#255 Christmas 2021

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2 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

A Christmas Miracle By Danielle Merrow for Hometown magazine t the conclusion of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol,” Tiny Tim famously says, “God bless us, every one!” These words come after Ebenezer Scrooge’s night of visiting Christmases past, present and future, and he awakens on Christmas Day a changed man, having learned from the errors of his cross, miserly ways and realizing that Christmas is more than a season for people asking him for money and favors. Christmas, Scrooge has learned, is a time for joy, even amid hardship. Melissa Mort, a Punxsutawney native who now resides in Dixonville, PA, with her husband, Scotty, and two children, Jackson and Allison, didn’t need to learn the true meaning of Christmas; but, after a terrifying health battle during the holiday season of 2018, she says the meaning of the holidays is now more significant than ever before. On Veterans Day 2018, Mort was hospitalized with pneumonia. She says she hadn’t dealt with any health complications prior to that time that would have indicated a larger crisis was on the horizon. After a seven-day hospital stay, she was released, only to be admitted again just days after Thanksgiving, this time to the Intensive Care Unit of West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. With the pneumonia diagnosis being the most recent health history the doctors had to build on, when Mort’s health took a turn and she was hospitalized in West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, she was again diagnosed with pneumonia; however, there was something more going on that was causing her to go into respiratory failure. She was, for a while, a medical mystery that the doctors were unable to solve. “I don’t remember much [of my ICU stay] because I was so sick,” Mort says. “I slept a lot and received treatment however and whenever I needed it. I do remember telling my husband a lot just to go home because nothing major was going on. And, I remember a lot of fear, especially hearing doctors and nurses describing me as a 35-year-old female in respiratory failure. Also, the fear of strug-


On the cover:

Merry Christmas! ‘Punxsutawney Hometown’ magazine © Copyright 2021 — All Rights Reserved. Schedule your advertising in our next edition! We reach 100% of the local and area homes and businesses! - Concentrated Circulation 8,100+ copies of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine are direct-mailed to homes in Punxsutawney and surrounding towns and areas, giving our advertisers nearly 100% coverage . . . we deliver to every home and business! (As always — our circulation is verified — mailing and printing statements available.)

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gling to breathe and not being able to catch my breath anytime I did something was distressing to me. And, I remember a lot of the nurses and doctors commenting on how sad and depressed I looked. They actually put me on antidepressants and antianxiety medications. What was probably the scariest thing, was the fact that nobody knew why I was sick, why I couldn’t breathe and what to do so that I could recover.” While awaiting a definitive diagnosis, Mort’s family The Mort family prior to Melissa’s first hospitalization in November 2018. was effectively sus- From left: Scotty, Jackson (then 10), Melissa, and Allison (then 7), front. pended in time. Submitted photos. back home with them, while he also With Christmas approaching, Mort was tried to balance his time between being missing holiday preparations with her with his wife at the hospital and being at family while her condition continued to home with them. The family received deteriorate. help from friends and neighbors and, as Her husband, Scotty, told their children, far as they know, perfect strangers who Jackson and Allison, just ten and seven at knew they were struggling. the time, that no Christmas decorating would happen until their mother was - Continued on next page

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A Christmas Miracle

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night. My husband would get them from her every night after he was done visiting and sitting with me in Pittsburgh.” Continued from previous page Scotty traveled between Dixonville and “I had no medical insurance, which Pittsburgh to be with his wife daily as she makes this story even worse,” Mort exlay in her hospital bed, connected to a vaplains. But the holiday spirit took over, riety of machines helping her to breathe. and friends, family and neighbors For weeks, there were no answers to what stepped up to help with Mort’s hospital was causing her respiratory failure, only bills and the family’s other needs and exguesses. “I was near death,” Mort says. “But, the week before Christmas they figured it out, and I started to improve - no more machines to help me breathe. I had a doctor who showed up and was a miracle to me. He fought for me and we finally got a diagnosis, and I am alive today.” It took time and testing to arrive at a conclusive result. Mort elaborates on this, saying, “Of the three doctors who provided my care, an infectious disease doctor thought that it was fungal infection caused by an exposure to bat feces; A collage of photos shows the different types of breathing machines a pulmonologist thought Mort needed in order to breathe when she was hospitalized with it was an infection BOOP in 2018. called BOOP (bronchiolitis obliterans organizpenses. “We had several random donaing pneumonia, which is an old term. It is tions of wrapped gifts on our porch, now called cryptogenic organizing pneumany of which we still do not know who monia), and the hospital doctor thought I gave them to us, to help with Christmas had some form of lung cancer.” expenses. Several fundraisers occurred, A biopsy of Mort’s lung tissue detertoo. A high school friend set up a Gomined that she had BOOP, which is an inFund-Me page, our church had a hoagie flammation of the lung tissue that sale, and both of our employers gave us essentially renders it useless. “It was dedonations. Churches that our family scribed to me as the equivalent of having members attend gave us monetary donaa collapsed lung, but I had this in both tions as well. We also received donations lungs, thus causing my respiratory failure. of gift cards, many were anonymous, to It is very rare, with a 65% survival rate.” help with groceries and my husband’s gas 1 in every 100,000 people- 5% of the U.S. expenses as well as his meals, having to population- have been diagnosed with be away from home as much as he did. this illness, Mort explains. Medical expenses for my Pittsburgh hosBOOP can sometimes be caused by unpitalization were covered by a charity ordertreated pneumonia, and it was later deganization through the hospital that termined that the antibiotic that Mort was covers medical bills for working individgiven to take at home was not effective uals who do not have health insurance against the bacteria that caused her to decoverage.” velop pneumonia in the first place. On the home front, Mort explains that a Hope was waning, while Mort’s children neighbor took on responsibilities with the waited at home for her to come home and children. Mort recalls, “She would get help them decorate for Christmas and her them off the bus, help them with their - Continued on next page homework and feed them dinner every

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4 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

A Christmas Miracle Continued from previous page

husband balanced the family’s needs. “The other doctors were pretty much planning my funeral and running out of ideas to help,” Mort says, “but the doctor who diagnosed me was West Penn Hospital’s pulmonologist Dr. Ananth Raman. He diagnosed me when the other doctors said that I was too young to have BOOPa disease that usually affects people over age 50.” “He is my hero,” Mort continues. “Because of his persistence, I am alive. I would tell him this every time I saw him, and he would say, ‘It wasn’t me. You healed yourself and responded to treatment. I didn’t save you; God did.’” Miraculously, Mort was released from the hospital in time to celebrate Christmas with her family. Decorations went up- “and we just left it up longer to enjoy it longer than normal,” she says. Mort reports that she followed up with Dr. Raman regularly following her release from the hospital in December 2018, through his retirement in April 2021. Initially, office follow-ups oc-

and I will be going for a sonogram of my heart next month to determine severity and possible treatment,” she elaborates. As if the physical tolls on her body weren’t significant enough, Mort is also undergoing ongoing treatment for PostTraumatic Stress Disorder after having come so close to dying from this disease. “I am currently taking anti-anxiety medications that I will likely be taking for the rest of my life. I was seeking counseling but the pandemic essentially ended this because I did not want to receive telehealth services,” she says. She also developed sleep apnea and has to sleep with a CPAP machine, which she says helps with her anxiety as well. Thinking she was in the clear, Mort - Continued on next page

The Mort family in 2021. From left: Scotty, Jackson, Melissa, Allison (front)

Mort was hospitalized again in 2020 with COVID-19 and bilateral pneumonia.

curred every month; then, she was able to progress to seeing him only every six months. Dr. Raman also shared with Mort that he and his wife (who is a retired cardiologist) would pray for her every night. “I was only his 19th patient with BOOP during his long career beginning in the 1970s, and I was one of the few who survived. Until his retirement, I would take his advice over any other doctor. During that appointment when he told me that he was retiring, he told me that he would never forget my case and that I am a ‘miracle.’” “I have a clean bill of health for the most part,” Mort explains. She typically has follow-up pulmonologist appointments every six months to ensure that her lungs continue to stay clear, and most of her ongoing treatments now are more for the side effects of medications she had to take for treating the BOOP. “I was on very high doses of steroids, so now I have to go for regular bone density tests. Because of these steroids, I also have degenerative changes in my spine that have to be monitored regularly as well. There was also calcification found in my aorta,

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A Christmas Miracle


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Continued from previous page found herself hospitalized yet again in December of 2020 with bilateral pneumonia, and she tested positive for COVID-19. And, again, Dr. Raman stood by her side as her advocate to help her get appropriate treatment. “After having finished my medications and still not feeling better, it took a phone call from Dr. Raman to my local hospital. He fought for me, telling the hospital about my past history with BOOP and that I needed the steroid treatment and close monitoring as he feared the pneumonia being undertreated again would result in a relapse of the BOOP. It is kind of scary to think of having BOOP with COVID-19, and it worries me that I may not have recovered if not for Dr. Raman intervening to get me admitted for treatment,” Mort admits. Mort says she was seen by two different hospitals after her positive COVID results because she was still struggling to breathe. “Eventually I was admitted, received IV steroid treatments and was out of the hospital after three days,” she recalls. Consequently, the Mort family has had to make some adaptations to their lifestyle following Melissa’s illness. “We have to be much more mindful of a lot of environmental factors. I still have a lot of difficulty recovering from exertion when outside in the cold or during extremely humid weather. We used to go camping a lot, but sleeping outside in a tent and constantly breathing cooler air has made camping a thing of the past. That, plus not being able to have consistent access to electricity in a tent for my CPAP machine to run. Certain scents cause me to be very short of breath,” Morts explains. “Campfires and cigarette smoke have always caused me troubles, but even more so now. Since I became sick, my kids had to grow up more quickly than I wanted them to. There are times where I’m having breathing problems and they have to do chores that I typically would do. I used to go grocery shopping and go to the laundromat by myself, but exerting myself to lift and move heavy or bulky things make breathing difficult, so now I have to take either my husband or one of my kids with me to do these. Overall, though, we have all grown closer. We have our moments and

fights like all families do, but in the end, we love and appreciate each other more having endured what we did back in 2018 and throughout the pandemic.” Following the Mort family’s experiences in 2018 and 2020, their Christmas celebrations are more meaningful now than ever before. “The holidays are much more joyful and meaningful, at least to me,” Melissa says. “I remember lying in the hospital after my husband would leave for the night and ordering him and the kids Christmas gifts hoping that I would live to give them these gifts. I also remember doing FaceTime with my kids (I did this every night for the 21 days I was in Pittsburgh’s cardiac ICU) and asking them if they got the house decorated yet. Each time I asked, they would say, ‘no because Daddy won’t let us do it unless you are home.’ And this holds true to this day: the same thing happened in 2020 when I was hospitalized for COVID, and my husband would not allow any Christmas decorating until I was home from the hospital. For the most part, my illness did not create or change any holiday traditions, but instead just gave a renewed sense of togetherness that we generally appreciate more during the holiday season. Making meaningful memories during the holidays, more so now than before my illness, not only with my husband and kids but also my parents, my brother and his family, my in-laws, my husband’s sisters and their families, and both of our extended families have been much more meaningful and essential not just during the holidays but throughout the whole year. Living life, enjoying family and appreciating friends, relationships, experiences and events need to continue to be of focus for me and my family. Life is too short, and someday, all that will remain are memories.” After Scrooge’s Christmas Eve experience, he proclaims, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the past, the present and the future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” Similarly, Mort and her family have learned to build on their past challenges, be more mindful in the present and look toward the future knowing as a family they can conquer any challenge that comes their way. God bless us, every one. •••

