Dauler, Lee V.

Lee “Van” Dauler

From: randidauler@me.com
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:22:20 -0400
Subject: Van Dauler: June 13, 1943 – April 19, 2015

It is with great sadness that I announce the news of Van’s death, yesterday, on April 19th.  He faced his struggle with pancreatic cancer and other recent medical challenges with strength, courage, and humor … and inspired us all. 

I have attached an obituary below.  Additionally, a “news obituary” will appear in the Post Gazette this week, along with death notices in both the Post Gazette and Tribune Review.

Van lived 2 years beyond his cancer diagnosis, and I  — and Van, posthumously — publicly thank his dedicated oncologists, Dr. Herbert Zeh and Dr. Nathan Bahary for giving him this added time.  Both of these physicians, and their teams at Hillman and Shadyside, are passionately dedicated to their patients.  They made these difficult two years easier by their medical expertise, kindness and, knowing our temperaments, with humor.  I am enormously in their debt. 

I am most thankful to Van’s fellow trap-shooters for recently encouraging him to attend his 50th (!!!) consecutive Good Friday Shoot, despite his poor health.  Herculean efforts were made by many to make this happen, and Van was thrilled to achieve this long term goal.

Please join us as we celebrate Van’s life on Monday, June 1st at 7 pm at Pittsburgh Public Theater.  We will have several speakers, music and an open mike opportunity to share funny or serious stories about Van.  Please send me remembrances (1-2 paragraphs) of Van by May 16th about his impact on you, on others, or on the organizations you represent; a booklet will be distributed at the celebration for all to enjoy, or emailed to those unable to attend.

If you wish to make a memorial gift, please consider a donation to to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 5050 Centre Avenue, Suite 1B, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, and noted for Dr. Herbert Zeh’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.  Years before Van’s cancer diagnosis, he and I supported Dr. Zeh’s work, meeting with him periodically to discuss his lab’s cutting edge research and its opportunity to impact ALL cancer treatments, not just for pancreatic cancer.  Your gift will go a long way towards helping a broad spectrum of cancer patients, and is a wonderful way to memorialize Van.

Thank you for your support during these difficult days.

One final word to those of you who knew Van quite well:  he died without wearing socks — what socks?!! — and with his trusty cellphone in his hand.  🙂


Lee V. Dauler, Jr.
June 13, 1943 – April 19, 2015
Businessman and Philanthropist

Lee V. Dauler, Jr., known as “Van” to his friends and colleagues, died Sunday, April 19, 2015 from complications of pancreatic cancer. He faced his two year struggle with the disease with strength, grace and humor.

Mr. Dauler was Chairman of Neville Chemical Company, a hydrocarbon resin producer founded by his two grandfathers in 1925. He became a Director in 1979, Chairman in 1987, and President 1989 through 2005.   He was well respected by his employees for his leadership, thoughtfulness and friendliness.

Prior to returning to Pittsburgh in 1988, Mr. Dauler was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch in the Municipal Finance Department. In his early career he was a health care management consultant for Coopers & Lybrand and Peat, Marwick, Mitchell. He was a graduate of Yale (Class of ’65) and the Wharton School of Business (MBA 1968).

Mr. Dauler was Board President of the Western PA School for Blind Children from 2000 to 2014, serving on the board since 1989 and becoming the school’s interim executive director for six weeks in 2007. He served on the board (since 2004) and executive committee (since 2008) of the PIttsburgh Symphony Orchestra and chaired two committees during his 11 year tenure. He served in various board capacities for Shadyside Hospital and UPMC since the early 90s, and most recently was a member of the UPMC audit committee.

Through his family foundation, Mr. Dauler directed grants to organizations in the Pittsburgh region, including the W. PA School for Blind Children, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary and UPMC Cancer Centers. Ironically, Mr. Dauler was supporting the pancreatic cancer research of Dr. Herbert Zeh prior to being diagnosed with the disease himself.

Just recently, Mr. Dauler achieved a long-term goal of being the first person to participate in 50 consecutive Good Friday Shoots, an invitational trap-shooting event. His recent medical challenges made the achievement all the more remarkable.

In addition to trap-shooting, Mr. Dauler loved computers, astronomy, cooking, playing backgammon and cheering on the PIttsburgh Penguins.

Mr. Dauler is preceded in death by his parents, Margaret Hodge Dauler McPherson and Lee V. Dauler, and sister, Margaret Dauler Wilson. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Randi Kanuk Dauler, a son and daughter-in-law, Cameron Dauler and Holly O’Shea, and grandchildren Hodge, Addison and Coe.

Friends and colleagues are welcome to join the family to celebrate the life of Van Dauler on Monday, June 1st, at 7 pm at PIttsburgh Public Theater. Memorial gifts may be made to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 5050 Centre Avenue, Suite 1B, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, and noted for Dr. Herbert Zeh’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.