Bravery underlay fire captain's humor
Richard Gorman dashed into burning buildings for more than 30 years as a Pittsburgh firefighter — a serious job that seemed at odds with his playful demeanor.
“He was a riot,” his daughter-in-law Debra Gorman said. “You never knew what was coming out of his mouth.”
Mr. Gorman of Morningside died on Sunday, July 14, 2013, in UPMC Shadyside after suffering a stroke. He was 66.
Mr. Gorman served as a city firefighter for three decades, rising to the rank of captain.
He responded to many tough calls, including a 2004 blaze at Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Hill District that killed two firefighters and injured 29, said his daughter, Dana Gorman, of Morningside.
“My dad was always in the building. He wasn't one to stand outside,” Dana Gorman said.
“He always went in the fire, no matter how dangerous it was.”
Mr. Gorman traveled to schools to promote fire safety, often dressing up as a dog to entertain students. He enjoyed bringing his grandchildren to the station to let them see the fire trucks.
A serious man at fire scenes, Mr. Gorman loved to joke around in the firehouse and the kitchen where he cooked for other firefighters, said friend and fellow firefighter John Misencik of Shaler.
“He would give you the last dollar he had and the shirt off his back,” Misencik said. “He would do anything for you.”
Mr. Gorman served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, living on a ship for several years, Dana Gorman said.
He raised a family in Morningside, growing apple and pear trees at home. After retiring, he spent time cooking homemade soup and baking pies for family and friends and taking care of his grandchildren.
Mr. Gorman requested to be buried with the ashes of his beloved pit bull Roscoe. Mr. Gorman had several pit bulls but favored Roscoe so much that he took him to bars around town and ordered him drinks.
“Roscoe rode everywhere with my dad,” Dana Gorman said. “He went to the bars and had his drinks, his beef jerky and then he would go to sleep.”
In addition to his daughter, Dana, Mr. Gorman is survived by his son, Christopher Gorman of Hampton; sisters Patricia Ames of Gibsonia and Colleen Welsh of Wexford; and five grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in McCabe Brothers Inc. Funeral Home, 5300 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. A funeral will begin at9 a.m. Thursday. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. in St. Maria Goretti Church, Penn Campus, 5323 Penn Ave. Interment will be private.
Christina Gallagher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
- Bell’s last-second TD lifts Steelers over Chargers
- Steelers defense displays resiliency in victory over Chargers
- Steelers notebook: Receiver Bryant inactive for game vs. Chargers
- Home invader shot, killed in Mt. Washington
- Pitt running out of options to slow down Georgia Tech offense
- Ellwood City Area School District avoids strike set for Tuesday
- Dutch Safety Board: Buk missile downed MH17 in Ukraine
- Penguins notebook: Left wing rotation puts Perron with Malkin
- Looking toward home opener, Penguins work to end scoring drought
- Artifical turf OK’d for Armstrong school’s new softball, baseball fields