Latrobe woman loved travel, history |
Obituary Stories

Latrobe woman loved travel, history

Patrick Varine
Submitted photo/Lopatich Funeral Home
Olive Hostovich of Latrobe died Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

One year in the late 1990s, Olive Hostovich learned she’d be hosting the extended family for Christmas in Latrobe.

“We came from all over the country,” said her daughter Laura Braun, of Glenmoore, Chester County. “California, from Texas; we lived in Philadelphia; my sister lived in Williamsport; aunts, uncles; it was probably about 35 people.”

Ms. Hostovich started baking cookies in November.

“And she didn’t just make your basic chocolate chip cookies,” Braun said. “The freezer was so full of cookies, she had to start putting them out on the deck.”

That Christmas, the Hostovich family had more than 170 dozen cookies to enjoy.

Olive Hostovich died Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, of complications from dementia. She was 89.

Mrs. Hostovich was born Aug. 29, 1930, in Latrobe, a daughter of the late James and Malina (Gangemi) Lizza.

Despite a love of travel, she was a lifelong Latrobe resident. In her younger days, she worked as a court stenographer and a den mother between trips with her husband John to places such as Germany and Belgium.

“There were five kids, and when friends would come over, she was like everybody’s mom,” Braun said. “There was a younger girl who lived up the street, and when we were in school she would walk down to visit with my mother and they’d bake. After my dad retired, she would babysit the neighborhood kids in Lawson Heights.”

Mrs. Hostovich had a deep love for gardening, be it flowers or food.

“She planted zinnias, snapdragons, petunias and every other kind of flower every year. She could grow anything,” Braun said. “My grandmother lived two blocks away and had a little canning cellar in her basement, and they’d can tomatoes, pears and everything else from the garden.”

Mrs. Hostovich was also active, walking three miles a day as often as possible. She was a longtime member of the Westmoreland Mall Walkers group.

“She was in really good condition, and that helped the dementia from progressing as fast,” Braun said.

She was also a student of history, taking trips in later years to places such as Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, Md., where two of her grandchildren attended military school.

“We went to Gettysburg and a lot of places like that,” Braun said. “She really loved history.”

Braun said her mother could be a little shy at first, but quickly got over it.

“In her later years, she’d talk with anyone about anything,” she said. “She just loved people. She became such good friends with people where we live in Philadelphia that several are coming across the state for the funeral.”

Mrs. Hostovich is survived by one son, John L. Hostovich of North Wales; four daughters, Laura A. Braun and husband, Robert, of Glenmoore; Ellen A. Grimmett and husband, Eric, of Austin, Texas; Carol M. Koppenhaver and husband, David, of Montoursville; and Lisa Blackburn and husband, James, of Mira Mesa, Calif.; a brother, Arthur B. Lizza of Latrobe; a sister, Vinn Lizza of Latrobe; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. at John J. Lopatich Funeral Home, 601 Weldon St., Latrobe. An 11:30 a.m. funeral will be held at Saint Vincent Basilica on the Unity Township campus. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Obituaries
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.