Food, beverage expert of Fox Chapel admired for work ethic
By Jerry Vondas
Published: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009,
Although Donald Stanczak was known for his expertise in the food and beverage industry, he also was admired for using that expertise for a greater good.
"For years, Don would coordinate the food and beverage booths at the horse shows for Parental Stress at Hartwood Acres," said his wife, Maralyne Loukas Stanczak, whom he married in 1970.
Donald L. Stanczak of Fox Chapel, owner and operator of Food & Beverage Solutions, died of a heart seizure Monday, Oct. 12, 2009, in his home. He was 64.
Upon receiving his degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., Mr. Stanczak began his career in Chicago as an assistant manager at the Palmer House Hotel. He later worked for Fritzl's European Restaurant & Pub in Lake Zurich, Ill.
Among his notable assignments while employed with Interstate Hotels in the Chicago area was designing bars and dining areas for the 108-story Sears Tower in 1974.
He came to Pittsburgh in 1981 and was assigned to the Marriott hotels in Green Tree and Montour, as well as Marriott's Steelhead Brasserie & Wine Bar in Uptown.
His daughters, Ashleigh Stanczak of Boston and Stacey Smith of Natrona Heights, recalled what it was like growing up with a father who, despite his busy schedule, made time to be with his girls.
"Dad named two of the dining rooms he designed for Stacey and myself," said Ashleigh Stanzcak.
"We admired our father for his wisdom and for being straightforward during a crisis. He could cut through the most difficult problems."
Stacey Smith considered her father to be a role model for his daughters and his grandchildren. "He had a great work ethic, which he passed on to us and which we try to follow," she said.
Mr. Stanczak grew up in Natrona Heights, an only child in the family of steelworker Jack and Dorothy Wood Stanczak.
"My husband started his business career by organizing a newspaper route in his hometown," said his wife.
In addition to his wife, Maralyne, and his two daughters, Stacey and Ashleigh, Mr. Stanczak is survived by four grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at John A. Freyvogel Sons Inc., 4900 Centre Ave. at Devonshire Street, Oakland.
A funeral and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday in St. Paul Cathedral, Oakland.
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.