Olga T. O'HaraDecember 21, 1920 ~ June 8, 2017 (age 96)
Olga Tarcha O’hara., 96 of Butler passed away Thursday June 6 surrounded by her loving family.
She was born December 21st 1920 and was the daughter of Russian immigrants Alexander & Xenia Bosko. She married Frank Tarcha in 1936, who passed away at an early age and she re-married years later to Woodrow(Woody) O’hara whom she met in Florida who happened to be from Penn Hills – a small world for sure.
She worked at the State Police Barracks Troop D Butler for 26 years and early on served as their cook, seamstress, and cleaning lady. She then worked into being their dispatch operator and always made sure the police officers knew where they were going and what to expect in great detail. Remember they did not have a GPS back then. In her early years, she worked as a machinist during WWII at Pullman Standard and when she was retired and in her 60’s she worked as a security guard at Sanibel Island Florida, equipped with a badge and packing a ‘piece’. I would not have wanted to cross paths with her.
Olga (grandma, “baba”) had a zest for life and had such determination that nobody, and I mean nobody was going to tell her she couldn’t do something or accomplish her goal. She was always very adventurous and loved to travel as she embarked on a month-long cruise to South America specifically time spent in Ecuador. She traveled through Europe and spent much time in Italy and Germany.
She was generations packed full of history and the stories of her life were truly interesting and inspirational. She grew up during the Great Depression and talked about food rations of eating a potato a day, and washing their hair with egg and to not get it too “hot” so it wouldn’t bake in her hair, and living on a dirt floor. During the ‘prohibition era’ she acted as a ‘whiskey’ runner as she called it and made money carrying ‘flasks’ of whisky through the streets of Lyndora. She ran off to New York at a very young age, after her first child, because of an unsettled home life but eventually came back and rekindled the marriage. She told stories of meeting the great boxer Jack Dempsey on an elevator in New York and turning down a slow dance to the great Art Rooney Sr. at a wedding!! Grandma, I said Steeler tickets for life were given up.!
She battled and beat cancer 3 times in her life! and was detected at an early age. She never let any illness, broken bone, or disease get in her way and truly had determination in everything she did. As her years where winding down she never wanted help, never wanted to be pampered, or coddled. She was going to tell you when her driving days were done and then she would walk a mile to the store and push back the cart full of whatever she thought she needed that day, as she loved to shop. Her garage was filling up with carts, but she eventually would walk them back. You would just scratch your head and wonder, how does she do it. We later found out that she was probably walking on a fractured hip and didn’t know it!
She lived on her own till she was 95 and then finally succumbed, (not without a fight) to move into her daughter Joan’s home and be taken care of. As we struggled for care, and the toll on her daughter, we prayed for help and we got sent not one, but four angels as care-givers to help take care of her. Darlene Covert, Nora Beachem, Barbara Brown and Etta Elliott were truly incredible people that nurtured her to the end. We cannot thank you enough.
She is survived by her daughters Joan (John) Russo and Patty (Ted) Heberling, grandsons, John Russo, Jayme Russo and Brian Russo and granddaughters Traci (Todd ) Matthews and Kristin (Jeff) Sickeler. Ten great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents, was preceded in death by 1st husband Frank Tarcha, 2nd husband Woodrow O’hara and grandson Steven W. Russo and 5 sisters and brothers.
Olga, mom. Grandma and ‘Baba”, you will be sadly missed as you lived an incredible life and hopefully your ‘never give up’ attitude will carry through generations to come. Rest in Peace, and quit yelling at your sister Manya, you just got there. AMEN!!
Friends will be received at the Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham St. Butler, PA 16001, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Monday. A Blessing Service will be held at 12:00 pm Monday from the Funeral Home with Rev. Harry Bielewicz to officiate. Interment will follow at the North Side Cemetery in Butler.