The Obit For Jerry Oravitz

Gerald "Jerry" Oravitz Sr.

Published in The News Journal on November 20, 2011

Gerald "Jerry" Oravitz Sr. of New Castle, DE, peacefully left the embrace of his loving family to be with the Lord on November 18, 2011, while in Hospice Care at Christiana Hospital.

Born June 26, 1941 in Shenandoah, PA, he was the son of the late Emmett and Mary "Kizes" Oravitz. He was also preceded in death by his brother Bob Oravitz.

Jerry grew up in Shenandoah, and graduated from Shenandoah Catholic High School, and was a three- sport standout athlete in baseball, basketball, and football. After graduating highschool, he attended Bloomsburg University and later was drafted by the Detroit Tigers. He enjoyed a five year career in Minor League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.

Following professional baseball, he began a long career with the Boeing Vertol Company in Eddystone, PA., where he retired after 40yrs of service. He continued to remain active in the Delaware County semi-pro baseball and basketball league and earned numerous awards in both sports.

Jerry and his family lived in New Castle, DE., and were active members of Our Lady of Fatima Church and School. Jerry volunteered several years as a youth Basketball and Baseball coach, and also served as a Eucharistic minister. Jerry's passion for sports continued as he began a new career as a Basketball official for Delaware IAABO #11. During this time, he worked his way up from officiating CYO games, to eventually working collegiate Basketball games before retiring after 15 years. Jerry also served as a supervisor of officials.

As dedicated as he was to his career and sports, Jerry never allowed it to interfere with his love and devotion for his family. He was tremendously proud of his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed watching them grow in all aspects of life. Jerry was an avid University of Delaware sports fan and enjoyed tailgating and cheering them on with his family. Jerry enjoyed reading his newspaper, buying his daily lottery ticket, relaxing in the sun with his family at their beach home in Ocean City, MD, and going for walks with the family dogs, Buster, Dewey, Eli, and Sarah.

Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Mary, of 50 years, who unselflessly cared for him during his illness. He is survived by his children and their spouses: his son, Jerry Oravitz, and wife Teresa; his daughter, Lisa DiStefano, and husband Shawn; granddaughters, Gabrielle and Brianna DiStefano; sister, MaryAnn Pronio, and husband Albert; nephews, Ron and Bob Oravitz; sons of his late brother Bob Oravitz; and many other nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The family would also like to express their thanks to the doctors, nurses, staff, and Hospice Compassionate Care on the 6th floor of The Christiana Hospital for their love, care, and kindness given to our loved one.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, November 22 at Our Lady of Fatima Church in New Castle. A visitation for family and friends will be held from 9:15-10:45 am, followed by mass at 11 am. Burial will be at St. Stephen's Cemetery in Shenandoah, PA, at 3 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the Oravitz family graciously requests that memorial gifts be made to Our Lady of Fatima Youth Association, 801 North Dupont Blvd, New Castle, DE., or the Father Walter J. Ciszek, S.J., Prayer League, 233 North Jardin St., Shenandoah, PA 17976.

Oravitz Home for Funerals Inc., 40 N. Jardin St., Shenandoah, PA is in charge of the arrangements.