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6 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

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May Our Divine Redeemer bestow His Peace on you and your home, and may His Blessings be with you always. 8 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

When the familiar “modern” three-story brick building (above) was built in 1920, the location on the corner of West Mahoning and South Gilpin streets was considered one of the most valuable business sites in Punxsutawney. It is remembered for J.C. Penney, Wolf Furniture and, more recently, the Millers Furniture Store. (Photo by S. Thomas Curry)

To provide space for the new Jones Building, older frame buildings that had become eyesores in the downtown were demolished. The stores included the John Fink store on the corner, a millinery, a variety store and the Edwin T. White photography studio on the second floor. (Photo courtesy of White Studio collection, Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society)

Looking Ahead from the Past

By S. Thomas Curry of Hometown magazine

Early History of Development of the 100 Block The early development of that business anuary, the first month of any year in section of downtown near South Gilpin our Gregorian calendar, is named for Street began in 1899 when the Torrence sisJanus, the “god of gates, doors, beginters, Ella and Elizabeth Torrence, had a nings and endings” in Roman mythology. three-story building built on property that The name was frequently used to symbolwas homestead land of the pioneer Torize change and transitions such as from the rence family. In the early 1800s the section past to the future. In Roman times the of land in the middle of the “downtown” month was spelled “Ianuarius,” before the between West Mahoning Street and West letter J began to be used in the 16th century. Union Street was Year after year known as the Torthere are changes to rence Block. Their be recorded, father, James Torchanges to be rerence, purchased the membered. Along land in 1832. the way, over the He built his family months of any year, dwelling on the site it would be exand operated a tanpected that some nery for many years, goals would be acwhen Punxsutawney complished by any was a crossroad vileffort, and some eflage in the midforts would fail or residents of the Punxsutawney area will re- 1800s. (This land, fall short of the ex- Older member the corner as it was seen in the 1950s. of Findley pected goal. The J.C. Penney store was remodeled in 1983 with west With that in mind, a new street look and the interior remodeled to Street, was considthis writer con- modernize its look for the future. (Photo copied ered “outside Punxfrom 1949 Punxsutawney Centennial Book) sutawney” because cludes a series of Findley street was the original western stories from the past about the efforts in deboundary of the town.) Over the years, land velopment and the changes that have ocwas sold to the Snyder Brothers, Dr. John curred through the years on the south side E. Grube and the Weiss brothers to erect of the 100 block of West Mahoning Street their three-story buildings in the early in downtown Punxsutawney. 1900s. The building at the corner of West MaThe building, as we remember it as a honing and South Gilpin streets has left a three-story structure of dark red brick, bepath of memories for many readers for its came a part of the downtown landscape in business activities and pleasures as the J.C. 1920. When construction was completed Penney’s building, for the Wolf Furniture for the brothers J. Freas and A. Roy Jones, Store and more recently as the Miller’s Furniture Store. - Continued on page 10








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Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 9

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In July 1988, an architect’s drawing was presented for the beginning of an IUP culinary school in Punxsutawney. A decision was made to accept the former office building of T.W. Phillips Gas Co. for the site. The Carlino Restaurant corner was donated later to expand the site. (Drawing courtesy of S. Thomas Curry)

Looking Ahead

people attended to see what was displayed on the first floor in the line of clothing and groceries, and the second floor of kitchen, chinaware and similar items a department store would handle. On the third floor of the massive building were six apartments.

Continued from page 8 it was announced as “the most modern building in the city.” (March 23, 1921, The Punxsutawney Spirit) When the young Jones brothers bought the site for their building, it was headlined J.C. Penney Store Opens in the local newspaper as “one of the most in Punxsutawney valuable business sites in the town.” The In 1928, Punxsutawney area shoppers land on the southeastwere provided an opern corner of Mahonportunity to shop in a ing and Gilpin streets local J. C. Penney was known as the store, one of 42 of the Fink property. J. H. company’s retail Fink purchased the stores in Pennsylvania site in 1894 and in the 1920s. “The opened his “general greatest department merchandise busistore system in the ness” on the corner. world,” was its anTo provide room for nouncement to the a new modern threearea. The Jones brothstory building it was ers’ store was at the understood that the corner of the Jones various older frame building. The corner buildings on the proproom was leased by erty would be torn the J.C. Penney comdown, removing pany and remodeled buildings that had for the new occupants. long been eyesores. At the same time, the In announcing the Jones brothers remodplans for the new The Wolf Furniture Store was relocated to eled the store space on brick building, the West Mahoning Street from East Mahoning the east side of the in 1971, at the beginning of Punx- building to expand its news story stated: Street sutawney’s Redevelopment project and the “The buildings on the Mahoning East Civic Complex. The 1985 photo furniture and rug busiproperty are valuable also shows the remodeled exterior of the J.C. ness from the second only for the lumber Penney store. (Photo by S. Thomas Curry) floor to street level. that is in them.” (October 21, 1919, The The move changed the owners mission Punxsutawney Spirit) from a “general merchandise” department The new building, with a 76-foot front on store to exclusively furniture. Large glass West Mahoning Street, contained space for display windows at the front of the building three stores on the first floor and display were part of the renovation rooms on the second floor. The White’s The Penney’s store opened in August Photograph Studio was also on the second 1928; the new Jones Furniture store opened floor. When the Jones brothers had the for business in November 1928. grand opening for their new general merFor many years the J.C. Penney store at chandise store in 1921, an estimated 5,000 - Continued on next page

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Looking Ahead

owned furniture businesses. Remembered by many residents is the Ragley Furniture Store on North Findley Street. There was Continued from previous page the corner of Mahoning and Gilpin streets also the Robinson Furniture store on West had been a familiar landmark to shoppers Mahoning St. Nearby, along PA Route 36 in downtown Punxsutawney. In the sum- South in Gaskill Township, was the Miller mer of 1983 the business establishment was Furniture Store. As remembered, in the early 1970s a in the midst of a four-month remodeling project to update the building from its ear- three-block area in downtown Punxlier look and accommodate trends in shop- sutawney was involved in Punxsutawney’s ping. New display features, modern federal redevelopment program. In the first phase of the major “facelift” of Punxsutawney, the Wolf Furniture store was located in the block where is now the Mahoning East Civic Center. A number of business buildings along East Mahoning Street were demolished and businesses relocated. In September 1971, headlines in The Punxsutawney Spirit announced, “New Wolf Store Opens.” In the former Jones Furniture Store on West Mahoning Street, Wolf Furniture was relocated. Punxsutawney’s Storefront window signs in buildings in downtown Punx- newest “old” furniture store sutawney indicate that officials of Indiana University of Penn- opened with a grand opening. sylvania are developing plans for expansion of the IUP The store was one of 26 in the Academy of Culinary Arts along West Mahoning Street in Wolf Furniture chain. Punxsutawney. (photo by S. Thomas Curry) Within 20 years, and the lighting fixtures and the replacement of the changing shopping habits of customers, large front windows were a part of the Wolf Furniture in Punxsutawney closed in April 1988. Company officials commented, “modernization” program of the company. At the grand opening of the new look, a “The market would not support any major company representative stated, “It should growth in downtown Punxsutawney. There be obvious that with all these renovations, is no room for us to grow physically.” we are confident that this is one of the best (April 1, 1988, The Punxsutawney Spirit) ways to show that we consider this store as With the closing of the Punx’y store, Punxan investment for the future of the commu- sutawney shoppers were invited to visit a nity.” (October 6, 1983, The Punxsutawney new furniture gallery in the area of the DuBois Mall. Spirit) As time passed, shoppers were more willMiller Brothers Furniture Store ing to drive several miles to shop. As with The Millers Furniture Store in Gaskill many small towns, Punxsutawney lost its popular Penney’s store to an area shopping Township was built in 1969 at the edge of cornfields along PA Route 36. The furniture mall. business was founded by Jesse and Dorothy Miller. Over many years, the successful Punxsutawney Wolf Furniture Store According to local records, a Wolf Furni- business opened an outlet in downtown ture Store, with headquarters in Altoona, Punxsutawney, named Ebeneezer’s FurniPA, came onto the Punxsutawney business ture. After the elder Jesse Miller retired in 1975, scene in 1953. It will be remembered by many that a large Wolf Furniture store was the store was turned over to his sons Duane on the south side of East Mahoning Street, and Jesse Miller: to be renamed then as the between Barclay Square and the East End Miller Brothers Furniture Store. When the Bridge. A former Acme supermarket was Wolf Furniture store closed in 1988 in the renovated for a furniture store. The Punx- former three-story Jones Building on West sutawney store was the sixteenth in the Mahoning Street, the Miller brothers Wolf organization. It advertised brand bought the building that had three store names in furniture, rugs, bedding, appli- fronts. In the building, Miller Furniture Store was relocated to the floor space east ances and televisions. When Wolf Furniture opened its Punx- of J.C. Penney. From there, Miller Brothers sutawney store, there were two locally- Continued on next page

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Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 11

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Continued from previous page Furniture became a three-store chain with locations in Punxsutawney, DuBois and Falls Creek, with the anchor building in downtown Punxsutawney. Several years after the fire of December 1988 destroyed the building occupied by Polly’s Fashion Shoppe, the empty lot was purchased by Miller Brothers. In 2005 the empty lot was made a “rest spot” for visitors and local shoppers in the business district. The “Philtuminous, the Heritage Hog” statue was dedicated as a tribute to mining in the Miller family during the bituminous coal mining era in the history of the Punxsutawney area. An attractive gazebo and fencing was added to the landscape.

Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney’s Future Thirty-five years ago discussion began for establishing a culinary school in Punxsutawney to function with Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Punxsutawney’s West End campus. Interest was shown, commitments were made and funds were raised for the “Culinary School Project,” as it became known. On February 2, 1990, a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the site of the former T.W. Phillips Gas office on South Gilpin Street. Shortly after, the Carlino estate donated to the school its property of the former Carlino’s restaurant on the corner of South Gilpin and Indiana streets. On that special day in Punxsutawney history, the culinary arts program was officially established in Punxsutawney. What remains of the West Mahoning Street block, west of the Fairman Centre in use by the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts since 2009, has been the focus of Punxsutawney’s future as it faces a new plot plan and potential for the growth of culi-





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nary arts in new, state-of-the art-facilities for the program. In September 2018, two buildings adjacent to the Fairman Centre were donated as buildings to be razed for the construction of a new facility of the Culinary Academy, to replace the school on South Gilpin Street. As the IUP Culinary Academy had become a nationally recognized, premier program, the time had come for expansion. When the Miller Furniture store closed its business in Punxsutawney, owners Jesse and Duane Miller gifted part of their building in 2020 to the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts. The remainder of the building was purchased from donated funds designated for the Academy’s expansion in Punxsutawney. At this time, no land development plans have been finalized for the expanded property from South Findley Street to South Gilpin Street. A master plan that had been prepared before the Miller property became available had designated demolition of buildings in 2021. Months of 2021 have passed. The university is in the process of updating a timeline to finalize demolition, construction and occupancy for the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney. At various meetings with representatives of local groups, officials of IUP have stated that the university and culinary staffs are deeply committed to Punxsutawney to provide a student-centered, fully-equipped culinary academic program. As 2022 begins, and decades of memories for that block of businesses are in the past, the town waits for developments that will announce groundbreaking and construction for a new complex to house the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts and produce quality chefs for the future. It’s never advisable to talk about what could have been. The past is history. Happy New Year! •••



12 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

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ome the holiday season, perhaps no tradition evokes the warm and fuzzy “feels” more than a family outing to pick a Christmas tree. Whether it’s a trek to a live Christmas tree farm or a short drive to the nearest pre-cut tree lot, the process of selecting a tree that will serve as the crown jewel of the entire season is a great way to make lasting memories. Selecting a tree is a yearly ritual and each person has his or her set of criteria for what makes the ideal Christmas tree. These tips can help families find the right tree. Choose your species Do some homework on the type of tree you want prior to buying the tree. Balsam fir and fraser fir are popular Christmas tree varieties, but there are many others, such as noble fir and Norway spruce. Balsams are known for having the most fragrant smell, but frasers tend to keep their needles the longest. For those who prefer a douglas fir, keep in mind that they sometimes drop their needles prematurely due to foliar diseases like needle-cast fungus. Space for ornaments In addition to aroma and needle longevity, look for trees that have a desirable shape and allow for adequate space between branches, advises the home and garden resource The Spruce. Trees groomed to be lush and full will look beautiful unadorned, but once ornaments are added, full branches may cause those ornaments to hang low or even fall off. Trees with sparse branches allow for ornaments to hang straight.


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Measure your space Trees in the field or in a lot may look much smaller than they do when brought into the living room. Don’t make the mistake of selecting a tree that is too large for your home. The agricultural firm Ragan & Masey says to measure the room from floor to ceiling and subtract the height of the tree stand and tree topper. It’s equally important to measure the width of the area where the tree will stand and allow for ample space for foot traffic around the tree. Perform a needle check Every tree will drop some needles, and most evergreens hold their foliage. Modest needle loss is not an indicator of a poor tree. However, Decker’s Nursery in Greenlawn, NY says if 50 percent of the needles are lost when you swipe your hand down three to five different branches around the tree, the tree likely is not a good choice. In addition, avoid a tree that has glaring defects in the trunk as it can impede water flow through the tree. Heavier is better A heavy pre-cut tree means it is full of water and has been cut more recently. A healthy, fresh tree is going to require an effort to lift. Older, dried out trees will not be heavy. Upon arriving home, make a fresh cut off the tree trunk and get it in water as soon as possible — even if that’s a bucket until the tree stand can be set up. •••



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IUP Culinary Arts Masterplan by Desmone Architects. Submitted rendering.

IUP Punxsutawney’s Academy of Culinary Arts Receives $1 Million State Grant to Construct New Educational Facility

Submitted Article en. Joe Pittman (R-41) and Rep. Brian Smith (R-66) recently announced Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and its Academy of Culinary Arts received a $1 million state grant for a major Jefferson County project to replace a 32-year-old learning fa-

main educational and experimental hub for students and the surrounding community. “The new technology-focused culinary kitchens and laboratories will provide critical spaces for optimal learning of students,” said Sen. Pittman. “Exceptional lab spaces and classrooms will meet workforce needs for highly skilled culinary arts chefs and bakers.” The project is expected to allow for an additional 50 to 70 full-time students annually. IUP sees the building as key to achieving the goals of the university’s strategic plan, supporting and growing cruIUP Culinary Arts students at work. Submitted photo. cial partnerships in the community, cility and improve the educational such as K-12 schools, business, governofferings of IUP Punxsutawney’s acment, healthcare, and non-profit organiclaimed Culinary Arts program. zations. The grant funding from the Pennsylva“IUP’s Academy of Culinary Arts has a nia Redevelopment Assistance Capital solid, well-established track record for Program (RACP) will help fund the conoffering numerous career and trade prostruction of a new, 45,000-square foot edgrams that many local high school graducation and multipurpose commercial uates take advantage of to prepare for site anchored in downtown Punxfuture occupations in the hospitality insutawney, with the facility to serve as the - Continued on next page


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14 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

IUP Punxsutawney Continued from previous page

dustry,” said Rep. Smith. “Our region is always in need of more highly-skilled professionals, and this funding will allow IUP’s already outstanding culinary program to build a trend-setting, state-ofthe-art facility to properly train students for the well-paying, family-sustaining jobs that are waiting to be filled right now.” “We are extremely appreciative of Sen. Pittman and Rep. Smith’s hard work to secure these Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds for this important initiative,” IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll said. “Sen. Pittman continues to be a true champion for IUP and has demonstrated outstanding support for our mission of student success and workforce development for this region, and we also are very pleased with Rep. Smith’s support for this project.” “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial working relationship with both Rep. Smith and Sen. Pittman that will benefit our students, the region and the commonwealth,” said Dr. Driscoll. “IUP remains fully committed to Punxsutawney and to Jefferson County, and this funding will help us to meet the longterm goals of our Academy of Culinary Arts master plan.” “The Academy of Culinary Arts is definitely a jewel in the crown for IUP and for Punxsutawney and Jefferson County,” IUP Council of Trustees Chairman Samuel Smith said. “The Culinary Arts master plan will expand the opportunities for students interested in the culinary arts and will significantly contribute to the downtown Punxsutawney landscape and the economic development of the region.” The RACP funds will be used for capital costs, including part of the demolition, construction, renovation of property and buildings where classes will be held, as well as the permits and equipment necessary to move forward with all aspects of the project. Future improvements to, and expansion of, the existing facility will also provide a strong basis for regional economic development opportunity as the project has goals for providing retail and commercial space. Since its founding in 1989, more than 4,200 IUP students have studied in Punxsutawney at the Academy of Culinary

Arts. The 16-month Academy program, nationally recognized and accredited by the American Culinary Federation, includes a paid externship placement for students, many at four-star restaurants and resorts throughout the nation. RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act. They must have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity. •••


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Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 15

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By Mary Ellen Pollock-Raneri for Hometown magazine ave you ever gotten a gift that made you turn cartwheels? Or, quite the opposite, have you been the recipient of a gift that made you wrinkle your brow and wonder why? Perhaps the new “stocking stuffer” made you pucker up, or did it make you crumble up? I must admit, I have been the recipient of both kinds of holiday presents— from the ones that I could hardly wait to wear or use, to the ones I could hardly wait to tuck in my closet for a long winter’s nap before I regifted them. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for everything I get, and I know it’s the thought that counts. But seriously, haven’t we all been recipients of the ideal Holly Jolly gift or the less-than-perfect package? Haven’t we all ripped the wrappings off that box to find a breathtaking thingamabob that we will cherish forever? And haven’t we also opened a beautiful package and found an electric nose hair trimmer or a pet rock with accessories? So, let’s have some fun and laughs and unwrap a few of my Christmas gift memories. Christmas is so much fun when you are a kid. You rarely get gifts you don’t like, I think. For instance, I remember my favorite toy ever – a little blue oven that actually baked stuff. That stove had four miniature silver burners, tiny pots and pans and a real oven. I whipped up all kinds of things with that toy appliance, from small box cakes (that came with the oven), to tiny cookies and breads. My dad sampled everything with gusto, too, even though I probably served it with a pair of grimy kid hands. Besides the blue stove, I distinctly remember getting this great set of Presto Paints. These were solid sticks of wet paints that came in plastic tubes. I loved them so much, so much, in fact, that I decided to paint my parent’s new living room carpeting with them. Honestly, I am not sure why I did that particular artwork. I should have


