Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Blanche Nora Ann Kiesel Died April 16, 2015 Steelers Talk Show Caller Known as 'Babe from Penn Hills'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Blanche Nora Ann Kiesel Died April 16, 2015 Steelers Talk Show Caller Known as 'Babe from Penn Hills'

Article excerpt

If you listen to the radio show hosted by former Pittsburgh Steelers Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley, you probably have no idea who Blanche Kiesel is. But chances are, you are quite familiar with the opinions of "Babe from Penn Hills."

That's the handle Ms. Kiesel used in her frequent calls to the "Tunch and Wolf" show on WBGG-AM 970 over the past decade or so to offer her opinions about the performance of the Steelers, good or bad.

Ms. Kiesel became so well-known by the show's hosts that they twice invited her to sit with them while they were doing remote broadcasts, including one at the Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville, said Diane Truszkowski, her daughter.

"For them to bring her up on the dais and let her sit there the whole show, she was just thrilled. I mean, you would have thought she won a million dollars to let her sit up there with them," she said.

Blanche "Babe" Nora Ann Kiesel, formerly of Penn Hills, died Thursday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 90.

"I remember Babe from Penn Hills very well," Mr. Ilkin said. "She was just a sweetheart. She was very knowledgeable about the game of football. She was very incisive and she was always fun."

On Saturday, Mr. Ilkin recalled the Church Brew Works broadcast that involved Ms. Kiesel.

"We sat together. We ate. We laughed. She wasn't just a listener of the show. She was a friend of the show's," he said. "She was a very knowledgeable Steelers fan, a football fan, and she was just a classy lady, too. Classy and sweet."

Ms. Kiesel accumulated her knowledge of sports raising six sons to go along with three daughters. "I guarantee you that she knew what she was talking about. She just knew sports. She watched it constantly," Ms. Truszkowski said.

She was passionate about the Steelers, finding kinship with the team through former defensive end Brett Keisel, whose last name is similar to hers and whose jersey she wore on game days. …

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