Andrew P. "Andy" Ovsak was a graduate of The Lehighton Area High School. He enrolled at Eckel's Mortuary College in Phila. PA. and graduated with "High Honors". He served a two year internship at The Harold B. Mulligan Funeral home in Phila. PA. He returned home to Lehighton in 1952 and opened his first funeral home at 3rd & Coal St. at the present residence of his life long friend Eddy Conarty. He later moved to 4th & Iron St. after marrying Margaret Deganich.
They both came from meager beginnings. "Andy" was of Slovak descent and was raised down on the "Flats" area of Lehighton near the Lehigh River and adjacent to the mainstream of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Tracks.He was one of 11 children born to Andrew & Mary Bobenich Ovsak. He often joked about how at his birth, the delivering physician informed his mother that his life was in question as he actually fit into a cigar box at birth. He later claimed that "I showed em all!", "I am taller than all of my family members." He attributed his height to good coal stove cooking & cabbage soup. He always made note that if you wanted to succeed in life, the farther west in Lehighton you moved throughout life the more prosperous you had been, Ebberts Park or 9th street was the goal. "I made it to 4th street, so I didn't do half bad" he proclaimed. Andy passed away suddenly on March 5, 2003.
Andy's wife Margaret likewise came from poor coal mining town conditions. She was from Slovak descent and was one of 5 children born to Charles & Helen Paulosky Deganich. Margaret was a graduate of Nesquehoning High School and upon graduating, entered a convent in central PA. She left the convent after 1 year to come home and care for her ailing parents. Margaret assisted Andy with the full operations of the funeral home and was very active in the community with various civic organizations along with raising two daughters, Andrea, & Margaret "Peggy". She passed away October 25, 1981 at age 51 and really never saw the fruits of her labor.
The present site of The Ovsak Funeral Home was purchased by Andy at public auction with the help of his brother-in-law Guy "Curly" Rice. It was the former residence of the Frank Obert Family, prominent business owners specializing in provisions in the Carbon County Area. Andy stated that at the time of purchase, the roof was so bad, birds were flying in & out of the attic. "I was so poor when we bought this place, Andy declared, that Margaret and I lived on the third floor and rented out the main living quarters to another family so that we could make our monthly mortgage payment. The endeavors of Andy & his wife Margaret are cherished and respected and will be forever.
The former site of the Ovask Funeral Home at 3rd & Coal St., Lehighton. It is now the Edward Conarty residence.