Junior high teacher felt he could change young lives
Bob O'Leary's people skills and concern for others served him well throughout his long life.
He served his country during World War II, established a disc jockey business later in life and is remembered for the many years he spent as a social studies teacher.
Robert E. O'Leary of Monroeville died on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Allegheny General Hospital, North Side. He was 88.
“My father felt that the years he spent as a junior high school social studies teacher enabled him to be available to students at the most impressionable times of their lives,” said his daughter, Janet Balas of Monroeville.
Born and raised in the South Side, Robert O'Leary was one of two sons of printer Frank O'Leary and his wife, Catherine Ann Cooper O'Leary.
After graduating from South Hills High School, Mr. O'Leary entered the Army, where he served as an officer in the Quartermaster Corps, stationed in the Philippines upon the surrender of Japan in World War II.
Upon being discharged, Mr. O'Leary, with the help of the GI Bill, enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received bachelor's and master's degrees in education. He taught for 40 years, retiring in 1989 from the former Monroeville Junior High School.
Mr. O'Leary and his wife, June Lockhart O'Leary, who enjoyed dancing, then started their DJ business, planning club dances and social affairs for 20 years.
“My father, who was outgoing and personable, did the announcing, and my mother picked out the music she thought was most appropriate for the affair,” Balas said. “Among their clients were Tiffany Dance Club and the Pittsburgh chapter of USABDA (United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association).”
In addition to daughter Janet and wife, June, whom he married in 1948, Mr. O'Leary is survived by his sons, Robert O'Leary of Murrysville and Kevin O'Leary of Oakmont; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and three stepgreat-grandchildren.
Mr. O'Leary was preceded in death by a brother, Frank O'Leary.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Gene H. Corl Funeral Chapel and Cremation Center of Monroeville, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday with Pastor Nancy Titus of Bethel United Presbyterian Church, Monroeville, officiating. Interment will follow in Cross Roads Cemetery, Monroeville.
Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Linebacker Timmons hoping for contract extension
- Fire destroys home in Springfield
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis’ intangibles provide 1st-line value
- Humane Society lifts quarantine on dogs at North Side shelter
- Butler man charged in connection with fatal ATV crash
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Uniontown teen charged in shooting of friend
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Emotional send-off awaits Pitt seniors
- Starkey: Artie Rowell’s incredible odyssey
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby