Mary Dolores Esser Oravec, of Springdale, peacefully passed away on Monday, June 18 at St. Margaret Hospital surrounded by family and at peace with Christ. She was born on July 15, 1932 in Springdale, PA to the late Frank and Mildred Esser in Springdale, PA. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 39 years Andrew R. Oravec.
Dolores battled cancer for the last 2 years but lived gracefully throughout her journey. Her zest for life, positive attitude, and independence were simply amazing. Those who knew Dolores can attest, that a negative word was never uttered from her lips. She was a strong and beautiful woman, and proudly shared with everyone who stopped by that she would soon be 86.
Dolores is survived by her sister Louise Sparks and husband Garry of Gardnerville, Nevada, nephews Chris (Mary) Wenzel of Bakersfield, CA; Jeff (Rhea) Wenzel of Cologne, Germany; great niece Sydney and great nephew Caden; niece Marcia Mlynarski Wallander, husband Chuck, great niece Elizabeth and great nephews Charlie & Andrew of Springdale, PA; sister-in-law Susie (Dave) Karan of Minnesota and many friends and relatives. Pictures of all her family members were proudly displayed throughout her home.
Dolores was born and raised in Springdale, Pennsylvania and was a member of St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Springdale, PA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Music from Duquesne University, graduating Magna Cum Laude and earned additional degrees in education and computer programming.
Dolores taught RCIA at St. Francis of Assisi in Harmarville and at St. Alphonsus Parish in Springdale. She was a Eucharistic Minister and volunteered in her parish and at West Penn Hospital. She also was the organist at St. Francis for many years.
Dolores was a reporter for the Newport Haven News in New Haven Conn. and later returned to Pittsburgh and worked as a computer programmer for a Pittsburgh Consulting firm.
Dolores was kindhearted, intelligent, loving, accepting and stood for all who could not stand for themselves. She was an amazing and gentle caregiver to her mother, mother-in-law and husband over many years. She had wonderful sense of humor and was an eternal optimist. Most of all, Dolores had a deep faith in Christ that was unwavering and calming to those around her. Her ultimate gift was bringing peace and understanding of faith and eternal life to those approaching their end of life.
Dolores was loved children, was an avid reader, theologian, historian, animal lover and a great hugger. Her gentle smile and sparkling blue eyes will be missed by her friends and family.
Friends will be received from 9 to 10:45 a.m. on Monday, June 25th at the CHARLES B. JARVIE SPRINGDALE FUNERAL HOME INC., 801 Pittsburgh St., Springdale with a Christian Funeral Mass to be celebrated following at 11 a.m. in St. Alphonsus Church, Springdale. Burial will follow in Lakewood Memorial Gardens, Dorseyville. www.jarviefuneralhome.com