Jean Lydia (Steigerwalt) Ogozalek, 87, of Frackville, PA, left this world for the next on July 12, 2019. Born November 11, 1931, in Palmerton, to Leander and Mabel (Mantz) Steigerwalt , New Ringgold, She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Leopold, son-in-law, Glen Britt and little dog, Bennie, with whom she was eager to be reunited. In a world where people’s legacies are measured in dollars or awards, Jean’s gift was far more valuable. She was a devout Christian who followed the simple rules: Love your God, love your neighbor and treat others as you wish to be treated. She was honest to fault, possessed a sharp intelligence and wielded a wicked wit. Jean became a feminist at age 7 after spending the entire day next to her brothers working on the family farm, only to return to the house to help her mother clean house and prepare dinner while her brothers rested. She was a voracious reader, only sometimes regretting not learning to expertly sew or embroider, as her mother regularly yelled “Jean, get your nose out of that book!”. She was an animal-rights activist since childhood, learning from and watching her mother worry about the farm animals during bitter winters and her love and care for them, even if they were due to be butchered the next morning. Each got extra hay for warmth, were well fed and always treated humanely. Jean became a human-rights activist at 20, after traveling throughout the South and witnessing first-hand the evils of segregation and the disparity between whites and blacks. Jean was a 1950 graduate of Tamaqua High School, where she was named valedictorian. She worked at Atlas Powder Company for several years, where she met her husband, Leo, who she said was an outrageous flirt. When he asked her on a date, she responded “Are you pulling my leg?”, to which he answered, “No, but I’d like to.” A resident of Lansford for 34 years, she later moved to Frackville for her favorite and most important job, as the built-in babysitter for her cherished granddaughter. Later in life she wrote a bi-weekly column for her daughter Sandy’s bimonthly pet publication, “Animal Tracks,” relating heartwarming stories about her early life on a Pennsylvania farm. Jean was smarter than most anyone at a time when it wasn’t often a praised virtue in women. Her intelligence allowed her to comprehend the importance of science in human advancement and that there was no conflict between religion and science. Her mind and sense of humor stayed sharp until the end. While cancer invaded her body, she was still a political junkie, her death likely hastened by her dismay at the Trump presidency. Jean’s fiery spirit is carried on by her daughters, Sandy Britt, Clarksville, TN; Kathy (Jack) Dalton, Frackville, with whom she resided, and granddaughter Jessica (Zack Yankiewicz) Dalton, Allentown. She is also survived by brothers Leander Steigerwalt, Massachusetts, and Curtis (Dolores) Steigerwalt, New Ringgold, along with nieces, nephews and friends. Private services will be held at a later date. Remembrances are requested to be sent as donations Hillside SPCA, 51 SPCA Rd., PO Box 233, Pottsville, PA 17901. Arrangements are being handled by the Hartman Funeral Home, 1791 West Penn Pike, Rte. 309, New Ringgold. Online condolences may be made at www.hartmanfuneralhomeinc.com.
51 SPCA Road P.O. Box 233, Pottsville PA 17901