SOMERSET, Pa. — Barbara Ann Olexa of Somerset, PA passed away on January 4, 2013 after a long illness. She was born on July 1, 1940 to Ida D (Sicheri) Olexa and Frank P Olexa. She dearly loved her younger twin sisters, Jean and Judy, and their families, often spending holidays with them.

Barbara graduated from Somerset High School in 1958 and then from California State with a degree in Education. In 1962, she moved to Maine where she worked tirelessly for thirty-one years as a teacher for the Brunswick School Department, primarily teaching 6th grade mathematics at the Brunswick Middle School. She resided most of her life at her home in Topsham, ME, moving back to her family home in Somerset, PA in 2012 to be closer to her family. A dedicated teacher, Barbara had a positive influence on her students until her retirement in 1993. Barbara was a longtime member of the Brunswick Golf Club, where she scored a hole in one, the National Education Association, the Maine Education Association, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Barbara was an active member of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brunswick, ME, serving as a Eucharistic minister for over two decades. She belonged to a family group at St Charles and was the best friend that anyone could have. Devoted to her family, Barbara spent many summers in Somerset, PA, sharing the care of her mother with her dear sisters.

Barbara loved her pets, especially her canine companion, Buttons, for 19 years and later her two wheaten terriers, Duffy and Molly, who accompanied her on many adventurous trips from Maine. Barbara rescued Molly as a puppy, and was a supporter of the Coastal Humane Society. Barbara had an amazing sense of humor and had many friends who cherished her optimism and kind-hearted ways. She enjoyed reading, gardening, traveling, potluck suppers and dining out with her Church family. Barbara was an avid sports fan, following the Boston Red Sox and her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.

She was predeceased by her parents, and survived by her two sisters: Jean and husband, Jerry Chaney, of Chester, West Virginia; Judy Uphouse and her partner Clyde Tipton of Columbus, Ohio, as well as nine nieces and nephews and countless great nieces and nephews.

Barbara was loved by family and friends who will miss her greatly. A mass of Christian burial will be held at All Saints Parish in Acosta, Pa., on Wednesday January 9, 2013 at 10 AM. Visitation will be Tuesday January 8, 2013 at Halverson’s Funeral Home from 2-4 and 6 -8.

Anyone who wishes to make donations in lieu of flowers should send the donations to Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick, ME, the Hancock County Animal Shelter in Chester, WV, All Saints Parish in Acosta, PA, or St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brunswick, ME.