Michael R. ‘Mike’ Ocilka, 69, of Springdale, passed away on Sunday evening, March 27th, under the care of the wonderful staff at ProMedica Bethel Park. He was battling on several fronts but fought until the very end.
A native of McKeesport, Mike was raised alongside his late sister Lisa Slack and spent most his adolescent, and let’s be honest, senior years bucking the system and listening to music way too loud. He raised three children Kelly MacDonald of Pleasantville, PA, Ian (Greer) Ocilka of Cecil, and Krista Ocilka of Portsmouth, VA, and was blessed with six grandchildren, Christopher, Kaelyn, Everett, Nora Mae, Abram, and Oliver who were his world.
Self-described as a social liberal and fiscal conservative, but undeniably a bleeding heart on all fronts, he loved to talk politics, and religion, and any other taboo topic with anyone who was willing to have a conversation. He craved healthy debates and stood for his principles while accepting everyone’s viewpoints. Conversations with him over a few beers were fascinating and would range from the 1990 Penguins’ Stanley Cup run to Alexander the Great’s conquest. He spent his working years as a self employed Health Care Insurance Broker, He enjoyed walking, biking and helping pet rescue organizations. He wrote a book called “Finding a Forever Home” to benefit these organizations.
His interests ranged from Tom Petty to St. Thomas Aquinas. He could tell you who lost every presidential election since 1900. He was our father. He snuck into Forbes Field as a kid. He cherished opening days at PNC Park with his family. My God, was he proud of where he was from. He taught his kids what good music sounded like and tore through war novels like it was nothing. He taught his children to be kind, keep an open mind, and most of all – to read.
He will always live on through, Tom Petty songs, the notes inside the sleeve of every book he ever gave as a gift, his words of wisdom, and his wry sense of humor that his children inherited.
Friends will be received 2-4 & 6-8 P.M., Wednesday, March 30 at the Coleman-Taylor Funeral Services 3378 Millers Run Road, (Rt. 50), Cecil, PA. where prayers of transfer will be said on Thursday, March 31, at 9:30 AM followed by a Christian Funeral Mass at Corpus Christi Parish, St. Mary’s Church, 10 St. Mary Lane, Cecil, on at 10:00 AM with Father Dennis Yurochko, officiating.
Interment will be private.
Family suggests memorial contributions earmarked for ICU to: Shadyside Hospital Foundation 532 South Aiken Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232 or at: www.shadysidehospitalfoundation.org