Paul A. O’Hop Sr. of Moscow, Pennsylvania passed away on November 27, 2016, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Florentine (Floren) Wroblewski.
Born in Avoca, to the late William and Estelle O’Hop, Paul was the youngest of 12 children. He was raised in the Houston City section of Avoca and attended Pittston Twp. elementary schools in addition to Avoca High School. A gifted athlete, Paul played football, basketball, and baseball while in school, and he continued his athletic pursuits (including golf, tennis, handball, skiing, and flag-football) thereafter.
Paul often spoke of his life in four segments. First, he attributed his core values to growing up in the small town of Avoca. He was proud of his Polish heritage. Family was everything, and the friendships he made were forever. And while he recognized the differences in people, he nonetheless respected all with whom he came in contact.
The second segment was his stellar military career. Paul enlisted in the Air Force at a very young age and spent 22 years in the service. He was initially stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, where he was involved in military air rescue operations. Later, while stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, he witnessed the launch of Explorer 1, the first U.S. satellite in space. He was assigned to the headquarters of the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C. He was then recommended for Officer Candidate School (OCS) where he was a distinguished graduate of Class 63D. As an officer, he was initially commander of a Strategic Air Command (SAC) medical squadron at Beale Air Force Base in California, following which he had other command assignments, including in the Aerospace Medical Division at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas, and in the combat zone in Vietnam. He was a highly decorated officer and his many military medals included the Bronze Star Medal with earned Valor Clusters. In addition to normal postings, he was an exchange student with the Navy (again a distinguished graduate) and spent two years in a tri-service activity with the Army. Such experiences prepared him for his ultimate assignment to the Pentagon, where he served as an executive assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, working at times with icons such as Secretaries of Defense Dr. James Schlesinger and Donald Rumsfeld.
Upon retirement from the Air Force, Paul became vice president, operations and co-founder of Libra Technology, a company that pioneered computer applications in military health care. The company was the first to develop the basis for the longitudinal record of care. In addition, the company aided in the development of TRICARE and its related components.
Paul, Floren, and family then retired to Pennsylvania, where, for a short period, Paul was the staff assistant to the director at Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center. Thereafter, he held a professor position at Marywood College (now Marywood University) where he taught a wide array of courses in the graduate and undergraduate management science programs. In addition, he maintained a consultative relationship with the VA, and used it as an opportunity for his Marywood students to gain experience in computer sciences via paid internships. Many years later, Paul was recruited by Wilkes College (now Wilkes University) to teach in its School of Business and Economics. Within a year, he was elevated to the position of vice president, Business Affairs and Auxiliary Enterprises, a position from which he retired in 2001 after serving 16 years. According to then-Wilkes University President Dr. Christopher N. Breiseth, he and Paul constituted a “dynamic duo” that moved Wilkes into the 21st century as they spearheaded the creation of new academic programs, as well as major campus construction projects that transformed the university. Upon retiring, the university’s board of trustees honored Paul by naming a campus building “O’Hop Hall,” the first and only time that a Wilkes University vice president has been so honored.
During this segment of his life, Paul was also very active in Pennsylvania state politics. He was a member of the charter class of Leadership Pennsylvania. He served six years as member/commissioner of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board and two years as the chairman of the appeals board on the Governor’s Energy Council. He was also an active member of many local community and charitable organizations. In addition to being vice president emeritus of Wilkes University, Paul was member/treasurer emeritus of North Pocono Public Library and emeritus member of board of managers at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.
Paul was quite philosophical about people and life. He believed that the real legacy of parents is the goodness of their children, and that he and Floren had a superb legacy in that respect.
In addition to Floren, he is survived by their three children, his daughter, Lynne O. Feeney, M.S. and her husband, David Feeney; his son, attorney Paul A. O’Hop Jr. and his wife, Rossana; and his daughter, Suzanne E. O’Hop, Ph.D., and husband, Kenneth Beckham. He also has six grandchildren, James, Christine, Francesca, Pablo, Wesley and Anna; and great-grandson, Rory. In addition, he is survived by his brother, Henry; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by brothers, Vincent, Stanley, Eugene, Lewis, Albert, William and Joseph; and by sisters, Johanna, Frances and Antoinette.
A viewing was held Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Duffy & Snowdon Funeral Home, 401 Church St., Moscow, Pa. A funeral Mass was celebrated Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 11 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 220 Church St., Moscow. Paul was interred April 5, 2017 at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the O’Hop Lecture Series or the O’Hop Family Scholarship at Wilkes University, the North Pocono Public Library (O’Hop Fund Account) or St. Catherine’s Church, Moscow, Pa.