Arlene D. Oehling
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Daughter of the late George W. and Alice (Schuchman) Oehling. Sister of the late Terry G. Oehling. She is survived by many dear friends. No visitations. Please meet in St. Paul Cemetery, Penn Avenue, Mt. Oliver on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 11:00 AM for her committal service. Arrangements entrusted to Boron Funeral Home, Inc., 412-882-1506.
At age 75, Ms. Oehling maybe, in her words, "Officially, officially, officially retired," but she nonetheless spends 40 to 50 hours a month visiting seniors at more than half a dozen nursing facilities near her home in Carrick. Because she drives there on her own, she can't go very far, but she's out of the house every Wednesday.
Ms. Oehling is not a professional singer. She was a drum majorette at Carrick High School, but spent her career behind a desk as a secretary before retiring a decade ago. Still, she's good at what she does -- which is to connect and cheer up a roomful of people who might be lonely or sad or discouraged.
"So many people who live in these homes never get visitors," Ms. Oehling said in a recent interview about her "gigs" before more than 50 residents at a time. "I just love being with them."
Arlene has touched the hearts of hundreds of people," said Sherry Campbell, who nominated Ms. Oehling for the Jefferson Award and was her former supervisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Pittsburgh branch. She noted that Ms. Oehling, who never married, spent years caring for her mother and brother and today has no family.
"The bright side is where she dwells, yet she gets little credit for that, nor does she seek any," said Ms. Campbell. "It comes as no surprise to me that she chooses to spend holidays with those in nursing homes bringing some 'Arlene sunshine' and happiness to them. In our busyness and self-importance, so many of us don't recognize the real heroes for their contributions to the heart."
A native of Mount Oliver and a graduate of Carrick High School, Ms. Oehling worked for 37 1/2 years at Greyhound, rising to the level of executive secretary before being let go when the company downsized.
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