known better. All I can remember is the thrill of holding that tube of wet paint and the lovely designs I could make with it. Ahhh! I can still smell the stuff! I must have enjoyed hands-on gifts, too, because I also cherished a small plastic spinning wheel that Santa brought me one Christmas. I remember that it spun out this long tubular rope thing – not really a scarf or mittens. Nevertheless, I thought the toy was pretty amazing. Somehow, I attached yarn to a spindle, and it wound around this large plastic brown wheel. After circulating through other plastic parts and gears, a knitted kind of doodad formed. My mom would unravel the finished product, and I would do it all over again! On the other hand, in my younger years, there were a few gifts that were wolves in sheep’s clothing, or, shall I say, wolves in sheep’s underwear. I could never understand why Santa would bring underpants, undershirts or socks. I was certain that my parents had put him up to it, and my kid brain felt satisfied with that reasoning. In addition, some relatives sometimes seemed to be nonplussed when buying children’s gifts. I distinctly remember that my hands shook with joy as I unwrapped this big package that was decorated with candy canecolored wrapping paper and a big red bow. I dug my trembling kid hand in the box and yanked out the present with great anticipation, only to find a black umbrella. It was a fold-up one. Of course, my mom thought it was a positively spectacular gift. She probably made me carry it with me when I wore my wool snow pants, clip-on mittens, a babushka and rubber galoshes, just for some added protection against the elements. Sometimes, though, the most perfect gift appeared under the tree. I remember my first piece of real gold jewelry that I received when I was about 13 or 14 years old. I had asked Santa for a cameo ring. I am not sure why I wanted that type of bauble; I think I had seen one brooch like it on the collar of a girl pictured on the cover of the Green Stamps catalog. Anyways, my parents bought me one. My mother told me that my - Continued on next page

Our family protecting yours, since 1932

Merry Christmas Our Facilities will remain closed to the public until COVID-19 is controlled.

h Gift Shop items may be purchased online h Genealogy searches may be requested by phone, e-mail or regular mail

Find us at: www.punxsyhistory.org Email: punxsyhistory@outlook.com 400 & 401 W. Mahoning St.


16 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

• AUTO • HOME • FARM • LIFE • HEALTH • FLOOD • RECREATIONAL TOYS • COMMERCIAL • WORKERS COMPENSATION • & MORE John Kness, Agent Nancy C Gotwald, Agent Mon-Fri 8:30-5, Sat 9-12 407 S. Main Street, DuBois


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The Good, the Bad Continued from previous page dad picked it out especially for me. The ring was set in gold, and it held a small ovalshaped cameo stone. I loved it so much and wore it till the band bent a wee bit. Nevertheless, I still have that ring, tucked in a small box in my jewelry chest, and I don it from time to time on a special occasion, just to remember. Of course, growing up is no guarantee for receiving the perfect gift. For instance, I remember a Christmas when my college boyfriend handed me this huge package, all gussied up in a spectacular bow. How my hands trembled when I ripped off the silver wrapping paper. I quivered like a chicken’s lips at the thought of devouring a juicy worm sandwich. Was it a ring that he cleverly disguised in this oversized box? Perhaps it was a pair of earrings that I could wear and show off! Then, I got to the present. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what it was at first. I mean, it was a tubular shaped glass thing that was hollow, shaped like a triangle, and dangled from a piece of fishing line. At first, I thought it was for music. I didn’t play the triangle, so I was a little confused. Then, my boyfriend told me that it was a lamp. I was supposed to pour oil inside of the tube and light it with a match. Sadly, my boyfriend didn’t include the oil. I must tell you, I wasn’t sure if I should pout, laugh or stick it… back in the box. Nowadays, I have to admit that my husband gets me very thoughtful presents. He picks out the best earrings and necklaces that are usually crafted by a local artist. I love those kinds of purchases because I am an artist, and I want to support those folks that work so hard to produce unique, one-of-akind artworks. My spouse always buys me that perfect pair of slippers or wiener dog pajamas (we have two daschunds). Sometimes, too, he makes me a card himself, which is the best fun ever. I do recall one time, though, when I was a little disappointed, through no fault of anyone. I prefer to call it miscommunication, no communication or selective hearing. First, you must understand that my significant other has a thing for shirts with buttons on the collar. They MUST have buttons on the collar, or he will make me return it. Don’t ask me why? I’m not sure. Maybe he thinks a strong breeze will blow the material up around his head and suffocate him. Me, I refuse to wear cable-knit anything. I loathe it. Cable knit clothes make me look fat, dumpy and sad. I always felt like a stuffed toad when, as a child, I was forced to wear that design. Even today, when I see a cable knit sweater in the stores at the mall, I pick

it up and examine it. A cold shudder runs through my body, and I toss it back on the table as quickly as an eighth grader firing off a spitball. To make a short story even longer, I had always informed my hubby of my cable-knit contempt. I pointed out these fashions at the mall to him as taboo purchases. Regardless of my cable knit “no-buy” rule, one holiday, he bought me a gift with the dreaded pattern, right smack down the middle of the pullover. So, upon opening the cable knit sweater he bought for me (shivers), I pulled the same stunt as he pulled with the button-down shirt that I had to return for him. “I’m not wearing this,” I flatly stated. “Okay,” he said, “I will return it. Do you want a different size?” He added with a hopeful look. “No,” I replied with no escape. “Are you sure?” my husband refused to give up. I finished off the conversation with, “Oh, yea!” I was a big Crabby Patty. He continued, “How about a different color?” I decided to be a double Crabby Patty with tartar sauce. “Nope,” I replied. And that was that. The unwanted sweater went back to the store, and we never spoke of it for a long while. Nowadays, though, we both laugh about cable knit, and we chuckle every time we see a sweater with that design. I know. I acted like a big, spoiled brat. To tell you the truth, I feel guilty to this day about the “Cable Knit Sweater Fiasco” that Christmas. To redeem myself and my rotten shenanigans, I have made a vow to embrace any sweater that my husband ever gifts to me again. I don’t care if the apparel is made from dryer lint. I will love it and cherish it forever. So, there you have it- my honest inventory of “brown paper packages tied up with string (and flashy wrapping paper, too).” Yes, gifts sure can come in all shapes and sizes from Santa. I guess he knows best, and we need to be grateful for what we get. The other day, as I was surfing on Facebook, I saw a message from an old friend and I thought it particularly applied to this story: “As you grow older, your Christmas list grows shorter because the things you want cannot be bought.” “How true,” I thought. May this year bring you much health, happiness and peace. May you gain more wisdom. May you experience kindness every day. And, as the great Bing Crosby sang: “May I suggest, the secret of Christmas. It’s not the things you do, at Christmas time But the Christmas things you do all year through.” •••


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Downtown Punx’y Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 17

Michael Horner, R. Ph. Kim Horner, R. Ph. Jennifer Moore, R. Ph. Joe Presloid, R. Ph. Matt Kunselman, R. Ph. 2 PUNXSUTAWNEY 200 Prushnok Dr.

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Greetings of the Season

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Public Schools in mine towns were places where children learned English in addition to their first language. It was in classrooms, such as this one at Horatio, that children learned to be Americans. Photo courtesy of PAHGS.

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By Coal Memorial Committee for Hometown magazine hen Walston Brown enabled the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg Railroad to reach Punxsutawney in 1882, he opened the door to the world. This door swung both ways. It made it easier for local residents to travel outside the area, and it enabled people to travel to Punxsutawney. Affordable transportation changed the social, cultural and economic dynamics of Punxsutawney. The opening of the railroad and coal mines in 1882 brought significant population changes. Prior to the railroad, the population of the Punxsutawney area grew at a relatively slow pace. In the ten years between 1870 and 1880, the net increase in Jefferson County was 27 persons, bringing the total population to 21,730 with about six percent identified as foreign born. During the next ten years, 1880-1890, the population in Jefferson County more than doubled, making the total county population 44,005, with 25 percent identified as foreign born. Between 1890 and 1900, the Jefferson County population increased by another 15,108. This population increase took place primarily in the Reynoldsville Basin, which stretched from Reynoldsville to Punxsutawney. And, most of this population increase was foreign born and were looking for a place to have a safe and secure home. The following table shows the towns and


Warm Wishes for a Safe and Healthy Holiday Season


IMMICKS GIMMICKS Ridge Ave. • 938-7100

18 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255




Winslow Township




McCalmont Township




Young Township




Punxsutawney Borough




Reynoldsville Borough




Clayville Borough








The rapid growth of the population in this rural area profoundly affected the social and cultural norms of communities in the Reynoldsville Basin. Prior to this influx of immigrants, the population of the area was relatively homogeneous. Settlement began in about 1800 and consisted of those relocating from other states and eastern Pennsylvania. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower, with William Penn or in the early Swiss German migrations. Their religious orientation was primarily Congregational, Puritan, Quaker, Mennonite, Methodist, Baptist, with a few Catholics. German settlers, who arrived in the mid-19th century, were Lutheran. These new immigrants came from Eastern and Southern Europe. The following table shows the countries of origin of the population in 1890. - Continued on next page




