John Pittenger, 79, a former Pennsylvania secretary of education, died Sunday in Lancaster from complications of Parkinson's disease.

A lawyer and Army veteran, Mr. Pittenger became involved in Democratic politics and served in the state House for two nonconsecutive terms.

In 1971, he joined the administration of Gov. Milton Shapp and became secretary of education the following year. He later served as dean of Rutgers University Law School in Camden from 1981 to 1986 and was an active member of the faculty until becoming professor emeritus in 1994. He is survived by his wife, Pauline, and two stepsons.

- AP