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August 31, 2006

Obituary: Susan A. (Junker) Steele

Susan A. Steele, whose career at the University spanned more than 17 years, died July 30, 2006, after a brief but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 57.

A native of Pittsburgh, Steele began her career at Pitt in 1989 when she joined the Office of Institutional Advancement, formerly the Office of University Relations and Development, as a secretary/receptionist. In 1992, she was promoted to manager of administrative services and was named director of administrative services in 1997. She was named executive director of annual programs and administrative services in 2005.

In 1997, 1998 and again in 2004, Steele served as the University’s campaign manager for the annual campus-wide fundraising campaign for the United Way of Allegheny County. As campaign manager, Steele helped to raise more than $1.5 million.

Steele also was a student in the College of General Studies; she was scheduled to graduate in 2007. She was named a University Scholar in 2005.

Steele was a life member of the Pitt Alumni Association and a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She participated in the United Way of Allegheny County’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, and served as the University of Pittsburgh’s representative for the CASE Jupiter Fellowship program and the Pittsburgh Public Schools Start for Success program.

Steele was a member of the Pitt Volunteer Pool. In addition, she volunteered for various Pittsburgh charities, such as the annual Race for Pace (a fundraising event for the Pace School). She also served as a guest bartender to raise money for muscular dystrophy and autism research.

Albert Novak, vice chancellor of Institutional Advancement, said, “Sue’s wit, professionalism, love for her family, colleagues and friends and her strong faith were the centerpiece of her life, and we will miss her.”

Steele is survived by her fiancé, Tony Safran; two daughters, Dawn Forbeck and Nicole Bagnato; a son, Timothy Porco; 12 grandchildren; a sister, Margie Page; four brothers, Frederick Jr., William, Thomas and Kevin Junker, and many nieces and nephews.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute for pancreatic research.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 39 Issue 1

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