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Hungarian section kept their houses and surroundings in a sanitary condition. Public schools in mine communities were Continued from previous page operated by the township. Young Township had reJEFFERSON COUNTY FOREIGN BORN RESIDENTS BY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN 1900 sponsibility for the schools at Horatio, Walston and Country Number Country Number Country Number Adrian. In 1889 each Austria 658 France 78 Russia 144 school had two rooms and Belgium 47 Germany 502 Scotland 958 the teachers were as folBohemia 34 Holland 2 Sweden 778 lows: Walston: M.F. BowCanada(English) 125 Hungary 1501 Switzerland 10 man, upper, W.C. Henry, Canada (French) 12 Ireland 555 Turkey 1 lower; Horatio: Ral Means, China 8 Italy 2421 Wales 438 upper, Merl Simpson, lower; Adrian: J.L. Green, Denmark 9 Norway 95 West Indies 2 upper, Renie Hauck, lower. England 1098 Poland (Austria) 246 Other 21 Countries These teachers performed Finland 6 Poland (German) 60 Born at Sea 5 the challenging task of educating many children whose Poland (Russian) 501 first language was not EngPoland 32 (Unknown) lish and, by extension, also educating their parents. Most of the new residents were accomSchool was the place where children modated in mining towns: Horatio, Wallearned and adopted the English language ston, Adrian, Anita, Eleanora, Wishaw, and American traditions. Students quickly Soldier and Rathmel. The mining towns adopted the American tradition of Santa were the first home for immigrant families Claus to replace the Germanic Knecht who brought their faith with them. These Ruprecht and the Italian Befana traditions. faiths included: Catholic, both Orthodox According to tradition, Knecht Ruprecht and Roman, Episcopal, Evangelical came on December 6 to determine whether Lutheran and Jewish. In these mining children were good or bad. Based on towns was where the melding of cultures and social norms began to take place. During the years between 1882 and 1892, these communities were fairly self-contained, with most of their needs met within the community. Essential services including the doctor’s office, company store, post office, schools, and in most cases, places for worship, were available within the towns. These were enhanced by peddlers and Walston School Room #3 about 1905. Schools were under the adhucksters who brought ministration of Young Township. manufactured goods and farm produce, reRuprecht’s evaluation, good children were spectively, to the residents’ doors. rewarded by St. Nicholas on Christmas Most days in the mine communities were with fruit, nuts, gingerbread or sweets; bad usual days: children in school, men at work children received lumps of coal, stones or and women taking care of households. switches for parents to use. The Old Lady Mine communities were similar to other loBefana, would come down the chimney on calities, towns and townships, in that they the eve of Epiphany, January 6, and fill had their rules of conduct and codes govchildren’s stockings with candy or coal, deerning sanitation. Rochester and Pittsburg pending on their behavior during the past Coal & Iron Company established stanyear. She was always careful to clean the dards and hired health officers to ensure floor and hearth before she left. The acsimilar safety and sanitation in their minculturation of children in mining commuing communities. At Adrian, John Zuby nities was just the beginning of social and was employed as the health officer. His ducultural change. ties were to see that the residents in the - Continued on next page

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circlehill1890@outlook.com Transportation via trolleys helped enable residents of coal towns to participate in social and cultural activities as well as to find employment outside their small towns. Photo courtesy PHAGS.

No Place Like Home Continued from previous page In 1892, the Jefferson Traction System began providing trolley service for residents of the mining communities in the Punxsutawney area. Affordable transportation between mine towns and long established communities made it possible for ethnic, social and cultural activities to reach these communities. The Punxsutawney News observed on December 14, 1892, that, “The Italians and Hungarians were liberal patrons of the street railway.” Music was an activity which brought residents of different communities together. The Punxsutawney Spirit, on May 11, 1892, reported on the presence of musicians in the town. “An Italian band with two violins and a harp discoursed music on our streets yesterday for several hours. And may we never more be quoted as an authority on maters musical if it wasn’t good. The kids gathered around them, like flies around a molasses barrel, and the older people all assumed a listening attitude and drank in the sweet, harmonious sounds with eager ears. And when they played a jig or a hornpipe the whole town danced. That is, their nerves were keeping time with the music, and many could not restrain their legs. There is a sweet, seductive power about music that almost compels you to dance. It produces a muscular excitement that can find vent in no other way. What a dreary old world this would be if it were not for music.” Transportation made it possible for the Italians at the northeastern end of the Reynoldsville Basin to organize a brass

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band and, in July 1900, they engaged Prof. Enrico Colonna, of Brooklyn, NY, as the band director. Venezio P. Yanuty, who operated a store at Big Soldier, was the sponsor for the 27-piece band, which had their band room at Prescottville. In September the band played for a public dance at Yanuty Hall. The band continued to grow in popularity and to play for many community events. Enrico Colonna moved to Walston, where he and his sons Fiore and Vincent taught music and boarded with the Scava family. The March 26, 1902 issue of the Punxsutawney News reported: “A brass band consisting of 23 pieces, from Walston, visited town the other day and rendered several selections. The band is under the leadership of Enrico Colonna, who has been instructing the players for the past eight months. Their playing was very good. May they come again.” Enrico’s son, Vincent Colonna, later became the band director, music teacher and composer with the Kittanning School District. Vincent’s sons Enrico and James followed in his footsteps: Enrico was a music teacher at the Butler Area Junior High School and band leader at the mining community of Ernest in Indiana County; James became “Mr. Colonna,” teacher of music and director of the Punxsutawney Area High School Band. In two generations this family moved from immigrants in a mining community to an integral part of their communities. The trolley system not only carried passengers and customers from mine town to the larger communities, it enabled town residents to work in mine towns and mine - Continued on page 24

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20 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255


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The Punxsutawney Area Hospital Expands Specialty Services By Katie Donald for Hometown magazine s a 49-bed, rural and community hospital, the mission of Punxsutawney Area Hospital is to provide high quality, cost effective, primary healthcare and coordinate care for patients requiring secondary and tertiary


services. Our community needs are increasing for specialty care services, and PAH is committed to meeting those needs. The Punxsutawney Area Hospital is pleased to announce that Podiatry, Dermatology and Bariatrics specialty services are being offered by the hospital. As a Top

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100 Rural Community Hospital named by the Chartis Group for three consecutive years, PAH continues to strive for excellence in the ever changing medical field. Our podiatry team, led by Jassie McGovern, DPM, is dedicated to helping you heal, hurt less and move more. She treats a wide range of foot and ankle problems, including injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures. Dr. McGovern also treats chronic conditions, such as diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic wounds, bunions, plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, tendonitis, toenail fungus, ligament problems, growth plate injuries in children and teens and deformities. Diabetic foot exams, including nail care are also performed by in the office setting. Appointments are available in Punxsutawney at the COSM location on 720 West Mahoning Street. For more information, call the office at 724-349-3290. Our Dermatology team, Therese Wilson, M.D. and Kayla Gabany, PA-C, is passionate about providing the best dermatology care to patients of all ages, with an emphasis on preventing and treating skin cancers. Their holistic approach gives you and your family access to a wide range of dermatology services in one convenient location. Appointments are available at COSM, 720 West Mahoning Street, Suite 300 in Punxsutawney. For more information or to make an appointment contact the office a call at 724357-8087. With Bariatrics, Dr. Brian Walkowski is committed not only to helping you achieve your weight loss goals, but also in assisting you with improving your

overall health. We offer a comprehensive, personalized weight loss program tailored to each individual. The benefits of weight loss are vast. It can improve your quality of life, eliminate sleep apnea, help control hypertension, reverse diabetes, reduce the risk of heart disease and more. If you are struggling to lose weight, are over the age of 18, and are willing to make a lifelong commitment to your health, we are here for you. The Bariatrics office location will also be the COSM location at 720 West Mahoning Street, Suite 300, Punxsutawney. For more information about services offered, accepted insurance plans or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at 724-349-3170. The Primary Care Office located on the PAH campus is pleased to announce the expansion of providers added to the team, including the following: Melissa Powell, CRNP; Keli Simpson, CRNP; and Mandy Greenblatt, CRNP. Together with Donald Pallone, CRNP and Susan Montag, CRNP, the primary care office provides care for patients of all ages, from pediatrics to geriatrics. Same day appointments can be made by calling 814-938-7066. The Punxsutawney Area Hospital continues to offer Otolaryngology, Pulmonology, Critical Care, Urology, General Surgery, Cardiology, Neurology, OB/GYN, Behavioral Health Services, Cardio pulmonology, Home Health Care, Rapid Care and many other great services to meet the needs of the community. For a complete listing of the services offered, visit www.pah.org. •••

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The end of the year is often a popular time to volunteer, as the spirit of giving that’s synonymous with the holiday season compels millions of people to make an effort to support local charities and nonprofit organizations. In years past, that might have made it difficult for prospective volunteers to find organizations in need of volunteers. However, as the world continues to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, charitable organizations and nonprofits may have a host of opportunities for prospective volunteers. In addition, the pandemic might have led some nonprofits to expand their remote volunteering operations, an expansion that does not need to end even as the world gradually transitions to life after COVID-19. That should mean there’s still plenty of chances to embrace remote or virtual volunteering. •••

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ecause Punxsutawney has been fortunate to have “American Hero” banners displayed throughout the community for a good part of the year, an opportunity to look in a new direction for sets of siblings in service has presented itself. Earlier this year, a determined volunteer, Joseph T. Hetrick, went all around town gathering information from each banner with the aim of compiling a spreadsheet showing the name, service branch, rank and service era, as well as the 2021 physical location of each. Joe made digital copies of this compilation available to the Mahoning Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce, the Punxsutawney Memorial Library and the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society. Of the 244 banners listed, ten had surnames beginning with “F,” and of those ten, only two referenced World War II. They were not brothers, but a quick check of the Society’s WWII servicemember clipping files, compiled by Punxsutawney Librarian Miss Mildred Harlan using all Jefferson County newspapers during the war, described the service of Millard Frantz (subject of a banner) and his brother Paul. Digging into genealogical records at the Society and online revealed a large family with a third brother who supported the war effort as a civilian and a sister who joined the U.S. Army Cadet Nurse Corps. Four half-brothers, too young for service during WWII, joined the service later. Also, ancestors who served in the Civil War are known to the family.

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Mabel and Edward Frantz were parents of four: Charles, Millard, Paul and Emma Jean, each of whom served their country in separate ways during WWII. Collection of Frantz family. c.1920.

The blended family Millard Jacob and Paul Allen Frantz, together with their siblings Charles Edward and Emma Jean, were the children of Edward Milton (1884-1956) and Mabel Henry (1891-1925) Frantz. Mabel died while her

children were small, and Edward later married Phoebe Guthrie Gower, whose son William Anthony Gower (1922-1985) served in the U.S. Army during WWII. Together, Edward and Phoebe had eight children. The Frantz family lived for many years in the Foxburg area near Big Run where they built a substantial brick home. Edward was a retired miner, having worked primarily as a machinist according to Census records. Edward, Mabel and Phoebe are buried at McClure Cemetery near Big Run. The Frantz siblings’ WWII service Millard Jacob Frantz (1916-1980) graduated from Big Run High School in the early 1930s, after which he found work with a tree service in Connecticut. He joined the U.S. Army in 1942 where he was immediately enrolled in Officers’ Training School; on graduation he was commissioned as a second lieutenant Millard Frantz, in the conof his tank, served in the Tank De- fines during the European Thestroyer Com- atre of Operations. Collecmand. Initially, tion of Frantz family. he was part of c.1944. the tank destroyer battalion in General Patton’s Third Army; he was awarded the Purple Heart from wounds received in the Battle of the Bulge. Later, he was part of the 10th Armored Division of the 7th Army.   Millard was married in November of 1941 to the former Helen Bendlock of Adrian. Gerald, their first child, was born during the time his father was serving in the European Theater of Operations, and the two did not meet one another until Jerry was three years old. For the toddler, it came as big surprise to have this fellow on the scene. During his service in Europe, Captain Millard Frantz wrote many letters to his older brother Chuck from his locations in England, France and Germany, many of which have been preserved. Following the war, the family made their home in the Punxsutawney area. Millard was a retired railroad worker. He and his wife are buried at the Ss. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Young Township. Paul Allen Frantz (1919-2010) graduated from Big Run High School, then joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, eventually - Continued on next page


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Helen and Millard Frantz celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a special nuptial blessing at Ss. Peter & Paul Greek Catholic Church of Punxsutawney. The couple was married at the church on November 3, 1941. PAHGS surname clipping files. c.1966.

Chuck and Bess Frantz made their home in Richland, Washington. Collection of Frantz Family. c.1940s.

This photo of Eva and Paul Frantz of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, was taken during their retirement years. Collection of Frantz Family. c.1990s.

Frantz Siblings in Continued from previous page finding employment in Stanford, Connecticut. He was married in April of 1941 to the former Eva Iannotti (1922-2013) in Westbury, New York. Paul entered the Navy in 1944 and was honorably discharged in 1946, having attained the Electrician Rate of Second Class Petty Officer. After his Navy discharge, he completed the threepart Electrical Engineering Course from the International Correspondence School in Scranton. This led to his employment at Cerro Copper and Brass (Titan Metals) in the Bellefonte area as an electrical foreman;

he retired from there in 1984, after thirtyone years in that position. Prior to working at Cerro, he worked for various electrical equipment shops in Pennsylvania and the state of Washington. In Pennsylvania he worked on various types of equipment in glass plants, steel mills, natural gas pumping stations, as well as coal and clay mines. Paul and Eva are entombed at the Garden Mausoleum at Centre County Memorial Park near State College, Pennsylvania. Charles Edward Frantz (1915-1991) graduated from Big Run High School. He, like his brother Paul, completed a course from the International Correspondence School and obtained certification as a chemical en-

gineer. When working for Hanford Power Company, he and his wife, the former Bessie Laird (1916-1988) of Wishaw, whom he had married in 1937, relocated to the state of Washington to a newly-built company town called Richland near the Columbia River. At a remote central-eastern part of the state, the land thereabouts was sandy. When asked what he did on the job, he would say that he and his coworkers were “making sandpaper.” In reality, their work was with plutonium, and the workers quickly deduced that they were working on one of the many secret elements of the “Manhattan Project,” which ultimately produced the atom bomb. This was never confirmed to them, but…they knew what they knew. Eventually, the modest ranch houses were sold to the workers’ families. There is now a National Manhattan Project Historic Park site nearby. Chuck and Bess continued their lives in Washington and are buried at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Richland, Washington. Emma Jean Frantz (1923-2002), after graduating from Big Run High school, attended Ohio Valley General Hospital Nursing School in Steubenville, Ohio. When the WWII Cadet Nurse Corps program was developed nationwide, the school was a participant. Entering the school in March 1942, she was admitted to the Corps in October 1943 and graduated in 1945. She met and married Doyle Chester Luckey (19161983), who was from West Virginia. Doyle served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. The couple were married that year, made their home in Ohio and are buried at New Alexandria Cemetery, Jefferson County, Ohio. - Continued on page 27

Recruitment poster for the U.S. Army’s Cadet Nurse Corps. The U.S. Public Health Service recruiting campaign was aimed at reaching the maximum number of potential applicants in the shortest period of time. The primary targets were high-school graduates, but college women were also recruited. The selling point was free education in a proud profession while providing an essential service to the country. Appeals to join the CNC reached more than 7,000,000 newspaper and magazine readers and millions of radio listeners and movie patrons around the country, as well as being heard in speeches and seen on billboards and in leaflets. U.S. corporations donated $13,000,000 worth of advertising space and technical services to the program in one year. Senior nursing students were required to work for a six-month period in a hospital or in another health agency. In return, the federal government would pay the schools for the related tuition and fees of the students. U.S.P.H.S. c.1943.

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Area of Jefferson County which lies in the Reynoldsville Basin where there were extensive coal deposits. Horatio is at the bottom of the oval while Rathmel and Soldier are at the top right. Between 1880 and 1890, the significant population increased in the county was in this area. Between 1890 and 1900, the population in this area continued to grow at an average of 77%. Map from McKnight’s History of Jefferson County, Volume #1, published by J.H. Beers in 1917.


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No Place Like Home Continued from page 20 town residents to work in the larger communities. With more customers from mine towns, merchants in Punxsutawney, Reynoldsville and Sykesville found that they needed to have foreign language speaking clerks in their business establishments. One of the clerks, Charles J. Margiotti of Walston, was hired by E.S.

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24 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

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Swartz, the Merchant Tailor in Punxsutawney, to work in his Men’s Clothing Store, located at the corner of Mahoning and Findley streets. Charles Margiotti would later become a noted criminal lawyer and would serve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the State Attorney General and run for the Office of Governor. The trolley enabled the development of a local baseball league among the mine towns. The teams were able to travel to play games during the long summer evenings. This provided entertainment, encouraged community spirit and provided opportunities for the players. Local coal town players learned the game on diamonds in their home towns and honed them on diamonds throughout the area. Some mine town ball players were of the quality to become players on major league teams. Their excellence brought pride to their home communities. By 1910, the thousands of immigrants who came to the Reynoldsville Basin between 1882 and 1890 had established their home, raised families and were now an integral part of the community. Their children, first generation Americans, raised in mining communities, moved forward with pride, knowing their family roots were firmly planted in the place they called home, the mining town where they grew up. This article has been prepared by the Coal Memorial Committee of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society. Resources used in preparing his article are from PAHGS, The Punxsutawney Spirit and Newspapers.com. Comments may be directed to PAHGS, P.O. Box 286, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Individuals desiring to honor a coal or coal related industry worker are encouraged to purchase their tile by June 30, 2022. A Coal Memorial tile may honor persons who worked in any aspect of the coal industry including railroads and ancillary services. Additional information and forms may be found online at www.punxsyhistory.org or may be requested by an email to: punxsyhistory@outlook.com, or calling 814-938-2555 and leaving a message. •••

First Christmas Baby Contest


e at Hometown – and the sponsors of the First Christmas Baby of 2021 will welcome the first baby of the Christmas season to the Punxsutawney Area Hospital in a very special way! In addition to wishing one and all the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years, Hometown will recognize the first baby born on Christmas or the closest date after Christmas. The “winning” newborn will be the first baby born after 12 p.m. midnight on Dec. 24, 2021 and must be a resident of the Hometown delivery area. The first baby will be announced on our facebook page and in the next issue of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine. •••

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Hometown Community Happenings


rom the staff of Hometown magazine and the Community Calendar at Punxsutawney.com, here is a list of events coming up in our area:  At press time, Coronavirus restrictions and mask requirements were changing. Please check with the host organization’s website or Facebook page for up-to-date information.  n Hometown Steelers Football contest winner: The final score of the December 5 Ravens vs. the Steelers game was 19 to 20.  Tanya Scarantine entered a total point score of 38, being the closest total point score entered. Tanya wishes to redeem her gift card at Fox’s Pizza Den.  Congratulations, Tanya. Remember readers, you must play to win! Enter today.  n The Big Run Fire Co. holds Honey Badger Bingo every first and third Wednesday of the month at the Big Run Event Center. Doors open at 4 p.m., early bird games start at 6 p.m. and regular games start at 6:30 p.m. Food & beverages available.  n The Perry Township Vol. Fire Co. holds an All You Can Eat breakfast on the 2nd Sunday of every month at the fire hall, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., adults: $8.  n The Weather Discovery Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Contact the center for admission prices.  n Dec. 21: Blood Drive, noon to 6 p.m. at Punxsy VFW on Maple Ave. Sponsored by the American Red Cross.  n Dec. 21: First Day of Winter!  n Dec. 22: Drive-Through Community Dinner, 5 to 6 p.m. at Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church. Enter the alley off East Mahoning St. beside the Pantall and drive toward Union St. Meals will be handed to the driver. The meal will include an entrée to be heated at home and a dessert.  n Dec. 24 & 25: Punxsutawney Memorial Library closed. Library also closed Jan. 1.  n Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Worship Services: - 4 p.m. at New Beginnings Church, Walston.

