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Pitt fan called for excellence in alma mater, work

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
James F. 'Shade' Diulus, 76, of Whitehall, died Saturday, March 2, 2013.

When he attended University of Pittsburgh football or basketball games, James Diulus dressed head to toe in team colors.

“The only thing he didn't have with a Pitt logo was Pitt underwear,” said his wife, Patricia Diulus of Whitehall. “He had his hat, shirts, sweaters, hoodies, socks that had a Pitt logo, gloves. Even the license plate to his car said ‘Hail to Pitt.' ”

James F. Diulus of Whitehall died on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Jefferson Regional Medical Center from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 76.

He was born in Panther Hollow to Eutemio P. and Grace Diulus. His father was a contractor who took his boys to Pitt football games. The family moved to Whitehall when he was 5, and Mr. Diulus was a section 6 All-Star WPIAL point guard for Baldwin High School.

He graduated from Pitt with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.

After a stint with the Army Corps of Engineers, he began a 45-year career in construction. He was construction manager for Allegheny General Hospital, Fifth Avenue Place and a Garfield housing project, and was involved with PPG Place. Mr. Diulus did not tolerate shortcuts, his brother said.

“Jim put a stop to a subcontractor trying to cut a corner,” said Frank Diulus of East Amherst, N.Y.

Pitt remained his passion. He missed only two of its home football games in 68 years — one for the wedding of his best friend's son and the other because of pneumonia.

He flew the Pitt flag in front of his house in the fall. He blasted the neighborhood with the Pitt fight song before games, grew hoarse cheering and draped his head with a newspaper during heavy rain at the stadium.

“He taped every single game and then analyzed what they did wrong and what they did right,” his wife said. “He'd watch them three or four times.”

Mr. Diulus, a talented golfer, recorded six holes-in-one, four of them at South Hills Country Club, his home course.

In addition to his wife, Patricia, and brother Frank, Mr. Diulus is survived by daughters Nanette Stevens of Peters and Maria Blair and Jennifer Brinker, both of South Park; sons Peter Diulus of Bethel Park and James P. Diulus of Whitehall; and nine grandchildren.

His sister, Evelyn Veri, preceded him in death.

Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in John F. Slater Funeral Home, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood. A funeral prayer will begin at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, Whitehall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the St. Gabriel School Fund or Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, 6507 Wilkins Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217.

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

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