Louis Washowich, 81, peacefully passed away on Friday, April 2, 2021 in the comfort of his home surrounded by family. Lou is survived by his loving wife Jean, sons Michael (Missy) and Matthew (Jen Reck, Payton) and granddaughters Taylor, Haley & Lacey. Born in McKeesport, PA on July 8th, 1939, Lou grew up in a city that he later felt in life was his duty to serve.
In his early adult life, he joined the military and was stationed in Fort Knox, KY. There he met his beloved wife, Jean, of 58 years. He was often recognized in McKeesport and the Mon Valley as Coach Lou or The Mayor. He was routinely referred to as Coach Lou from the thousands of former players he coached through the McKeesport Little Tigers.He began his coaching career in the early 1960’s. He became president and head coach in 1974 and remained coaching until he retired in 1994. Coach Lou had a unique talent for mentoring young men about the game of football while teaching lifelong skills that could be applied off the field.
For 32 years, the Little Tigers would travel to the Laurel Mountains for their legendary camps which led them to be recognized across the country for their success. As their success continued to grow, bowl games in Texas, Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and South Carolina became routine.
His dedication to mentoring the youth and serving his community lead to his decision to run for Mayor of the City of McKeesport. Lou was elected Mayor in 1979 and served four consecutive terms; the second longest run in the city’s history. In addition, he served as Democratic Chairman of the Mon Valley and the City of McKeesport.
His passion and commitment made him a legend in the local and county political arenas. He often battled officials over policies that would negatively impact the people of McKeesport. He possessed a unique blend of toughness and compassion that became known by all around him.
Behind the toughness he displayed professionally, Big Lou’s family and friends will remember him for his compassion and loving nature. He could always be found talking to old friends he ran into at the local Giant Eagle or at his favorite restaurant, Di’s Cornerstone Diner, having coffee with his lifelong buddies.
One of his favorite names that has not yet been mentioned was Poppy, as his three granddaughters called him. His family will remember him as a man with so much love and wisdom to share. They will think of him smiling, enjoying the nice weather outside on his front porch swing on Banker Street.
His family hopes that as you pass Lou Washowich Way in White Oak, you also remember the strong and determined but loving man that Lou was. Funeral services will be private. Friends will be received at a later date for a celebration of his life. Arrangements are by the Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. 1638 Lincoln Way, White Oak. (412) 672-6322 Troy J. Gilbert, director. Condolences may be may be at Gilbertfuneralhomeandcrematory.com
Originally published April 03, 2021.