Facing cancer, Budway healed ‘by giving’

Courtesy Photo. Duquesne professor Maureen Budway performs at the Great American Songbook concert in November. Budway, who battled breast cancer, died Jan. 12.

Courtesy Photo. Duquesne professor Maureen Budway performs at the Great American Songbook concert in November. Budway, who battled breast cancer, died Jan. 12.

By Julian Routh | News Editor

After a 13-year battle with breast cancer, adjunct voice professor Maureen Budway died Jan. 12 at age 51.

Budway, who had been a faculty member at Duquesne since 1986, was a renowned singer in several different styles, including jazz and classical. She was the “perfect teacher,” effectively coaching students in various styles while further cultivating her own skills, according to Mike Tomaro, director of jazz studies at Duquesne.

Adjunct voice instructor Patricia Donohue said Budway fought cancer with incredible courage and poise.

“Even when she was dealing with her illness and the chemo and the wigs and feeling horrible, Maureen was out taking care of other women going through chemotherapy,” Donohue said. “I said, ‘Maureen, how are you going to heal?’ She said, ‘By giving.’”

Budway, a Duquesne graduate, performed with the River City Brass and the Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra.

Budway performed at a November benefit concert for pancreatic cancer that was organized by Tomaro, whose wife died from the disease. Tomaro said he told Budway that if she wasn’t feeling up to it, she didn’t have to go on stage.

“She showed up, and she sang beautifully,” Tomaro said.

Her resiliency carried into the classroom, according to Tomaro.

“When times were tough, and she wasn’t feeling great, no matter what she was going through, she was always upbeat at school,” Tomaro said. “I never heard a student say a bad word about her. She was a great teacher and a great person.”

Donohue said she will keep Budway’s memory alive by spreading her music.

“I love her, and I know that wherever she is, I don’t believe she’s resting in peace,” Donohue said. “She’s up there trying to get a really good combo together. There’s no rest in that girl.”

A memorial service will be held Friday at St. Bede Church, 509 S. Dallas Ave., in Point Breeze at 11 a.m.

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