Share This Page

Doctor renowned for commitment to patients

| Saturday, July 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Even late into the night, the light in Dr. Pascal Spino's office arced out onto South Maple Avenue in Greensburg, bringing hope and comfort to parents with a sick child.

He cared for his patients, anyone in need, regardless of the hour, his children remembered.

“I think my father had a great empathy and had that ability to place himself in the footsteps of a nervous parent or child,” son Pascal Spino remembered.

Pascal D. Spino, 91, of Greensburg, a man known to generations of Westmoreland County residents for his kindness and medical care, died Saturday, July 27, 2013.

Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home Inc. in Greensburg is handling arrangements.

Dr. Spino, a pediatrician, practiced medicine for more than 60 years, retiring in 2008 because of age and health. He admitted at the time that the decision to hang up his stethoscope was one of his hardest.

He often put in an 18-hour day caring for his young patients. Their faces happily peered out from pictures he had on practically every wall in his office.

“They were all Dr. Spino's kids,” son Domenic Spino said. “He was committed to the people in Southwestern Pennsylvania. That was really the driving force behind my father — the community that embraced him.”

His father's “calm voice” showed parents and children “that there was a way out, that everything would be OK,” son Pascal Spino added.

Dr. Spino's accolades are numerous. He earned one of the nation's highest civilian honors, the Citizens Service Before Self Honor from the Medal of Honor Association, in 2011 “for a lifetime commitment to treating children, often not charging those who could not afford health care.”

Greensburg set aside a day in his honor in 2007.

He received the Westmoreland County Community College Humanitarian Award in 2001. He even was named “Fan of the Day” by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011.

The list goes on and on.

“His faith and his upbringing gave him an affinity for people who maybe were experiencing hard times and needed him,” Domenic Spino said.

For a 2008 Tribune-Review story, Dr. Spino recalled that he so much wanted to be a doctor as a boy that when Harvard University officials came to his high school to test students for their career path, he answered in a way he believed would put him on the path to be a physician.

“Harvard came to give the results ... and they said, ‘Pascal, you're best suited to become a priest,' ” the doctor remembered, chuckling.

His desire to become a doctor was reinforced after he contracted tuberculosis as a teenager and spent time in a sanatorium, he remembered.

Dr. Spino served as a naval lieutenant during World War II. He met his wife, Aida, while both were serving on the medical ship the USS Hope, Domenic Spino said.

“Everybody knew the doctor ... but there were other aspects as well,” daughter Camille Tarr of Ligonier Borough said.

“He loved music,” she said. “He was excellent on the piano.”

He loved watching sports, becoming more and more animated as games went on, Tarr said. But he always felt compassion for the underdog, even in sporting contests, she added.

“I'm very proud of him,” Domenic Spino said. “I don't think my dad's death spells the end of Dr. Spino. There's a legacy that goes on.”

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

Related Content
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.