CHARLEROI (KDKA) — Former Congressman Frank Mascara, who passed away last weekend at the age of 81, was laid to rest today in Washington County.

The one-time Democratic political powerhouse from the Mon Valley passed away of lung cancer last Sunday.

Visitation was held on Thursday and Friday at the Carl J. Spallino Funeral Home, and the funeral service was held this morning at Mary, Mother of the Church in Charleroi.

Mascara’s nephew Joey Mendola delivered the eulogy.

“Look around you, you see his legacy. He was a part of just about anything that has occurred in Charleroi, in the Mon Valley, in the Washington County area,” said Mendola.

Mascara was first elected as the Washington County Commissioner in 1979 and served as board chairman for 14 years. He later became a U.S. Congressman, spending four terms in the post from 1995 to 2003.

He was known as a warm, engaging man who loved family and never lost touch with his constituents.

“Talking to him he would always stop and give you a handshake, give you a smile; basically, answer any questions you had,” Mendola said.

Mascara could also be tough when it came to getting things done. He played a major role in the development of the Mon Valley Expressway. He was responsible for turning a once abandoned property into what is now Southpointe.

“He is universally known as the ‘Father of Southpointe.’ There are today and every day, 6,000 people who owe their jobs to Frank Mascara,” said Bracken Burns, the Washington County commissioner.

Mascara’s leadership has set the example for current U.S. Rep. Mark Critz.

“It was all about working with local citizens and making sure you took care of the local people, and I think Frank epitomized that,” said Critz. “I mean, he was the Charleroi guy that people knew they could go to even though he rose up to the level of U.S. Congressman.”

Mascara is survived by his wife and three of their four children. His son, Washington County Judge Mark Mascara, passed away from cancer last year.

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