SHARPSVILLE, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – On Saturday, September 25, 2021, Olivia M. Lazor, 85, passed away at Penn State Hershey Medical Center after a two year battle with cancer, which she fought with the same faith, strength and tenacity that helped her face every other challenge in her life.
Olivia was born and raised in South Pymatuning Township and was a 1953 graduate of Sharpsville Area High School.
She married Edward W. Lazor in 1957 and after having their two children, she earned her Elementary Education Degree from Kent State University in 1969.
In addition to providing public service to the community for over 40 years, Olivia taught elementary school for 15 years and worked 14 years in construction finance. In 1991, she was elected Mercer County Commissioner and went on to serve the county for 16 years before retiring in January 2008. As Commissioner, she concentrated her efforts in the areas of human services, economic self-sufficiency and economic development.
Commissioner Lazor participated fully in the legislative and business activities of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and served as a long-term executive board member. As CCAP President she promoted the concept of Sustainable Communities, a concept advanced by the National Association of Counties. Pennsylvania became the first state to embrace this model. In her travels speaking on this subject, Mrs. Lazor encouraged all government unit leaders across Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh forums and Pennsylvania Economy League to embrace the concept of sustainable communities. As a result, Mercer County adopted its own Comprehensive Plan for Livable Communities during her tenure. Mrs. Lazor was recognized for this work in 2006 by Governor Rendell and was presented with the 2006 Award for Excellence in Local Government. Her work has been recognized through countless federal, state and local citations and awards. In addition to the Governor’s Award, other notable honors include the PA Human Service Administrators Outstanding Achievements as County Commissioner; Community Services Award; NAACP President’s Award; 1999 CCAP Outstanding County Commissioner and the 2000 Women’s Commission “Woman of the Year”, just to name a few.
After retiring, Olivia continued serving as the Coalition Coordinator for Circles’ of Mercer County, she worked as a volunteer employee of the Community Action Partnership of Mercer County to assist in the piloting of a new national initiative. Mercer County was one of seven pilots in Pennsylvania at the time that tested a model to remove poverty from our landscape.
Other community activities included: UPMC Horizon Board of Directors, Area Agency on Aging Board of Directors, Mercer County Literacy Council and University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics.
Olivia was a life-long active member of St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Sharpsville where she loved singing in the church choir.
She also sang with the Shenango Valley Chorale. Along with her husband, she was an amateur radio operator and earned her novice license in the mid 1960s as their form of cell phone communication while she commuted to college at night. In addition, she enjoyed gardening and sewing but especially loved to bake her infamous Grandma’s chicken and apple pies for her four grandchildren who were by far her greatest pride and joy.
Olivia was preceded in death by her husband, Edward of 46 years; her son Edward, Jr.; her parents, Anna Marie and Rocco Campagna and her brothers, Dominic and Louis.
She is survived by her daughter, Teresa Paporello and son-in-law, Gary, as well as her grandchildren, Kristen, Kyle, Madison and Alexa and her grandchildren-in-laws, Matt and Annette. She is also survived by her brother, Rocco and her many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Bartholomew Church Parish Preservation Fund or please plant a memorial tree in Olivia’s honor.
Calling hours and funeral will be held at St. Bartholomew Church, Sharpsville on Saturday, October 2, 2021 with a private family visitation beginning at 8:30 a.m., doors opening at 9:00 a.m. and Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. Masks are required.
Arrangements handled by John Flynn Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
To send a flower arrangement to the family of Olivia Lazor, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.
A television tribute will air Thursday, September 30 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.