In Memorium: Dan Klobucar, Brighton Heights leader, 1935-2009


Daniel Klobucar’s life was one full of volunteerism, care for the Brighton Heights community and love for his family.

Dan passed away on Dec. 8 after a struggle with cancer and is survived by his daughter, Danielle Steeley, and three grandchildren.

Those in Brighton Heights, including Pete Bellisario, a member of the Brighton Heights Citizens Federation and a longtime friend of Dan, remember him for many things. He worked with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to bring flower gardens to the neighborhood in 1991, and continued working with them until he became ill.

Dan, who served the Brighton Heights Citizens Federation for over 20 years, also organized the community’s annual Halloween Parade, and Danielle said he missed doing it this year.

“That was the highlight of my dad,” Danielle said. “He really just loved the community.”

In addition to his work in Brighton Heights, Dan served as a financial advisor for senior citizens in the community, bought them groceries and visited them weekly.

“He felt like that was what he was raised to do,” Pete said. “He always took the time [for his neighbors].”

Danielle said The Northside Leadership Conference awarded Dan a Citizen of the Year Award about five years ago for all of his community service.

Dan played hockey in his younger years, and has held Penguins season tickets since 1967. His cousin, Rich Vrane, said Dan would take him to hockey games. Rich, in turn, would take him to football games.

He also collected memorabilia from the Hornets, Pittsburgh’s hockey team before the Penguins. Danielle said she would like to donate her father’s collection to the new hockey arena in the Hill District.

Nine-year-old triplets Oliva, Brennan and Nolan have followed their grandfather’s athletic footsteps, with much encouragement from Dan, who used to play some of the same sports they do. Danielle said he always tried to give the kids words of wisdom, and that he loved going to see them play.

Olivia also does ballet, as did Danielle when she was a child. Dan loved watching Olivia perform the nutcracker each year, and Danielle said that her father’s involvement and willingness to take her to the Pittsburgh Ballet was very important to her, and has also been important to her own children.

“He was just a wonderful dad,” she said. “[He] taught me to love the arts.”

Dan was also a retired first sergeant in the Army National Guard and supported Animal Friends, which is a no-kill animal shelter. He adopted two cats — Percy and Midnight — from Animal Friends. Danielle took in the cats and adopted one more so there would be one for each triplet.

Currently Dan’s family is looking for donations of money or pet food to give to Animal Friends in Dan’s name.

To make a donation, contact Danielle Steeley at





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