall of Fame.

“He was always very active, took care of his body,” said Tony Ferraro, a director of the organization. “He had a 32-inch waist.”

In addition to his brother, Mr. Morasca is survived by his mother, Suzanne, of Scott; his children, Angelo of Scott, and Silvia of Jacksonville, Fla.; three other brothers, John of Scott, Peter of Falls Church, Va., and Sam Jr. of Houston; and two nieces and a nephew.

Friends will be received from 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Beinhauer Funeral Home, 2828 Washington Road, McMurray. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in the funeral home. Entombment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in McMurray.

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

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