National Press Club

Death of NPC Member John Oravec

March 20, 2014 | By Ken Dalecki | kdalecki@hotmail.com

John R. Oravec, veteran of the Washington Star and AFL-CIO News and NPC member

John R. Oravec, veteran of the Washington Star and AFL-CIO News and NPC member

John R. Oravec, a veteran of the Washington Star and AFL-CIO News and a Silver Owl member of the National Press Club, died Tuesday morning, March 18. He was 83 and lived in Rockville, Md.

Often called "Teal" by friends and family, he joined the NPC in 1985 and loved to discuss politics and current events with colleagues at the Club, especially on Friday nights. And he enjoyed telling colorful stories, including about his Catholic upbringing and days as a mischievous altar boy.

Oravec served as an Air Force photographer during the Korean War and subsequently had what he described as "not a bad job" with photographic assignments in much of Europe and North Africa. He was a member of NPC American Legion Post 20 and remained an enthusiastic traveler and photographer.

Born in Lorain, Ohio, Oravec earned a journalism degree from Ohio State University. He worked at the Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle and Cleveland Plain Dealer before becoming photo editor at the Washington Star. He finished his career as news editor for the AFL-CIO News.

In 1957 he married Marlene "Mugsie" Stem, who died on May 13, 2013. They had four children, Kirsten, Beth, John and Claire, and seven grandchildren.

Oravec loved playing golf and often wore strange hats or goofy outfits to spook his opponents. He was also an avid skier and sports fan.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 24, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 4101 Norbeck Road, Rockville, Md.

Click here to visit the "30: In Memoriam" page.