Former Trib newsman remembered as dedicated, passionate |

Former Trib newsman remembered as dedicated, passionate

Megan Guza
Bob Pastin, a former employee of the Tribune-Review, died Aug. 5, 2019.

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 .

Categories: Local | Carlynton
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.