Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show founder John DeSantis dies at age 69

John DeSantis gave the ideal assistance.

“Growing up, my friends would always talk to my father for tips and my sons often requested him for tips. They felt relaxed all-around him – and he gave good information. They would communicate to him in self confidence and know he wouldn’t inform everyone what they talked about,” claimed DeSantis’ son, Mark Moore.

Those people words and phrases of knowledge will have on by DeSantis’ memory.

DeSantis, the creator of the Pittsburgh Dwelling & Backyard Present, a purchasing market for 39 a long time, died Saturday from brain cancer. He was 69.

Slater Funeral Service on Greentree Street is managing the arrangements. Viewings will be held Friday and Saturday with a funeral on Jan. 10 at Calvary United Methodist Church on the North Aspect.

His death comes two months right before the exhibit will celebrate its 40th anniversary – March 4-13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Centre, Downtown. The present was a lot more than a place to obtain the state-of-the-artwork kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures and the hottest in home furniture and landscaping for DeSantis.

It was his passion.

DeSantis organized the far more than 1,800 sellers that crammed the convention heart. He hosted the occasion all through the beginnings of the pandemic in March 2020, closing a couple times early simply because of the spread of covid-19.

“It will be so challenging carrying out the display without having him,” stated Moore, who has been the affiliate director and will become govt director. “The display will hold me immersed and consume me the following number of months, which is not a undesirable point. It is a dwelling legacy and a tribute to my father.”

He, his spouse Kimberly and their sons, Shane, 18, and Riley, 16, ended up DeSantis’ environment, his son stated.


Courtesy of Mark Moore

John DeSantis, (back again) creator of the Pittsburgh Property & Backyard garden Show, is pictured with his grandsons, Shane and Riley. DeSantis died on Jan. 1.


The spring show will be a celebration of the event’s 40th anniversary and will include some variety of a memorial to DeSantis, Moore claimed.

They strategy to carry on the fall show. Moore stated DeSantis under no circumstances prepared on retiring from the exhibit.

“He always wished this display to continue,” Moore claimed. “He had a deep really like for the present and claimed he would do it without the need of getting paid out – he liked it so much.”

Moore, 52, of the North Facet, used the final couple of months caring for his father, who lived in the exact community. He explained his dad did not want people to know he was sick due to the fact he did not want to ruin their holiday break. He cherished celebrating the new 12 months, so a friend of Moore’s explained his dad dying on Jan. 1 implies that he made positive each individual 12 months there will be a “toast to John.”

He had a few months of radiation prior to the fall show but did not tell any person at the function. This was his second bout with most cancers. He was in remission from kidney cancer in 2018.

DeSantis and Moore saw 88 Jimmy Buffet concerts all in excess of the environment.

“My father was a ‘Parrot Head,’” Moore mentioned. “We saw live shows in Paris and London and Dublin.”

Moore recognized his father dropping his harmony on a trip to the Bahamas in August. When they returned residence, a scan showed mind lesions. Surgery was out of the dilemma.

Moore stated his father did the present for the sellers and the individuals who attended as a way to join homeowners with contractors and other companies to aid make their living spaces greater. Pittsburgh was the go-to clearly show, said Moore, who is president of the Property & Back garden Present Executives International, an business of demonstrate producers.

Phone calls and email messages and textual content messages have been coming in from all around the earth giving condolences, Moore reported.

“One of the sellers left a information indicating ‘Your father cared about us, and normally handled us reasonably,’” Moore said.

The conference heart reached out and mentioned “it has our back again with the impending show” and they will do whatever Moore requires, he reported. Moore has acquired messages stating the organization misplaced a “true talent.”

He explained he picked up things just by currently being around his father. Moore’s oldest son is also section of the company.

Moore reported he hopes to display his son the exact things his father confirmed him.


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Evaluate

John DeSantis, creator of the Pittsburgh Dwelling & Backyard Exhibit, died on Jan. 1.


Matt Hillebrand, a single of the co-owners of Don’s Appliances, a household show vendor, said by way of e-mail that he satisfied DeSantis and Moore for the duration of the initial year he experienced a booth at the residence display in 1998.

“What I located really memorable was how he preferred us to thrive in our display and have that momentum as a result of the yr. He cared about us, and how our exhibit was,” Hillebrand claimed. “As the several years handed, I grew to know John and Mark on a particular level and discovered that his existence targeted all over his young ones and grandkids. John is a particular person this city will certainly skip.”

Linda Barnicott, an artist from Brentwood regarded for her portraits of Pittsburgh, has been a vendor for 26 decades. She recalled her initially conversation with DeSantis when she requested to be a part of the clearly show.

“He was so welcoming,” reported Barnicott, who dreamt about viewing DeSantis at the home clearly show on Sunday night time just after she read the news he died. “He gave me an chance that improved the trajectory of my occupation. I was not certain I would market considerably but I bought ample to pay back for the value of staying there in the to start with two days. I am so grateful for him. When he stopped by in the course of the show, he generally produced me sense like I was the most effective man or woman in the entire world. He made me really feel particular. He was these types of a good male.”

She stated on a North Aspect residence tour she was invited to see DeSantis’ home, which include the educate exhibit. It was stunning, she said.

“Our hearts are with the DeSantis household through this complicated time,” reported Hollie Geitner, director of communications for Duquesne Mild Corporation, a title sponsor of the property display through e-mail. “John’s electricity and enthusiasm introduced so a great deal existence to every little thing he prepared. We relished performing with him more than the past two a long time on the annual House and Back garden Exhibit. He will be tremendously skipped in the area.”

DeSantis frequently took his grandsons on vacations and would go for recurrent walks with them, where they would gather sticks and pretend sword fight. He experienced a person of those people sticks resting in the vicinity of his fire that Moore discovered suitable soon after his dad handed absent.

DeSantis took the boys to Gus & YiaYia’s for an ice ball deal with in West Park. An avid practice collector, DeSantis and his grandsons frequented the Carnegie Science Center to look at “The Polar Categorical.”

The three watched it on his iPad in his remaining times. “Tears rolled down his confront,” Moore reported of DeSantis as he sat with his grandsons.

“My dad is irreplaceable,” he reported. “There is a enormous void that can never be stuffed. Immediately after listening to all of these variety text, I pulled my mobile phone out to contact my father simply because I desired to explain to him that there has been these kinds of an outpouring of like.”

DeSantis was appointed by then-Mayor Sophie Masloff to lead the city’s Historic Critique Fee.

“The North Aspect is these kinds of an unbelievable neighborhood many thanks to my dad’s enthusiasm for preserving it,” Moore reported.

DeSantis served restore Moore’s household. On Thanksgiving, DeSantis looked close to and mentioned, “What a terrific area,” in accordance to Moore. “It was like he was getting it all in for 1 final time.”

In his very last couple of times, when DeSantis was as well weak to chat, they communicated by using a whiteboard, where Moore wrote concerns.

“I would request what he considered about this and that concerning the property exhibit, and he would generate an answer mainly because he often had so substantially to share,” Moore mentioned. “He was usually prepared to explain to me what he considered. When I questioned about doing the house display with no him, he wrote, ‘Son, you’ve got this.’”

Those people ended up his ultimate text of tips.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review employees writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or through Twitter .

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