Patricia Claherty Oschal was in the presence of her family when she died peacefully on Wednesday after a long, courageous battle with cancer.
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Born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, she was a daughter of Dorothy Melleski Claherty and the late John J. Claherty.
Patricia was educated in Wilkes-Barre Area schools and was a graduate of GAR Memorial High School. After high school, she obtained a degree in elementary education from Misericordia University in Dallas.
Patricia then embarked upon her chosen profession as a first-grade teacher at St. Nicholas/St. Mary's School in Wilkes-Barre. While teaching, she attended evening classes and earned her master's degree from Marywood University. She was a certified reading specialist.
A firm believer in the Catholic school education system, she taught first grade at St. Nicholas/St. Mary's School for 13 years until the arrival of her daughter, Julia, when she decided to become a stay-at-home mother. She later resumed her teaching profession as a substitute teacher at St. Nicholas/St. Mary's School for another five years.
She truly enjoyed teaching and did everything she could to have a positive effect on the lives of her students. In this she succeeded, because she was told many times over the ensuing years by former students how she greatly impacted their lives and set them on the right academic path. Perhaps the ultimate testament to her ability as an educator is the fact that she inspired many of her students to become teachers themselves.
Patricia loved life and lived it to the fullest, despite the fact that it was cut short. She loved to travel and did so extensively over the years with her husband, George. She loved fashion, decorating her house and spending time with her many friends with whom she socialized on a regular basis. She also believed in public service and was a long-standing member of the Kingston Township Lions Club.
Aside from her faith, the most important part of Patricia's life was her family. She and her husband would have celebrated 30 years of marriage this September, and she gave him the best 30 years of his life. She was an inspiration and a guiding light to her daughter, Julia, whom she absolutely adored. She was also very close to her parents, brothers and sister, as well as various other members of the Claherty clan. She particularly enjoyed celebrating St. Patrick's Day each year.
She will be greatly missed by her husband, Attorney George G. Oschal; daughter, Julia; grandson, Brayden Sutterlin; mother, Dorothy Claherty, Wilkes-Barre; brothers, Jack Claherty, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Daniel Claherty, Wilkes-Barre; sister, Colleen Hannagan, Wilkes-Barre; nieces, nephews, other family and friends.
Patricia's entire family is grateful to Dr. David Greenwald and the wonderful staff at Medical Oncology Associates for their compassion and caring over the past 3 1/2 years, and her primary care physician and friend, Dr. Debora Spring.
A celebration of Patricia's life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday from McLaughlin's – The Family Funeral Service, 142 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre, with funeral Mass at 11 a.m. in the Church of St. Nicholas. Private interment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery in Hanover Township. Visitation will be held at McLaughlin's from 5 to 8 p.m. today.
Memorial donations are preferred and may be made to the
, 712 S. Keyser Ave., Taylor, PA 18517.
Permanent messages and memories can be shared with Patricia's family at www.celebrateherlife.com.
Published in Times Leader on May 17, 2013