Longtime coach 'touched a lot of lives'
As a coach, Elmer Guckert showed high school athletes the meaning of success.
Through it all, “he touched a lot of lives,” said his daughter Sarah Rizzitano.
“Certainly the players ... he really tried to keep them out of trouble and going in a good direction,” she said. “(He) encouraged them.”
Elmer Bernard Guckert of McCandless, an inductee into the Western Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, died on Thursday, June 6, 2013. He was 84.
A 1947 graduate of Oliver High School, Mr. Guckert lettered in basketball and baseball. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and majored in education, later earning a master's degree in education in 1957.
Mr. Guckert played baseball as a left-handed pitcher. He played with sandlot teams in Pittsburgh and in a farm league for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He worked at Shanksville-Stonycreek High School and the former Fifth Avenue and Brashear high schools where he taught physical education, driver's education and health and coached basketball, swimming, baseball and cross country.
Team triumphs included 10 city championship basketball teams, two state championship basketball teams and three city championship cross country teams.
“He liked to be around kids and to help kids and be a role model,” Rizzitano said. “He was very involved with his kids that he taught and his basketball players and tried to help them.”
Mr. Guckert also was a referee and an umpire, sometimes calling two baseball games a day.
“He played sports all his life. He played in high school, basketball and baseball and lettered,” his daughter said. “He'd scream and yell at the TV, always coaching.”
Mr. Guckert served two years in the Army at Fort Knox, Ky., beginning in 1953, and led athletics on the base.
An active member of Christ Episcopal Church, Mr. Guckert volunteered with Meals on Wheels and was a 50-year Mason and Shriner.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria J. Guckert. In addition to his daughter Sarah Rizzitano, he is survived by his children, Kathy Allison, Karen Morris and Jim Guckert, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Christ Episcopal Church, 5910 Babcock Blvd., Ross. Interment will follow at Allegheny County Memorial Park.
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
- 2014 has been among deadliest for the world’s airline industry
- Amazon.com distribution center planned for Pittsburgh’s West End
- Uber, Lyft get tentative PUC permission to operate in Allegheny County
- Aliquippa father is charged by Beaver County DA in girls’ dresser death
- Truck crashes into Dairy Queen, 6 injured in Penn Hills
- New Kensington-Arnold principals given new duties to reflect realignment
- South Buffalo Township woman accused of stealing nearly $13K from employer
- Kittanning firefighters set to muster up a good time in 125th year