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Ligonier officer loved family, helping people

Brian Bowling
| Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Sandy Leigh Oslosky, 58, of Ligonier, died Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Excela Westmoreland Hospital.
Sandy Leigh Oslosky, 58, of Ligonier, died Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Excela Westmoreland Hospital.

Ligonier police Officer Sandy Oslosky loved helping people and loved her family.

Even after her death, she helped people by being an organ donor, said her daughter Alyssia J. Oslosky.

“She cared more about others than she cared about herself,” she said.

That was true even when she was a child, said her mother, Cherie Ambrose.

“When she'd cook a meal, she'd make extra and give it to different people,” she said.

Sandy Leigh Oslosky, 58, of Ligonier, died of an illness on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Excela Westmoreland Hospital.

She was born Feb. 7, 1959, the daughter of Richard Sr. and Cherie Ambrose of Ligonier.

She earned a high school equivalence degree when she was 39 and was working in her husband's chiropractic office. During a vacation on the Delaware shore, a drunken driver nearly killed her, her husband and Alyssia.

Mrs. Oslosky was jogging while her husband, Andrew, and their daughter rode behind her on a bike. A Pontiac Firebird hit all three of them.

She was frustrated by the legal system's handling of the case.

“That's when she decided to become a police officer,” her mother said.

The decision surprised everyone.

“They said, ‘Why are you doing this now? You're too old.' She did it anyway,” Ambrose said.

Mrs. Oslosky earned an associate's degree in criminology at Westmoreland County Community College and worked as a part-time police officer while she obtained a bachelor's degree in criminology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Her story is included in a 2006 book, “Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running,” by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner.

“Sandy was the utmost caring police officer that I've known,” Ligonier police Chief Michael Matrunics said. “She loved her job. She loved helping people out.”

She took on a lot of responsibilities at the station, including the bicycle safety program, and handled most of the child abuse investigations, he said.

“You need that kind of person to do that kind of job ...,” Matrunics said. “She's been here since 2000. She's certainly going to be missed.”

She was a member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Fraternal Order of Police, Westmoreland Lodge No. 23.

As a child, her main interest was horses, her mother said.

“She studied clarinet for awhile,” Mrs. Ambrose said. “She didn't want anything to do with that. She wanted a horse.”

She had a Shetland pony when she was 6 and a larger horse when she got older.

Later in life, her main interests were her family and police work, but she also enjoyed hunting turkey and deer and any kind of fishing, her daughter said.

“She loved being outdoors and doing that kind of stuff,” Mrs. Oslosky said.

In the last three years, she particularly enjoyed spending time with her granddaughter, Julijana.

“That was her whole life. She was always taking her granddaughter to playgrounds and walks and little adventures around town,” Mrs. Oslosky said.

Grandmother and granddaughter learned from each other: “It was fun to watch them grow,” she said.

Mrs. Oslosky was preceded in death by a daughter, Karen Howe.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her husband, Dr. Andrew J. Oslosky; her daughter Alyssia J. Oslosky and her husband, Bradlee, of Ligonier; son Richard A. Oslosky of Ligonier; and a granddaughter, Julijana Marron.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the J. Paul McCracken Funeral Chapel Inc., 144 E. Main St., Ligonier, where her life will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Memorial contributions can be made to the funeral home to offset expenses.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1218, bbowling@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribBrian.

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