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YMCA counselor touched many lives

| Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005

Dick Oglietti was a very caring person who always thought of others before himself, according to those who knew him best, his family and friends.

"He was the model for a really nice guy," said Al Kave, Mr. Oglietti's brother-in-law. "After God made him, he broke the mold."

Richard A. Oglietti, 54, died suddenly Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005, at the home he shared with his father in Derry Township.

Kave said Mr. Oglietti dedicated his life to his family and friends, his religion and those individuals he worked with at the Greensburg YMCA's adult training facility and in the Westmoreland County Special Olympics.

"We're just still in shock," said Sandy Tempo, program director for the YMCA adult training facility, where Mr. Oglietti had worked for the past 19 years as a caseworker. "It's so sudden of a death, I can't yet believe it. I don't want to believe it."

Mr. Oglietti, at any given time, worked with any of the 36 individuals in the training program, but he had five men in particular that he worked with closely, helping them develop the life skills they may need.

"He preferred outdoor outings with his individuals, especially at Keystone State Park," Tempo said. "He was awesome with his men. He was very sincere and dedicated to their health and well-being. He set an example to those around him."

While some of the individuals in the training program may not fully comprehend what has happened, Tempo said the Special Olympians Mr. Oglietti coached for years have been especially hard hit by word of his death.

"We've been sharing pictures and memories with them," Tempo said.

While Mr. Oglietti's work meant a great deal to him, he also had many outside interests, including riding his bicycle with friends and working out at the YMCA.

He played baseball and football when he was younger, and that love for sports led him to be an avid Notre Dame and Penn State football fan, according to Kave.

"He was really enjoying this season with both teams doing so well," Kave said.

Mr. Oglietti rarely missed the 5:30 p.m. Saturday Mass at Holy Family Church in Latrobe.

"He was very religious. He had a strong faith," said Mr. Oglietti's sister, Carol Kave. "He lived his religion."

"Dick was very knowledgeable about his religion, practicing it on a daily basis," Tempo said. "It was no secret to any of us that he would never tell a lie."

Mr. Oglietti lived much of his adult life with his parents, and after his mother died in 2001, he helped his father with the cooking and cleaning.

"Dick did pretty much everything for his dad," Al Kave said. "His family meant a great deal to him, and we are really broken up over this."

Recalling their friend and co-worker, the staff at the YMCA's adult training facility issued a statement yesterday saying, "Dick's sense of humor and jokes meant a lot to all of us, especially when he knew we needed a boost. He always saw the good in bad situations. In a difficult situation, Dick would say, 'It could have been worse.'"

Mr. Oglietti's family and friends will be received from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. today in the John J. Lopatich Funeral Home Inc., 601 Weldon St., Latrobe.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Friday in Holy Family Church, Latrobe, with Monsignor Donald J. Mondello as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Latrobe.

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