- 4:30 p.m. Vigil Mass and 9 p.m. Evening Mass, preceded by Hymns and Carols beginning at 8:30 p.m. at SS. Cosmas and Damian Church, Punxsutawney. - 7 p.m. at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Airport Road. - 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. - 9 p.m. at First English Lutheran Church. - 11 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.  n Dec. 25: Christmas!  n Dec. 30: Winter Wonders, 1 to 4 p.m. at Weather Discovery Center. Pre-registration appreciated, but walk-ins welcome. Call 814-938-1000 or email info@weatherdiscovery.org for more information. Suggested for grades 1-6.  n Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve. Celebrate safely.  n Jan. 1: New Year’s Day! The staff of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine wishes you a happy & healthy 2022!  n Jan. 7 & 8: Grange’s Helping Hands free clothing. Friday, noon to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grange Church of God. Check the Facebook page to make sure this event is happening.  n Jan. 8: Girl Scout Get Outdoors Challenge – Winter 2022, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center. Pre-register by Dec. 23 at 814-9381000 or email info@weatherdiscovery.org.  n Jan. 11: Blood Drive, 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Mary Parish, Reynoldsville. Benefits the American Red Cross.  n Jan.17: Blood Drive, noon to 5 p.m. at Big Run War Memorial. Benefits the American Red Cross.  n Jan. 19: Drive-Through Community Dinner, 5 to 6 p.m. at Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church. Enter the alley off East Mahoning St. beside the Pantall and drive toward Union St. Meals will be handed to the driver. The meal will include an entrée to be heated at home and a dessert.  n 2022 Dog License applications will be available at several locations around Punxsutawney. •••


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26 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255


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Three Holiday Crafts Families Can Make Together


ecorating for the holidays can be made even more special when decorations are handmade creations families can cherish for years to come. Holiday crafting is an enjoyable way to pass some time and create lasting holiday traditions and memories. The following are some crafts families can make together. Personalized elf For families who want to make their own personalized elf dolls, all it takes is a little computer knowledge, some clever photo work and a some sewing skills. Find a template for a rag doll sewing pattern or an illustration of an elf online. Superimpose an image of your child’s face on the template in a photo editing program. Print out the entire image onto iron-on fabric transfer paper. Iron it on to a light-colored piece of fabric from the craft store according to the product directions. Cut out the fabric with ironed-on decal, leaving about a one-inch margin to allow for sewing and eventual stuffing. Duplicate the shape of the doll onto another piece of fabric to make the back of the elf doll. Place the front elf image face down on the back piece of fabric and sew the edges together, leaving a small opening at the end. Using that opening, flip the elf right-side out and stuff with pillow fill material. Sew the small opening closed and enjoy a personalized elf doll for the holidays. Holiday candle This craft is attractive and also smells

Frantz Siblings in Continued from page 23

The ancestors’ service Mabel, the first Mrs. Edward Frantz, was the daughter of Jacob Harvey and Emma Serena Hawk Henry (originally O’Henry). Emma’s father, Thomas Hawk/Hauck (1827-1900), served during the Civil War with the Pennsylvania 105th “Wildcat” Regiment as part of the offensive in Virginia (sometimes known as the “Peninsula Campaign”). While there, he contracted malaria and was discharged with “disability.” He, therefore, was not with the105th at Gettysburg. He did, however, reenlist later on and served with Company B of the Pennsylvania 206th. Among the Frantz ancestors, Jacob Frantz served during the Civil War in Company B of the Pennsylvania 78th in several engagements including the battle at Lookout Mountain in Georgia in November of 1863. In the Frantz family surname folder belonging to PAHGS, there are a number of early area residents described, including Henry Frantz (1845-1919), a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War which took place in 1870 and 1871. His obituary states that he was born in Alsace-Lorraine, that portion of central Europe claimed or controlled at different times by both France and Germany. This is the part of Europe from which Millard’s second son, Dr. J. Thomas Frantz, was told his Frantz ancestors originated and, further, Tom says other family members have

good. Gather one bar of fragrant soap (like Irish spring); a small, white washcloth; red and green ribbon; a round of colorful mesh or tulle fabric measuring roughly 12 inches or enough to wrap your bar of soap; craft glue; a piece of yellow felt cut to look like a flame; and one or two sewing pins. Roll the washcloth into a cylinder shape to serve as the “wick” of the candle. Glue the edges together and wrap a piece of ribbon diagonally around the wick and adhere to secure even further. Glue the felt flame to the top of the wick. Place the soap in the center of the round piece of fabric. Attach the wick vertically to the soap using the pins. Then gather the tops of the mesh fabric around the base of the wick and use another piece of ribbon to tie into a bow and secure the fabric to the wick base. The soap and pins should now be concealed. Place the “candle” out of direct sunlight and away from heat, preferably on a little dish so the soap will not damage any furniture. Growth indicator ornament Purchase a large glass or plastic Christmas tree ball. Select an acrylic paint in your color of choice and squirt some into a paper plate. Have a child dip his or her hand into the paint and then transfer the handprint to the ornament. Let dry and then attach a ribbon to hang on the tree. Through the years see how much children have grown from that little handprint. ••• traced their ancestry back to a Henry Frantz. While there are several Henrys in that particular family tree, the connection to the reputed guide for Napoleon III is not yet clear. The banners To finish where this article began, it is necessary to briefly recount the story behind Punxsutawney’s “American Hero” banners and mention the many persons involved in their production and installation. The group which took on the task at the project’s onset is the “Lemon Drops” and because of their members’ efforts, were recognized by PAHGS for their contribution to the advancement of local history. A major decision this group made was to make sure the banners were large enough to be properly seen. Similar banners in other towns are generally the size of smaller garden flags. Getting the word out so that families could fund these banners was important. They’ve been produced in beautiful detail by Standard Pennant Company of Big Run. Annual installation and takedown is another big challenge requiring volunteers, borough employees and equipment, often during inclement weather. Coordination of the second round of banners was assumed by the Chamber, and VFW volunteers did their part in cleaning and preparing banners for reinstallation early this year. Finally, the digital compilation of banner information prepared by Mr. Hetrick completes the circle by making the information available to the public. •••


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Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 27

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(“From Our Past,” researched by S. Thomas Curry, features items of interest from past editions of Punxsutawney and area newspapers.  December 10, 1868 — At a late meeting, the following rule was adopted by the Board of Managers of the Mahoning Navigation Company:  That the rules in reference to Brackets which had been promulgated in Toll Sheet, be amended, so that hereafter there shall be charged Three Dollars as entrance fee on each raft to be paid at the time the rafts are entered by the Bracket Master, who is authorized to make a general bracket when fifty rafts shall be entered and paid for to the Treasurer of said Company. S.B. Williams, President; Attest: John Hastings, Clerk. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer) [Note: The Mahoning Navigation Company in Punxsutawney was organized in 1858 to manage and control the Mahoning Creek as a public highway and to levy tolls and fines to maintain the creek for navigation that included timber rafting.]  December 11, 1907 — A runaway in East End this morning occasioned considerable excitement. The horse which usually plods along in a very proper manner with J.W. Smith’s delivery wagon behind it, this morning became obstreperous and the driver was unable to hold it. When the horse finally came to a stop, the rig was a thing of the past and groceries were scattered along the street for half a mile. (The Punxsutawney Spirit)

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Lights on a Christmas tree may seem like a relatively recent phenomenon, but people who can’t wait to deck the halls each December may be surprised to learn that this beloved tradition dates all the way back to the late nineteenth century. Edward Johnson, a friend and colleague of Thomas Edison, introduced holiday light bulbs in 1882. Prior to that, candles were lit on trees and families would briefly gaze at this awe-inspiring bit of holiday decor before the candles were quickly extinguished. Johnson is credited with being the first to suggest light bulbs, which were invented by his friend Edison, be used to light trees in place of candles. While many were impressed by Johnson’s eight-bulb holiday display, it remained a novelty until the 1920s, when preassembled lights became more accessible. Since then, Christmas tree lights have taken hold as a must-have piece of holiday decor in households across the globe. •••


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[Note: “Obstreperous” is defined as “noisy and difficult to control.”]  December 14, 1892 — To see a man walking the streets of Punxsutawney carrying a lantern is enough to give a man the horrors. What in our present condition we most desire is electric street lights. (Punxsutawney News)  December 24, 1902 — Dr. J.G. Bethuyne is now the owner of “Punx’y,” the race horse for which $2,000 was paid as a two-year-old. The horse’s name was at first “McKinley,” and Dr. Bethuyne has changed his name back to the original one, thinking that “Punx’y” might be a sort of hoodoo, as it never realized the expectations of its owner. “Doc” says that McKinley is as easily managed as a pet lamb. (The Punxsutawney Spirit) [Note: Dr. Bethuyne was a veterinarian in Punxsutawney from 1893 to 1939. “McKinley” was reference to William McKinley who was the 25th president of the United States, serving from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.]  December 28, 1898 — Lieut. Martin, of the U.S. Army, together with the paymaster, was in town today, Wednesday, and the members of Co. L, 16th Reg’t, Pa. Vols., were mustered out of service, and received all back pay due them. For the privates the pay averaged about $40 per man. (The Punxsutawney Spirit) [Note: The Army unit was recruited from the Punxsutawney area in 1898 for the brief Spanish-American War in Puerto Rico.] •••

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How to Care for Fresh Holiday Wreaths

ajestic Christmas trees garner the lion’s share of the decorative fanfare when the holidays arrive. Trees may be the focal points of holiday decor, but the humble wreath adorning the front door is the first decoration guests are likely to see when visiting a home. Wreaths may need some care to maintain

their beauty all month long. Here are some tips to help holiday wreaths last as long as possible. Choose a wreath wisely When shopping for a wreath, choose freshly cut greenery that you assemble yourself; otherwise, look for wreaths made from freshly cut boughs with their foliage intact. Make sure not too many needles or leaves are falling off. Heavily decorated, preassembled wreaths may be convenient, but ornaments can make it challenging to give the wreath the moisture it needs to survive. Moisture/water Access to moisture will help to keep the wreath fresh. While a Christmas tree trunk may sit inside of a stand filled with water, wreaths require a little ingenuity. According to the wreath and garland retailer Club

Botanic, if you will not be hanging a freshly purchased wreath right away, keep it in a plastic liner in a cool, dark place to help it retain moisture. Just make sure you don’t seal that liner closed. Before hanging, lay the wreath in a couple of inches of water for about an hour or up to a day so that the cut stems can soak up water. Once the wreath is hanging on a door or elsewhere, spritz it with water every few days to prevent it from drying out. Location, location, location Where you hang the wreath is key to its longevity. Wreaths and garlands hung indoors likely won’t last as long as those hung outside, advises the floral retailer Bouqs.com. Evergreen boughs tend to require a colder climate to thrive, and indoor heat can prematurely zap moisture from the wreath. Using a humidifier indoors or misting the wreath may help. It’s probably best to hang fresh wreaths outdoors, but avoid direct sunlight, which can dry out the greenery. Slightly shaded spots are best. If your front door is bathed in full sun for hours, hang an artificial wreath here instead of a fresh one. Maintain airflow Another factor that can affect the wreath’s longevity is an ample flow of oxygen. Wreaths tend to last much longer when kept on an outer door, indicates Harbor Farm in Ellsworth, ME. Wreaths sandwiched between a front door and a storm door will probably perish faster due to lack of oxygen. Following these tips can help keep fresh wreaths as vibrant as the day they were brought home. •••

