The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 28, 2012

Margaret J. (Omer) Skerl

JENNER TOWNSHIP — SKERL – Margaret J. (Omer), 91, Roaring Run Road, Jenner Township, died Dec. 26, 2012, at Church of the Brethren Home. Born July 28, 1921, in Johnstown, daughter of Louis and Laura (Liska) Omer. Preceded in death by parents; husband of 45 years, Tony J., on Dec. 19, 1991; sister, Leona Nenstiel; and brothers, Louis and Frederick. Survived by sons, Dr. Anton, married to Anne (Caporuscio), Marstons Mills, Mass.; and Frederick, married to Dawn M. Hollern, Jenner Township; grandchildren, Anton; Benjamin; Lyndsey, and husband, Zack Lepley; Courtney, and husband, Erik Paffett; and Bethany; great-grandson, Cooper J. Lepley; and brothers, John Omer, Palo Alto, Calif.; and Jack Omer, Pensacola, Fla. Member of All Saints Catholic Parish. Co-owner and operator, along with her husband, Tony, of Alpine Acres Christmas Tree Farm, founded in 1953, and currently operated by her son, Fred. Margaret was a record-setting typist and shorthand-writer at Johnstown High School. As a young woman working as a stenographer in Washington, D.C., for the government, Margaret was selected to accompany the ANGLO American Committee of Inquiry to Europe as a verbatim reporter in 1946. The committee was charged with offering a solution to the ARAB-Jewish conflict in Palestine and the European Jewish refugees who filled the displaced persons camps in Europe. Beginning in January of 1946, the committee started in London and moved to Mainland Europe, Cairo, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordon, Iraq, Saudia Arabia and Switzerland. Margaret  returned to the United States via the Queen Mary. After marrying and raising two sons, Margaret worked for many years as a court stenographer in the Somerset County Courthouse, having retired in the mid-1980s. Private family memorial service with Deacon Jay Pyle, officiating. Committal, Mount Carmel Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Hoffman Funeral Homes & Cremation Services. To express condolences or light a candle, visit

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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