PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Former Congressman Frank Mascara passed away over the weekend.
The one-time Democratic political powerhouse from the Mon Valley succumbed to cancer at the age of 81.
As a member of Congress, Mascara insisted on driving home to Charleroi every weekend, where his wife, Dolores, lived.
An institution in Washington County politics, Mascara chaired the county commission for years and pushed a project many were skeptical of – Southpointe.
Today, what his opponent’s called Frank’s Folly now has over 8,000 jobs.
When a seat in Congress opened up in 1994, Mascara ran and won. He earned a reputation for actually reading every bill he voted on.
However, after the 2000 Census, the Republican-controlled legislature eliminated his 20th Congressional District.
At the time, he spoke with KDKA-TV’s Jon Delano about the decision. He said the Republicans split Charleroi between him and the late Congressman Jack Murtha of Johnstown. The district line was drawn right down his home street.
In the end, Mascara decided to take on Murtha in the Democratic Primary.
Voters chose Murtha and ended Mascara’s long career in politics.
He passed away Sunday as a victim of lung cancer.
Most who knew Mascara called him a gentleman. He was a socially conservative Democrat, and a bit of a tight-wad with money.
He is survived by his wife and three of their four children. His son, Washington County Judge Mark Mascara, passed away from cancer last year.
Afternoon and evening visitations will be held Thursday and Friday at the Carl J. Spallino Funeral Home in Charleroi.
The funeral service will be Saturday morning at Mary, Mother of the Church in Charleroi.
Mascara will be buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Fallowfield Township.