Former Trib newsman remembered as dedicated, passionate
Bob Pastin was a passionate newsman who considered the newsroom his second home, making an appearance at least once a day, even on weekends.
“He really just loved the newsroom. He just liked being there,” said Kim Palmiero, former managing editor for Trib Total Media’s weekly newspapers.
After stints across the country, including at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Pastin came back to the Pittsburgh area and landed as the editor of the Trib’s weekly newspapers, covering Bridgeville and Carnegie. Soon after, Palmiero took on her new role overseeing those papers.
“I thought, ‘I can’t teach this guy anything — I can learn from him,” she said. “I think we learned from each other.”
Robert E. ‘Bob’ Pastin of McKees Rocks died Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. He was 70.
Pastin was passionate about community journalism and sports, particularly the Pittsburgh Steelers and West Virginia University football. He graduated from the university in 1971, and played in the Peach Bowl Championship in 1969.
That passion made Pastin demanding of his reporters, pushing them to keep their copy clean and hold public officials accountable. He cared deeply for his colleagues, wanting to see the young and often “green” reporters under his supervision thrive and succeed.
He was also a workaholic, Palmiero said.
“He was one of those people, he’d come in mid-morning, work until maybe 3 or 4 p.m., go have dinner and then come back,” she said.
Jim Spezialetti, who worked as a reporter and page designer for Pastin, agreed.
“If he wasn’t there seven days a week, even just a couple hours on the weekend, you wondered if anything was wrong with him,” he said.
Spezialetti, through his daughter’s Girl Scout troop, was also Pastin’s supplier of Girl Scout cookies.
“Tagalongs were his downfall,” he said.
Spezialetti would bring Pastin his orders on the Saturday they came in — delivering them to the newsroom, of course.
“Monday morning, there would be at least two empty boxes in the trash can at his desk,” he said.
Pastin’s passion lent itself to a short fuse. Palmiero recalled the first time she saw him blow his top in the newsroom, complete with the declaration that he was “done with this place.”
“Here I am, seeing this yelling going on, wondering what I’m going to do,” she said.
Pastin walked to the water cooler, got a drink and sat back down. A minute later, Palmiero said, she approached his desk to ask if he was OK.
Pastin smiled up at her.
“Kimmy, I’m fine,” Palmiero recalled him saying. “Let’s put out a paper.”
“That’s what I loved about him,” Palmiero said. “He walked over to the water cooler, hiked up his pants, got a drink of water, and he was fine.”
Pastin is survived by daughters Jennifer Hower, Megan Jakaitis, Molly Pastin and Marissa Pastin and grandchildren Calandra and Christian. A granddaughter is due in November.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in his name to Animal Friends.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .