Former Trib editor loved running and caring for animals
Lance Kristan was a calming influence in a not-so-calm profession.
A longtime copy editor at the Tribune-Review, Mr. Kristan was “the last set of eyes on a story before it went into print,” said former city editor Frank Myers.
“He was a very quiet, studious wordsmith. He started out as a reporter, but then he kind of fell into a natural niche as a copy editor,” Myers said. “He just had a very quiet demeanor, which had a calming effect on the newsroom.”
Lance J. Kristan, of Champion, died on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. He was 70.
Born in Greensburg on Oct. 21, 1948, he was a son of the late Max and Mary (Grubach) Kristan. He graduated from Hempfield Area High School in 1966 and from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in economics in 1970.
After college, he spent two years in Venezuela with the Peace Corps.
Mr. Kristan joined the Tribune-Review as a reporter in 1974 and retired as a copy editor in 2009, said his brother, Tom Kristan.
“He enjoyed writing in college,” he said. “I just think it was his love for literature and writing, and he thought he would give it a shot.”
Mr. Kristan started out covering high school sports but also covered breaking news, Tom Kristan said. In 1978, he covered the Labor Day helicopter crash at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Fair in Derry that killed eight people and injured 18 others.
“Lance was a great newsman and a meticulous editor. In this business where change often happens at lightning speed, he was a steady hand and journalist who cared deeply about being fair, honest and accurate,” said Trib Executive Editor Susan McFarland.
Tom Kristan described his brother as “kind of an artsy guy” who liked to paint and play piano. “The newspaper was a good fit for him,” he said. “He kind of had a knack for writing.”
Mr. Kristan also was known for his love of animals. “He couldn’t say no to any animal — he took animals in. He volunteered at an animal shelter for a long time,” Tom Kristan said.
Mr. Kristan was an avid runner who participated in many 5K races. He moved to Champion a few years ago and loved living at the foot of Seven Springs Mountain Resort, he said.
“He was a very kind, generous, humble man. I never heard him say a bad word about anybody,” his brother said.
He is survived by his brother, Tom Kristan and his wife, Elaine, of Irwin; a nephew, Pete Kristan, of Pittsburgh; and several uncles and cousins.
There will be no public visitation. Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial Mass at St. Paul Parish, 820 Carbon Road, Hempfield, at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Private interment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
Leo M. Bach Funeral Home, 516 Stanton St., Greensburg, is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Westmoreland County, P.O. Box 1552, Greensburg, PA 15601.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .