Elizabeth Township veteran knew value of hard work, education
As a bottling company sales manager who grew up with 11 siblings on a Butler County farm, Larry Osche understood the value of hard work.
"As soon as my father was discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1945, he went to work for Quaker State Coca-Cola filling bottles and driving a truck," said his daughter, Kimberly Barnes of Elizabeth Township. "By the time Dad retired from Quaker State in 1985, he was their sales manager and had also won numerous awards as one of their top salesmen."
Lawrence W. Osche of Elizabeth Township died on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, in Mt. Vernon of Elizabeth. He was 89.
"At one time, Dad serviced routes in Butler, Westmoreland and Allegheny counties," his daughter said.
And when he left Quaker State, not quite ready to completely retire, Mr. Osche joined U.S. Steel and spent 15 years working in the company's Irvin Works Hot Mill.
Born and raised in East Butler, Lawrence Osche was one of 12 children in the family of Walter and Gertrude Eyth Osche.
In 1937, after graduating from Butler High School, where he played football, Mr. Osche enrolled at Butler Business College, where he received his business diploma.
During World War II, Mr. Osche served in the Army Air Corps in Guatemala and Panama.
He married Elizabeth "Libby" Stewart of Butler, who at the time was employed by Bell Telephone Co.
"I never doubted that Larry was the man for me," said Mrs. Stewart, who in later years was employed in the offices of Elizabeth Township.
"My husband was a generous man, who was always willing to help anyone who had a need or a problem," she said.
Kimberly Barnes recalled what it was like growing up with a fun-loving father, who was a good provider and worked hard to put his daughters through college.
"My father was also a member or supported organizations like the Knights of Columbus and the United Commercial Travelers of Butler who were devoted to public service," said Elizabeth Barnes.
In addition to his daughter, Kimberly and his wife, Mr. Osche is survived by daughters Nancy Braum of Elizabeth Borough and Joanne O. Lang of Ramona, Calif.; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
He also is survived by sisters Marcella Coyle, Rose Marie Zarnick and Ruth Raybuck, all of Butler, Gertrude Fulton of North Apollo and Patricia Bachman of Inverness, Fla., and a brother, Barney Osche of Bernville in Berks County.
He was preceded in death by siblings Victoria, Carl and Floyd Osche, Rita Herald and Helen Lumley.
Visitation is from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Gilbert Funeral Home & Crematory Inc., 6028 Smithfield St., Elizabeth Township.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, Elizabeth Township, with the Rev. Rudolph F. Smoley officiating.
Interment with military honors will follow in Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Elizabeth Township.