Michael Olshavsky

Born: Wed., Sep. 24, 1919
Died: Sun., Dec. 8, 2019


Visitation

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Wed., Dec. 11, 2019
Location: St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church


Divine Liturgy

12:00 PM Wed., Dec. 11, 2019
Location: St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church


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Michael Olshavsky, of Hermitage, passed away peacefully on December 8th, 2019 at St. Paul’s Senior
Living Community in Greenville, PA. He was 100 years old.
He was born September 24, 1919, to Peter and Mary (Petak) Olshavsky, the second of nine
children. Growing up on Reed Street in Sharon, he was a child during the Great Depression. As a
teenager, he had multiple money-making ventures, including selling the pelts of small animals he
trapped along the Shenango River.  To further assist his family, he joined the Civilian
Conservation Corps in 1939.  He spent a year working near the Natural Bridge in Virginia.  Mike
earned $25 a month, sending twenty dollars home to his family and keeping the remaining five.
Upon completing his CCC work, he landed a job sweeping floors at the Westinghouse Electric
Plant in Sharon. His work at the plant was soon interrupted by World War II. In 1942, he enlisted
in the Navy. Assigned to Blimp Squadron #23, he became an Aviation Machinist Mate Second
Class. He kept the blimp motors going as his squadron patrolled along the Gulf Coast, keeping
watch for enemy boats and submarines. After his honorable discharge, he returned to the
Westinghouse Plant, where he worked as a coil winder, winding some of the largest coils ever
made at the plant.
In 1950, he married Helen Roman at St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Farrell. A life-
long parish member, he put up booths and lighting for the annual church bazaar and even called
out bingo numbers. In addition to his work at the church, Mike built four homes with his four
brothers. Mostly self-taught, they did it all from electrical wiring, plumbing, woodwork,
plastering, to bricklaying.
Retiring from Westinghouse after 39 years of work, he kept busy farming several acres with his
brothers, Andy and John. Mike’s green thumb ensured plenty of produce to sell. He loved his
Hungarian Wax peppers, often eating them right off the vine. He also enjoyed spending time at
the Farrell VFW Post 5286 and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State.
His wife Helen died in 1991 after 40 years of marriage. He was very dedicated to her and cared
for her at home for many years.
Several years later, he met Kay Ruffner, who was his companion until she died in 2008. They
enjoyed dancing and traveling to Florida as well as out west.
Turning ninety did not slow him down, as he enjoyed his granddaughter’s wedding in New
Orleans, showing off his dancing skills on Bourbon Street. His lifelong love of big band music
and dancing began at the Yankee Ballroom.
Mike was preceded in death by his four brothers Andrew, Peter, John, and Edward and his four
sisters Ann Koshan, Delores Beach, Helen Bottenfield, and Irene Brantingham. He was also
preceded in death by seven cousins.
Mike is survived by two daughters Michaelene (Mickey) and her husband Joseph Gula of
Greenville, PA, and Susan and her husband Glenn Hobaugh of Herndon, VA.

Mike is also survived by four grandchildren, Emily Gula and her husband Elijah Sproles of
Contoocook, NH, Benjamin Gula and his wife Michelle of Weymouth, MA, Jeremy Hobaugh
and his wife Kimberly, and Amy Hobaugh all of Herndon, VA. In addition, Mike is survived by
4 great-grandchildren, Lily and Eli Sproles and Crosby and Rebecca Hobaugh.
When his grandchildren where toddlers, Grandpa Mike enjoyed teaching them to say, “Simply
Amazing.” The same could be same for himself – his zest for life was simply amazing.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul’s in Greenville, St. Michael Byzantine
Church 2230 Highland Road in Hermitage, or Buhl Park 715 Hazen Road in Hermitage.

Friends may call Wednesday December 11th, 2019 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm in St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church 2230 Highland Rd. Hermitage, PA 16148.
Funeral Divine Liturgy will be held at 12:00 pm in St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church with Father Kevin Marks, officiating.

Full military honors will be offered following funeral divine liturgy.

Burial will take place in St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Cemetery

Arrangements entrusted to SHERMAN Funeral Home & Cremation Service 2201 Highland Rd. Hermitage, PA.

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Cyril Furlan
   Posted Wed December 11, 2019
To the family of Mike Olshavsky:
I regret that I was not able to come to calling hours. I was out of town during calling hours.
When I was growing up both your father and mother would visit our home. I have fond memories of your dad and mine talking over a few shots of whiskey. Your dad was a person of the finest character, as was your mother. I miss them both, I hope they are joined in spirit.

Please accept my heart felt condolences on the loss of your dad.

Cyril Furlan
Son of Ann and Herman Furlan
West Middlesex, Pennsylvania


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