Longtime Mandel School faculty member Joe Pyles passes away

Joseph PylesJoseph Pyles (SAS ’52), a longtime faculty member of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, passed away at the age of 94. Well-known in Northeast Ohio as a social worker at the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Families, the Catholic Counseling Center of Cleveland, and Metro General Hospital, he was also a mentor of Jerry Strom, senior instructor at the Mandel School.

But long before all that, Pyles was a Buffalo Soldier of the 92nd Division in World War II. Unlike his white Army counterparts, Pyles, as a person of color, was not allowed to carry a loaded gun, boarded the bus in the rear and was served out of the back door of local cafes. In 2012, he told The Plain Dealer about his experiences facing prejudice while defending his country. Read the interview and watch a video.

Pyles’ wake is today (Feb. 21) at 9:30 a.m. at St. Anne’s Church in Cleveland Heights, immediately followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m.