7. Two steadfast Pittsburgh area journalists died in recent days – and both had a lasting impact on my life and career and on our suburban communities. Bob Pastin, 70, was a longtime editor with the Trib's weekly newspapers, and served as my editor at The Signal Item in Carnegie. Bob never minced his words, often having shouting matches with elected officials who stormed our newsroom angry over coverage. Bob always was right in those arguments. His gruffness always seemed like a cover, though – he cared about the reporters, the readers and the newspapers. A positive comment always seemed followed up with expecting more.
Dona S. Dreeland, whose age she tried so hard to keep underwraps, died July 27. It took me until this morning when I read her obituary to know that the "S." in her byline stood for "Storm." She served as the editor of the Sewickley Herald from the late 90s through much of 2008. She had been a reporter at the newspaper for many years before that. Dona cared so deeply about the community she served (a trait that is lost in a speedy, clicky world of news today). She treasured relationships and yearned for a simpler time (without gadgets and things).