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Squirrel Hill shooting victim Dan Stein remembered as a kind soul

November 18, 2018

A Squirrel Hill man who once served as president of the New Light Congregation was among the 11 people killed inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue, family members told the Tribune-Review on Saturday.

Dan Stein, 71, was remembered as a kind soul who was always willing to lend a hand.

“He was always willing to help anybody,” said his nephew, Steven Halle. “He was somebody that everybody liked, very dry sense of humor and recently had a grandson who loved him.

“This is going to be a horrible loss for the baby, growing up without a grandfather,” said Halle, 55, of Pittsburgh’s Regent Square neighborhood. “We’re still trying to get everything together with my aunt and my cousins. It’s really hard right now.”

Halle said he and his brother, Howard, wrestled with their uncle growing up.

One of his last memories of Stein was a trip to Highland Beach, Fla., to move things out of his family’s condo and move his mother, Ruth, to Mt. Lebanon.

Halle’s father, Ernest Halle, died last month in Florida at 76.

Stein was a longtime member of New Light, served as its president for a time and even filled in to lead services. New Light congregation holds services at Tree of Life Congregation, which is where the shooting occurred.

“He was very active and he did everything,” Halle said. “He was there every Saturday for services.”

Federal authorities arrested Robert D. Bowers at the synagogue, which also holds services for two other congregations.

Halle said he went to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh to get information on the incident and to see if his uncle was a casualty. Halle met several other families in the same situation.

“I think everybody was in a fog today,” he said. “Everybody and their families are going to pull together and get through this. It’s a tragedy. Nobody wants this to happen.”

Hundreds of people participated in a candlelight vigil at the intersection of Forbes and Murray avenues in Squirrel Hill to mourn the victims. Many more offered thoughts and prayers via social media.

“Everybody in the U.S. is pulling for this city right now, and that’s comfort,” Halle said.

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