Scholarship Established in Memory of Tom and Edith O’Hargan

BRADFORD, Pa. – The children of Tom and Edith O’Hargan have endowed a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in memory of their parents.

Jim and Susan O’Hargan of Tupelo, Miss., started the scholarship with a gift of $5,000 that was matched by both the Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas Scholarship Challenge and Jim O’Hargan’s employer, Philips.

Since then, Jim and his siblings, Diane O’Hargan Fagan, Deborah O’Hargan Robbins, and Roger O’Hargan, have added to the scholarship, which will soon be endowed at $50,000.

Tom and Edith O’Hargan both grew up in Western New York. Tom O’Hargan was born in Andover, N.Y., and moved to Bradford and attended Bradford High School. Edith O’Hargan was raised on a dairy farm in Limestone, N.Y., and graduated from Limestone High School.

After graduating from BHS in 1941, Tom O’Hargan went into the U.S. Air Force and served during World War II in the area of procurement and logistics.

Edith O’Hargan graduated from Limestone High in 1943 and went to secretarial school in Cleveland.

The couple met while both worked at Dresser Manufacturing in Bradford, where Tom was a draftsman and Edith a secretary.

Tom O’Hargan went on to be manager of application engineering at Dresser, where he worked on a couple of patented products. In 1972 after 27 years with Dresser, Tom O’Hargan left to work for other companies in the same type of business in Foster City, Calif., Texarkana, Texas, Chicago and Seattle before retiring in Texarkana.

“Their roots were always in the Bradford area. Our dad was always known as ‘Hap’ O’Hargan from his nickname in high school as ‘Happy’ O’Hargan and Mom as Eddie,” Jim O’Hargan said, adding that his father was active in the American Legion, for which he was a district commander. The O’Hargans were also active members of St. Bernard Church.

Jim O’Hargan said he and his wife, Sue, got the idea for the scholarship from friends, Mike and Susie Carlson, who had similarly joined with Mike Carlson’s siblings to honor his parents, Patricia and Robert Carlson.

The O’Hargan children asked that scholarship recipients be graduates of Bradford Area High School.

“It’s wonderful that there is such a fabulous facility as the University of Pittsburgh right there in Bradford and graduates from Bradford Area High School will be assisted in their education in the memory of our mom and dad,” Jim O’Hargan said. “The Agnes L. and Lewis Lyle Thomas match is just absolutely fabulous, and I know the scholarship’s going to good use.”

For more information on establishing a scholarship at Pitt-Bradford, contact Jill Ballard, executive director of institutional advancement at or (814)362-5091.

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