Frank E. Oelschlager, 93, passed away peacefully on December 25, 2021, at Brookdale Conway Assisted Living in Orlando, FL.
Frank was born on June 8, 1928, in Bridgeville, PA, the eldest of six children born to Frank M. and Pauline (Engel) Oelschlager.
Frank grew up during the Great Depression. At age 11 he went to work in Carozza’s Market where he worked part-time as many as 6 days a week until completing high school.
Frank then worked for an auto service station until he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Following basic training in Colorado, he was stationed in Alaska, attaining the rank of sergeant. Upon his honorable discharge, Frank returned to Bridgeville and worked first at the Flannery Bolt Co. where his father worked, and later at the Universal Cyclops steel mill.
In 1954 Frank met the love of his life through a bowling league. He and Irene (“Renie”) were married on May 11, 1956, at Zion Lutheran Church in Bridgeville, PA. Not long afterward, Frank was laid off from the steel mill, so he and Irene indulged in a honeymoon trip to Florida.
Tired of the difficult conditions and unsteady employment of factory work, Frank decided to try a different path. He landed a Sales/Marketing job with Bell Telephone of Pennsylvania, where he worked for the remainder of his career. He eventually became the sales representative to Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburgh and was so appreciated by his customer they offered him a job!
While working to support his family, Frank devoted time to Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in West View, PA. Over the years he served in the roles of Sunday School Superintendent, Elder, Trustee, Vice President, and President.
Upon retirement in 1985, Frank and Irene relocated to Melbourne, FL where they became active members of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Frank served in various roles including Elder, Vice President, President, and Custodian. He was also active in-service projects with the Telephone Pioneers of America.
Frank and Irene traveled extensively. They visited all 50 states, Canada, Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in South America and the Caribbean. They also made visiting family in Pennsylvania a priority.
When he wasn’t volunteering or traveling, Frank filled his free time with DIY projects and household chores. He also enjoyed swimming, long walks, happy hour, and talking to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Following Irene’s devastating stroke in 2014 Frank gave her countless hours of faithful companionship until her death in 2017, despite suffering from depression which led him to isolate himself from supportive friends and to drop most of the activities he had previously enjoyed. His own physical decline the last year of his life only exacerbated that illness.
Frank is survived by his two children, Eric Oelschlager, and April (Richard) Drucker; his brothers, Robert (Sandy) and Wilbur (Kay) Oelschlager; his sisters, Jane Kozak, Judy Dames, and Carol Lockhart; and 14 nieces and nephews.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife of 61 years, and five nieces and nephews.
The family has chosen to hold a memorial service and celebration of life this summer in Frank’s hometown of Bridgeville, PA. At that time, his and Irene’s cremains will be buried together at Melrose Cemetery. Details will be announced at a later date.
The family wishes to acknowledge Beverly Floyd for being a friend to Frank and Irene, and for providing support that enabled Frank to live independently since Irene’s death, until the last few months of his life. Special thanks also to Pastors Ron Myer and Kevin Duff and the lay ministers of Faith Viera Lutheran in Rockledge for attending to Frank’s spiritual needs, and to the care teams at AdventHealth Medical Center in Lake Wales, and Brookdale Conway Assisted Living and Cornerstone Hospice in Orlando.
Expressions of condolence may be made to the family using the Tribute Wall of this obituary.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank’s memory may be made to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) at www.nami.org or to your local community of Christian faith.