Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steven E. Burke March 8, 1954 - Jan. 19, 2016 Grable Foundation Trustee Committed to Children's Education

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steven E. Burke March 8, 1954 - Jan. 19, 2016 Grable Foundation Trustee Committed to Children's Education

Article excerpt

As the treasurer and a board member of The Grable Foundation, his family's charitable organization, Steven Burke helped to steer millions of dollars into improving educational opportunities for children.

But he never sought credit or attention for his work.

"He was a quiet force in philanthropy," said Michael Bartley, a Pittsburgh media consultant and longtime friend. "His heart was behind the scenes making sure the money was there, so at-risk kids had the tools they needed to be educated."

Mr. Burke of Fox Chapel died Tuesday. He was 61.

His body was found Tuesday just before noon near the Smithfield- Liberty parking garage at Seventh and Liberty avenues, Downtown.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office, which conducted an autopsy Wednesday, said Mr. Burke died of multiple blunt impact injuries but said the manner of death was pending.

Rather than spotlight the foundation's charitable gifts, Mr. Burke preferred that recognition go to teachers and others who worked with children at schools, museums and after-school programs that Grable helped to fund, said Gregg Behr, executive director of the foundation that disbursed $13 million in grants in 2014.

"He wanted [them] to be honored and recognized because they are the ones who are looking to improve kids' lives in meaningful ways," Mr. Behr said.

The Downtown-based Grable Foundation traces its roots to the fortune of Mr. Burke's grandfather, Errett Grable, who rose from salesman to executive at Alcoa when it was called the Aluminium Company of America. In 1927, Mr. Grable and another Alcoa executive, Horatio Ebert, bought a toy balloon company located outside Cleveland and helped to oversee that company's merger with housewares maker Rubbermaid.

Mr. Grable remained on the board of Rubbermaid until he died in 1959. His wife, Minnie Grable, Mr. Burke's grandmother, started the foundation in 1976 to fund scholarships for young people interested in vocational training. …

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