Minister ran Goodwill with heart, head
As a child, the Rev. Robert S. Foltz watched his father spend time with the elderly — acts that influenced him as president and CEO of the former Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh, which he helped turn into one of the largest social service agencies in the region.
“(It) was influential in letting him see firsthand the needs of other people,” said his wife, Nan Foltz of Mt. Lebanon.
The Rev. Robert S. Foltz died Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Asbury Heights nursing home in Mt. Lebanon. He was 73.
He led Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh, which trains and employs people with disabilities, from 1977 until retiring in 2002.
“He found a way to employ, train and give opportunities to thousands of people who basically had been discarded,” said his son, Nelson Foltz of Brooklyn, N.Y.
During his tenure, Goodwill's annual budget grew from $3 million to more than $30 million, the number of employees went from about 150 to 850, and the number of stores grew from eight to 22.
“Bob understood early on that it not only was a human service organization, but also needed to be run as a business because the more profit that we generated, the more people that we could serve,” said Mike Smith, 57, of Washington, whom the Rev. Foltz hired as controller in 1989. Smith succeeded him as president and CEO.
The Rev. Foltz was born to Joseph W. and Nannette Harris Foltz in Wilkinsburg. His father was a traveling salesman who died when his son was about 13.
After graduating from Wilkinsburg High School, he received a bachelor's degree from Westminster College, a master's degree of divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in Washington and a master's degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.
He met his wife when both were students at the seminary.
In 1962, he was ordained a minister of the United Methodist Church. He served parishes in Rogersville, Meadville and Pittsburgh; was chaplain at George Junior Republic in Grove City, a residential facility for at-risk youth; and executive director of the Ward Home for Children in Mt. Lebanon.
When he retired, Goodwill named its headquarters, then on the South Side, as the Robert S. Foltz Building.
In addition to his wife, Nan, and son, Nelson, Mr. Foltz is survived by his sons, Drayton Foltz of Mt. Lebanon and Joseph Foltz of Sewickley Heights; and one grandson.
A Service of Celebration will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Smithfield United Church of Christ, 620 Smithfield St., Downtown. Burial will be private. The Smith Funeral Home in West Middlesex, Mercer County, is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Robert S. Foltz Building, 118 52nd St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201.
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.
- Charter Communications makes offer for Time Warner Cable
- Morton’s return to Pirates means Liz leaves
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Marlins, May 26, 2015
- Cops: Man shoots 11-year-old with BB gun; boy is critical
- 19 officers, 7 soldiers killed in siege of Afghan police compound
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Rossi: After L.A., NFL should tread carefully
- Conservative populist Duda becomes Poland’s president
- Early success in White House race a pleasant surprise for Carson
- Lower Valley observes Memorial Day with parades, services
- Couple attempts theft at North Huntingdon Wal-Mart