Charles Gene Hirsh
December 5, 2017

Visitation Information

December 7 2017 - 1:00 pm
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside

Funeral Information

December 7 2017 - 2:00 pm
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside

HIRSH, CHARLES GENE; Son of the late Sophie and Manny Hirsh, died on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at the age of 82. “Chas” is survived by his wife, Elissa Karp Hirsh, who was the center of his life for 46 years. Chas is also survived by two daughters and their families: Rabbi Erin Hirsh, son-in-law Ezra Sherman and granddaughter Zoe Hirsh Sherman of Glenside, PA; and Amanda Hirsh, son-in-law Dan Hirsh and grandson Ryan Hirsh of Pittsburgh. Being the father of two strong, successful daughters and the grandfather of two cherished grandchildren were the most gratifying parts of his life. Chas is also survived by his beloved sister, Joan Hirsh Chelemer and in-laws, the late Harold Chelemer, Diane Karp Rudov & Walter Rudov, Norman Karp & Nancy Friedman Karp, as well as many nephews, nieces and cousins. Born in 1934, Chas grew up in East Liberty. He was always proud that Hirsh’s Drug Store, owned and operated by his pharmacist father, was a long-time fixture of the neighborhood. Chas learned to value generosity and compassion by watching how his father treated his customers. Chas graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1957 with a business degree and soon began a tremendously rewarding career as a high school teacher. He taught social studies, psychology and political science at Taylor Allderdice for 30 years. “Mr. Hirsh” was an inspiring teacher who loved to engage his students in robust discussions and created opportunities for them to learn outside the classroom.  At 36, Chas met his beloved Lissa on a blind date and they were engaged four weeks later. Together, they raised Erin and Mandy in Squirrel Hill among close family and friends. Chas taught his daughters and his students about the importance of civic engagement, and he proudly lived his life accordingly. Chas’ liberal Democratic values were indivisible from his Jewish values, and a core sense of human dignity and compassion informed his politics and activism. A life-long member of the ACLU, Chas served on the board and as vice president of the Pittsburgh chapter for many years. Chas joined the 14th Ward Club, where he became the committee-man for his district and was active in local politics for the next 40 years. He was proud to be the treasurer for Rich Fitzgerald’s campaign for City Council. Chas and Lissa co-founded the Beeler Street Association and became active members of Congregation Dor Hadash, where Chas served as vice president of ritual and then of administration. Chas represented Dor Hadash on the board of East End Cooperative Ministry, through which he delivered Meals on Wheels in the neighborhood in which he was raised. Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Thursday at 2 PM. Visitation one hour prior to services (1 - 2 PM). Interment Homewood Cemetery. The family would appreciate contributions in Chas’ memory and suggests three organizations in particular: the American Civil Liberties Union, PO Box 23058, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or Congregation Dor Hadash, 5898 Wilkins Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or Brother’s Brother, 1200 Galveston Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233.


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Mr. Hirsh is an unforgettable part of my high school memories. I was blessed to have him for Psych, and his inimitable teaching style and genuine care for his students were an inspiration. Although I am miles away, my thoughts will be win Pittsburgh today.

By Judey (Foley) Kalchik - December 07, 2017

I will always remember Chas asking me to join the Dor Hadash Board as Membership Chair and though it was a brief tenure, I always felt a special relationship based on his good opinion of me. I also came to an early meeting at your Beeler Street home and became active in volunteering on the Interfaith program to aid seniors. I will miss his smile at services.

By Paula Engel - December 06, 2017