Officer’s Life Revolved Around Serving Others

 

From The Tribune-Review by Bob Stiles, February 15, 2014

Corky Alberts was his son’s first choice as best man at his wedding.

Walter J. ‘Corky’ Alberts, 84, of Pittsburgh, died Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in the company of his loving and devoted wife of 63 years, Dolores ‘Dolly’ Mahfood Alberts, and his devoted son, Michael G. (Karen) Alberts.

“I just thought he was the best man I knew, and he was my best friend,” said Michael G. Alberts of Mt. Lebanon.

Walter J. “Corky” Alberts of Pittsburgh died on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, from complications of a stroke, his son said. He was 84.

Mr. Alberts worked his way up from park patrolman to acting superintendent of the Allegheny County Police Department. He took pride in never having to pull his weapon, his son said.

“He just felt that everybody could be spoken to,” his son said. “He just had a way with people, and he was widely respected. He never went out of his way to hurt somebody.”

“His idea was you waited it out, and most of the time things dissipated,” said Pittsburgh attor-ney Robert Lampl, who was married to Mr. Alberts’ late daughter, Leslie.

“It came from being a neighborhood guy, and he thought cops should be assisters, not enforcers,” Lampl added.

When his daughter died from cancer in 2000, Mr. Alberts helped Lampl.

“He absolutely helped me raise my boys,” the attorney said. “Each day he was there. He was always doing favors for people. That’s the kind of guy he was.”

Mr. Alberts and others raised funds in the fight against cancer, the Special Olympics and other causes. “His favorite line was: ‘Can I do anything for you?’ ” Lampl said.

Mr. Alberts and his son shared a love of sports and regularly attended Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh football games together.

Mr. Alberts grew up in the Hill District in a family of humble means and passed up several collegiate athletic scholarships to enlist in the Army during the Korean War. While stationed in Europe, he played in the Armed Forces Spaghetti Bowl in Italy, his son said.

When the war ended, he began courting his wife of 63 years, Dolores “Dolly” Mahfood Alberts, who was with him when he died.

He served as president of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police and was a lobbyist for municipal police. He worked to institute the statewide secured pension fund for officers, Lampl said.

Mr. Alberts’ list of friends reads like a Who’s Who in Allegheny County, including county and state judges.

In addition to his wife, son and daughter-in-law, Karen Alberts, Mr. Alberts is survived by five grandsons, Ross Corky Lampl, Sy Oscar Lampl, Luke Walter Alberts, Jacob Michael Alberts and Joshua Mylan Alberts.

Friends will be received 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in William Slater II Funeral Service, 1650 Greentree Road, Scott Township. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in Church of the Epiphany, 1018 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh.

Donations may be made to Special Olympics Allegheny County, 404 First St., Heidelberg, PA 15106.

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