Michael O’Hare (Deer Lakes, ’70), of Sunset Beach, NC, will be on hand today to present $20,000 in scholarship money to be divided by 10 Deer Lakes High School graduates from the Class of 2018 who will attend Slippery Rock University beginning in the fall, as part of the Dody & Stel O’Hare Memorial Scholarship.
O’Hare, a retired consumer products executive, and a very proud Slippery Rock alumnus (’74), has now committed more than $120,000 to Deer Lakes students who have chosen to attend his collegiate alma mater.
This year’s scholarship recipients include: Sarah Bonner, Sky Dickey, Christopher Galbraith, Liam McCafferty, Angelina Saldamarco, Andrew Shrader, Trevor Sutch, Brittany Walck, Jennifer Weigand and Samantha Woloszyk.
The scholarship honors O’Hare’s parents, Dody and Stel O’Hare, who were very proud of their Slippery Rock graduate sons, Mike and Pat.
The children of Irish immigrants, Dody and Stel O’Hare each came from humble beginnings. As children they endured the Great Depression and as young adults experienced World War II. Dody was exempt from military service, but voluntarily enlisted in the Navy in 1943 to serve his country. Dody survived the bombing of his ship on Christmas Eve 1944, waters off the coast of the Philippines, while Stel cared for two young children stateside for more than two years.
After the war, Dody became a route salesman for a soft drink company and Stel was a homemaker. In 1960, the O’Hare’s added to their American dream when they purchased their first home in the Fawn Haven neighborhood of West Deer. They loved the Deer Lakes community and lived in their home until their passing.
They led by example and built a happy family built on these principles:
• Love of family
• Zest for life
• Hard work
Dody and Stel were representative of many great Slippery Rock parents of their time. They were extraordinary, “regular” people, working hard to make a better life for their family. They were truly the “unsung heroes” of their children’s college experience and subsequent success.
Dody and Stel were not able to help with college costs, but their support came in the invaluable forms of encouragement, love, home cooked meals, and whatever else it took to allow their children to meet with success.
“My Irish luck game me two great parents,” said Michael O’Hare. “They gave me a terrific start in life and enabled me to earn my degree at Slippery Rock University.”
The Michael O’Hare family had previously provided $32,000 in scholarship awards for Deer Lakes students by supporting the Geraldine O’Hare Memorial Scholarship to honor his first wife, and former Deer Lakes School District administrator.
Michael O’Hare, his wife Becky, and their son Adam are proud to have supported Deer Lakes schools and Slippery Rock University.