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Obituary: Barbara Frank Dane / Patron of the arts, lifelong Shadyside resident

Sunday, January 11, 2004

By Corilyn Shropshire, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Barbara Frank Dane, a fourth generation Pittsburgher and ardent supporter of the local arts community, died in Los Angeles on Thursday, one day shy of her 80th birthday.

Mrs. Dane, who lived in Shadyside all her life, had been ill from complications following surgery for an aortic aneurysm.

She traveled frequently to the West Coast for extended visits with her two grandchildren because she wanted them to have a strong sense of their family's Pittsburgh history, according to her sister Joan Frank Apt.

A generous supporter of the arts, Mrs. Dane rarely missed openings of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Public Theater, The City Theater, and The Civic Light Opera.

She joined her late mother, Cecelia Frank Morrell, and her sister at the founding meeting of the Civic Light Opera Guild, where Mrs. Dane served for many years as treasurer.

She also served on the board of the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh until her death.

Mrs. Dane graduated from the Winchester-Thurston school in 1942. During World War II, she was a volunteer Red Cross ambulance driver at the old Pittsburgh County Airport.

Mrs. Dane, a member of the Laurel Garden Club, meticulously maintained her garden, growing prize-winning roses, azaleas and peonies.

She also was a member of the Calvary Episcopal Church.

Always particular about her personal appearance and that of her home, Mrs. Dane had a mantra, "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping," according to longtime friend Joe Hunsiker.

Mrs. Dane traveled along the eastern seaboard in search of antiques, particularly Louis XVI pieces, which were her favorite.

In Mrs. Dane's world, according to friends, rarely was anything ever out of place.

"The stamps were never crooked on the envelope," added friend Mernie Berger.

"And she had the most beautiful handwriting....Everything was just correct."

In addition to her sister and two grandchildren, Mrs. Dane is survived by a daughter, Ann Dane McLennan, of Los Angeles; a son, Jack Barry Dane, of San Francisco, and a brother, Alan I.W. Frank, of Shadyside.

Visitation will begin at noon Tuesday at Calvary Church, 315 Shady Ave., Shadyside. The funeral will follow at 1pm. Burial will be in Homewood Cemetery, Point Breeze.

Corilyn Shropshire can be reached at or 412-263-1413.

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