Birthday dinner a tribute to Pittsburgh family’s reach
Irwin Roth, a longtime resident of East End, was honored on Sept. 7, his 95th birthday, by family and friends
Irwin Roth, a longtime resident of East End, was honored on Sept. 7, his 95th birthday, with a celebratory dinner in Bravo’s in the Waterfront. Family members came from four different states to attend, along with many Pittsburgh-area relatives and friends.
Known alternatively as Irv and Srol, a derivative of his Hebrew name, Yisroel, he is a World War II veteran of the Army Air Corps who served as a B-17 mechanic in Africa and Italy. He continues to work in real estate management, as he has for many years. And he tops a five-generation family tree that includes niece Harriet Gross of Dallas, a Texas Jewish Post columnist; her son, grandnephew Sol Marcus of Turtle Creek; his daughters, great-grand nieces Rose Marcus of Squirrel Hill, Lena Krutilla of Aliquippa and Mollie Wilson of Monroeville; and two great-great-grand nephews, Andy Krutilla and Lex Wilson. All were present for the event.
In-town attendees included nephew David Steinberg and wife Barbara of Avalon; great-niece Donna Silverstein of Monroeville; and cousins Michael Melnick and Jackie Harris, plus longtime family friends Roselie Denny and Howard Ostfield, all of Pittsburgh.
All of Irv’s seven sisters and four brothers are now deceased, but he continues to live in the same East End house that the five Roth sons bought for the family when they returned from their WWII service. The first dinner in that house was to celebrate Thanksgiving 1945. Now, Irv offers its hospitality to out-of-town relatives whenever they visit Pittsburgh.
Cneses Israel on Negley Avenue was the Roth family’s shul for decades. When aging membership and shifting demographics forced its closure at the end of the 20th century, Irv enabled his niece Harriet’s Dallas-area synagogue, Congregation Beth Torah of Richardson, Texas, to receive one of its Torah scrolls. There, the Roth Torah has become a favorite for Shabbat and holiday readings. pjc