Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ephron "Joe" Prince Port Authority Security Officer Loved by Commuters, Colleagues

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ephron "Joe" Prince Port Authority Security Officer Loved by Commuters, Colleagues

Article excerpt

No matter how bad the work day, or how lopsided the home team's loss, transit riders departing the trolley at the South Hills Village Rail Center could count on Ephron "Joe" Prince's radiant smile, friendly greeting and kind words to lift their spirits.

"He knew everyone's name," said fellow employee Chris Van Dyke of Mr. Prince, who was a Port Authority security officer.

"If he didn't know the person, he would make a point to meet them. He was a legend in Port Authority."

Mr. Prince, 67, of Clairton, died in his sleep of a massive heart attack on April 5.

On the job, co-workers recalled, he kept an umbrella handy to walk riders to their cars, and battery cables to jump-start dead batteries.

If he was vacationing or absent a day, passengers asked where he was, fellow security officer Jeff Holt said.

In an Aug. 2, 2000 Post-Gazette South story about Mr. Prince, Upper St. Clair resident and trolley rider Bonnie McKown said: "He's a marvelous man who has helped me a number of times. He left a note on my windshield, telling me my car had a flat on the passenger side. He drove me and a friend to the lost-and-found office when my friend left her briefcase on the T."

Those same caring qualities, plus his warmth, wit and cheerfulness, also endeared him to fellow workers. "He was just a terrific guy in every which way," Sam Headley said.

Any time he was shuffled from one to another of the Manchester, South Hills Junction, South Hills Village Rail Center, East Liberty and Washington Junction stations, William McArdle, chief of the Port Authority Police Department, fielded angry calls asking for his return.

"I received more comments on him than anyone in the [68-member] department," McArdle said.

As a boy, Mr. Prince was nicknamed "Joe" after boxing great Joe Lewis because he was always getting into scuffles, recalled Juanita, his childhood friend and wife of 42 years. …

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