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Gulf Oil retiree from Mt. Lebanon had a passion for travel

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008

M. Lois Applegate's lifelong fascination with foreign languages, culture and history led her to earn a master's degree.

But it wasn't until she retired and had the chance to travel that she was able to live out her passion.

"She really enjoyed experiencing firsthand different parts of the United States and the world," said her cousin, Jim Wilson, of Whitehall.

"She saw great beauty in the people, architecture and nature that she encountered in her travels and had a particular fondness for Greece. In her eyes, this was life at its finest."

M. Lois Applegate of Mt. Lebanon died Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008, of natural causes. She was 98.

Ms. Applegate grew up in Dravosburg and graduated from the Pennsylvania College for Women, now Chatham University. She earned a master's degree in language from the University of Pittsburgh and spoke Greek, Latin and French.

In 1949, she joined Gulf Oil, where she worked for 25 years as a proofreader and then an archivist. She was involved in preparing the company's annual report.

Ms. Applegate was a lifelong member of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Mt. Lebanon, where she taught Sunday school for many years and founded the Southminster Quilting Society.

"Her sewing skills were a source of pride and until a few years ago, she could still sew a perfect stitch," Wilson said.

Ms. Applegate had an active interest in her family's genealogy, which could be traced to colonial America and included many early settlers of Dravosburg, McKeesport and Forward.

Another cousin, Betty Applegate Plant of Richland, said Ms. Applegate always took an interest in the progress of her two daughters' education and travels, and supported them by attending performances of the Duquesne University Junior Tamburitzans song and dance ensemble.

Ms. Applegate is survived by many generations of cousins and caregivers.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at Laughlin Memorial Chapel, 222 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday in Southminster Presbyterian Church, 799 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon. Interment will be in Richland Cemetery.

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