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Stephen B. Oles, 70.

MILLBURY / WORCESTER - Stephen B. Oles recently of Worcester, 70 passed away peacefully Thursday, June 20, 2013 at the Rose Monahan Hospice Home lovingly attended by family and staff after a valiant battle with leukemia.

He leaves his wife Janis R. (Hernberg) Oles; his son David F. Oles; his daughter-in-law, Monique (Atallah) Oles and his beloved year old granddaughter, the light of his life, Amelia Camille, of Princeton. He also leaves his brother Carl C. Oles of Orange and his former wife Cathryn F. Oles of Holden. He was predeceased by his mother, Ann (Broda) Oles and father Stephen C. Oles.

Stephen was born on August 22, 1942 and spent his formative years in Hartford, CT graduating from Buckley High School and attending the University of Connecticut. At an early age he showed an avid interest in science taking first prize in his school's science fair and traveling to Washington, D.C. to represent his state. In 1962 he entered the Navy's Submarine Service and served with distinction aboard the U.S.S. Blenny, one of the few conventional submarines to carry nuclear weapons. His most vivid memory of his service years is the military's high alert caused by the 1965 East Coast blackout and the crew's many hours of tension as the Blenny cruised off the New England coast awaiting orders. His duties as an electronics specialist gave him valuable experience that he would later put to good use in his chosen career. Following active service, he served as a naval recruiter in the greater Worcester area raising enlistment to a record high.

Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, he followed his interest in electronics and technology by working for Nortec and RCA. While working for RCA and studying at the Lowell Tech (now Lowell University) a favor for a friend open what would be a forty year career. After helping a friend recover his stolen car, Steve fashioned a car alarm for his friend. One by one, friends and others heard of his work and asked that he protect their vehicles as well. When RCA closed their computer division he used this opportunity to strike out on his own. From a humble beginning with a single alarm system in 1968, Steve founded Alphatronics Security which became Worcester County's leading independent security systems company with 20 employees and over 1,500 monitored customers. Steve's firm belief in delivering a quality product, at a fair price and in a respectful manner won him many faithful customers. He also believed that his employees were the heart of Alphatronics and strove to treat each one with respect and dignity. Though a cliche, he wanted his employees to view Alphatronics as their work family.

Always an innovator, Steve became a franchisee of Mr. Build in 1985. This organization sought to bring together independent contractors to provide total property management. At the time this integrated approach was novel but now is taken for granted. Under Mr. Build, Steve promoted a precursor to today's personal safety systems for elders who live alone or have health problems.

While bringing technological innovation to the local alarm industry, Steve also felt strongly about creating a truly professional and distinct image for the alarm industry. Toward this end, he with a few other colleagues formed the Massachusetts Security Contractors Association now known as the Massachusetts Systems Contractor's Association. Steve served in many offices with these organizations both helping to set industry standards and increase visibility though conventions, workshops and appearances at local home and trade shows. In 2003 Alphatronics was merged with American Alarm. As Steve's career drew to a close he carefully chose what company would succeed him. He chose American Alarm for their outstanding reputation, emphasis on customer service and their generous treatment of his employees.

Steve often considered Alphatronics one of his "babies" but he was also a devoted family man. He loved to travel with his family to such exotic places as Aruba long before it became a popular tourist destination and he had fond memories of his family tour of England. Always a fan of New England, Steve took countless trips to New England destinations often to indulge in another one of his passions, fine food. Steve, while humble about his culinary skills was viewed as "the chef" by family and friends often introducing them to new taste sensations. His special joy was to create new dishes for the wine tasting group he was a part of for over 30 years. The Order of Itinerant Wine Tasters was a source of over thirty years of culinary and wine exploration and an extraordinary opportunity to seen the group's members and their children mature and grow. Steve counted its member as his finest friends.

It was not possible to think of Steve without thinking of his cats. Steve was an animal lover but had a special spot in his heart for cats. He worked for several local cat rescue organizations as well as opening up his home to dozens of cats over the years. Some of those cats were destined for "forever" home but most just stayed where they were. As Steve used to say, these cats know a good thing.

Not all of Steve's pursuits were earthly. Steve had an interest in flying and took flying lessons at a local airport. While on vacation in the Turks and Caicos, another undiscovered gem at the time, Steve watched a class in Scuba diving and decided to join. After a grueling week of classes he was certified as an open water diver and when he returned home he continued to dive in New England waters.

His most recent interest was beekeeping. Steve joined the Worcester County Beekeepers Association in 2011 and became an avid spokesperson for the plight of the honeybee as well as for the group. He tended his own hives and spent many happy hours discussing beekeeping at the Spencer Fair and the Worcester Flower Show.

Steve felt that in his long life he had been blessed with many treasures; exciting experiences, quiet moments, faithful customers, devoted employees and steadfast friends. However, the greatest treasure of all came just last year when his beloved granddaughter Amelia Camille was born. Although his time with her was short, the depth of his love for her was boundless. At first so tiny, he was afraid to hold her, he soon came under her spell of coos and gurgles and later the delights of her squeals and laughter. Though a poor singer, Steve never sounded so good as when singing "Old MacDonald" to his Amelia.

Calling hours will be held, Wednesday, June 26th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with a ceremony of remembrance to begin at 6:00 at MULHANE HOME FOR FUNERALS, 45 Main Street, Millbury, MA. Private interment will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family wishes contributions be made to honor the compassion and service of the Millbury EMS without which Steve would not been able to remain at home as long as he did. Contributions may be sent to the Millbury Town Hall, 127 Elm Street, Millbury, MA 01527; attention Town Manager.

To leave a special message or memory for the family in Stephen's online condolence book please visit:

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Title Annotation:OBITUARIES
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 23, 2013
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