Do you have a special event for Groundhog Dayt Please let us know by emailing hometownspunxsutawneymagazine com or text/call 814-952-3668

The Ho-Ho History of the Christmas Card


hile you may love your holiday traditions, you may not have given much thought to the origins of these customs. When it comes to sending Christmas cards, this long-standing tradition has a fascinating history. Did you know that these seasonal greetings date back to the 1840s? The annual custom was started by trendsetter Queen Victoria herself, whose published engraving featuring the winter wonderland at Windsor inspired her subjects to follow suit. Stateside, Annie Oakley was another Christmas card pioneer, sending the first known personalized Christmas card in 1891. While the 20th century saw the rise of the

folded card sent by mail, today, digital greetings are yet another way to show friends and family you care, thanks to a wide variety of options available. For example, SmashUps personalized video greetings allow users to send customized holiday wishes featuring favorite celebrities, including Santa himself. To learn more, visit smashups.com or download the SmashUps app, available for iPhone and Android. As you send and receive seasons’ greetings this year, take time to appreciate the long and storied history of this fun and festive tradition. (StatePoint) •••

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814-427-2719 EXT. 0 Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 29

Barbara A. Sherry of Punxsutawney September 27, 1934 - November 12, 2021  Barbara was a member of Valley Chapel United Methodist Church in Juneau and was a current member of FCRV. She was a graduate of Marion Center High School.  She is survived by a son, Douglas (Kathy) Sherry; daughters, Debra Burkett and Darla (Jeff) Steiner; six grandchildren, Jocelyn (JR) Sutter, Amanda Sherry, Derek (Melissa) Burkett, Steven Sherry, Keelie Steiner and Macie Steiner; four great-grandchildren, Keaton Sutter, Payton Sutter, Riley Burkett and Piper Burkett; and numerous nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Glade and Hazel (Crawford) Tyger, her husband, James L. Sherry and a brother, Harold Tyger. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Lois G. Pearce of Punxsutawney November 16, 1944 - November 17, 2021  Lois was a member of the Church of the Nazarene. As a pastor’s wife for 50 years, she was active in all churches that her husband was pastoring, but was currently active at the Valley Chapel United Methodist in Juneau. Lois read the children’s message on Sunday mornings, lead the Sunday prayer meetings, was head of decorating for all holidays at the church, helped with vacation bible school and recently went on a disaster relief trip to Louisiana. Lois was all about Christmas.  She is survived by a daughter, Valerie (Chris) Powell; three sons, Matt (Amanda) Pearce, John (Katalin) Pearce, Michael (Brittany) Pearce; six grandchildren, Christina, Kayla, Kyan, Peyton, Hailey and Koby Pearce; two brothers, Fred Cressley and Boyd (Nancy) Cressley; five sisters, Norma “Teckie” (Ham) Riddle, Carol “Cookie” (Bill) Michaels, Linda Farmery, Jackie (Terry) Temchulla, Pam (Doug) Sprankle and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Velma (White) Cressley, her husband, Rev. Joseph Pearce, an infant son, Timothy Pearce and two brothers, Merle “Bub” and Gene Cressley. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Kay E. Brooks of Rossiter June 13, 1947 - November 17, 2021  Kay was a graduate of the Punxsutawney Area High School. She worked at Walmart as a Pharmacy Technician and attended the Steffy United Methodist Church.  In addition to her husband, James D. Brooks, she is survived by three sons, Marty (Catherine) Brooks, Mike Brooks and Bob Brooks; six grandchildren, Tiffany (Alex) Hewitt, Logan (Levi) Sikora, Skylar Brooks and fiancé Jon Voss, Meghan Brooks, Madison Brooks and Cole Brooks; two great-grandchildren, A.J. and Grayson Hewitt; and a nephew, Scott Karro.  In addition to her parents, Loretta (Sherwin) and David R. Williard, she was preceded in death by a brother, Ray Williard, a sister, Esther Karro and a daughter-in-law, Marcy Brooks. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Shirley Marie Lewis of Punxsutawney, December 5, 1945 - November 19, 2021  Shirley worked as a baker at Comet Market and retired as a caregiver working at Helpmates

Inc. and Senior Assist Services Inc. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother, sister and friend and will be dearly missed by everyone.  She is survived by three sons and a daughter, William Lewis, Andrew (Ashley) Lewis, Sr., Debra (William) Fox, John Lewis and fiancé Jada Shields; eight grandchildren, Jackelyn Lewis and fiancé Mike Duttry, Andrew (Kenesha) Lewis Jr., Tanner (Gabrielle) Lewis, Ashley (Johninthin) Hain, Aaron James “AJ” Carey, Tyler Maruca, Kasey Prescott and fiancée Thomas Adamo, and Ayden Shields; ten greatgrandchildren, Makenzie Hain, Aleaha Lewis, Benson Lewis, Oliver Lewis, Cammeron Rebosky, Madison and Wyatt Duttry, Angel, Thomas, Jr. and Mateo Adamo; three brothers, John Ryan, Frederick Wolfe, Jr., Robert (Donna) Wolfe; two sisters, Mary Lou (Larry) Torrell, Suzanne (Ebbie) Mark; and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Frederick and Dorothy (Ryan) Wolfe, her husband, Philip L. “Louie” Lewis, twin daughters, Janet Suzanne and Janice Marie Lewis, her brother and sister-in-law Charles and Betty Wolfe, an infant brother and sister-in-law Carolyn Wolfe. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Karen Keenan of Hamilton July 18, 1943 - November 21, 2021  Karen will be greatly missed by her loving husband Frank Edward Keenan of Hamilton; her three daughters, Nicole Keenan, Erin (Tim) Bosworth and Dana (Jim) Brauer; and her two brothers, Terry (Carol) Kermes and Jerry (Wendy) Neal.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert Kermes and Ruth Smith, as well as her step-father, Leon Neal; her sister, Barb Furguson and Barb’s husband, Charles Furguson.  Karen had several grandchildren whom she loved very much, Mike Bosworth, Emily Bosworth, Katie Brauer and Lauren Brauer.  She worked several years as a bookkeeper for Stroehmann Bakeries and was active with her church and loved teaching Sunday school. She loved to play softball and was a manager of a girls softball team. Richard L. Fait Funeral Home www.faitfuneralhome.com u Dennis E. Plyler of Punxsutawney August 3, 1960 - November 22, 2021  He has a graduate of Marion Center Area High School, a member of McCalmont Township Volunteer Fire Company and a former Chief and Assistant Chief of the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Company.  Dennis worked as a truck driver driving tankers for Satterlee and then spent almost twenty years employed as a truck driver for PennDot.  In addition to his wife, Robin S. (Rumpf) Plyler and mother, Ruth (Miller) Plyler, he is survived by six children, Chad (Inessa) Plyler, Tiffany (T.J. Hickox) Plyer, Anthony LeDonne, Sabrina LeDonne and fiancé Jeremy Bryan, Tamara (Justyn) Keibler and Robyn LeDonne; eight grandchildren, Jacelyn Keibler, Alyssa Wallen, Amanda Keibler, Justyn Keibler, Thomas Bryan, Charlie Bryan, Brantley LeDonne and Luva Wyant; four siblings, Renda (Russ) London, Sandra Plyler Burris, Bonnie (Tom) Shiock and Rodney Plyler; nephew Corey and Shannon London; and numerous nieces and nephews.  In addition to his father, Leonard C. Plyler, he was preceded in death by a brother, Wendell S.

Plyler and a niece, Amber London. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Robert R. Reitz of Punxsutawney July 20, 1953 - November 25, 2021  Rob attended the Scotland Ave. Church of God and was a member and a former elder of the Grange Church of God. He retired from OCI in Brookville as a production manager. Prior to OCI, Rob worked for Star Iron Works for over 30 years.  He was a member of the Perry Township Sportsman Club and was a past scout leader for Troop 245 in Punxsutawney. He enjoyed playing his 12-string guitar and was a member of the worship team at the Grange Church of God, performing at churches, personal care homes and events. He loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.  He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Debra J. (Grube) Reitz; three children, Robert Reitz, April (Kenneth) Shaffer and Jeffrey (Christina) Reitz; six grandchildren, Justus Shaffer, Juliana Shaffer, Rosalee Shaffer, Melody Shaffer, Sadie Reitz and Avery Reitz; and a brother, Jerry (Ruth) Reitz.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles E. and Dorothy (Long) Reitz; two infant brothers; and a sister, Susan M. Aljoe. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Anna C. Smochek of Punxsutawney March 30, 1930 - November 25, 2021  Anna was the last remaining member of her immediate family.  Anna was a graduate of SSCD High School and was a devoted Catholic. She was a member of Saints Cosmas and Damian Roman Catholic Church in Punxsutawney and served in the Rosary Altar Society, the Blue Army, as a Eucharistic minister for many years and was a member of the prayer chain.  She enjoyed praying twentyfour hours a day, spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed her final years with the caregivers from Christ the King Manor and her final days with her amazing hospice staff.  Surviving family include four sons and three daughters: Raymond Smochek; Paul (Beth Ann) Smochek; Stanley J. Smochek and wife Julie of Punxsutawney; Richard (Sharon) Smochek; Mary Ann (Greg) Bell; Donna Marie (Jeffrey) Little; and Susan Kathleen (Brett) Bloxdorf; eighteen grandchildren; twenty-four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.  In addition to her husband, Raymond A. Smochek, and her parents, Mary Jane (Sulick) and Peter Paul Gresock, she was preceded in death by two infant sisters, three sisters, Irene Hull, Martha Hook and Amelia Obbish, and a daughter-in-law, Susan Smochek. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u William “Dan” Daniel Chambers, Sr. of Trade City July 26, 1946 - November 25, 2021  Dan was a member of the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Trade City. Dan was a graduate of the Punxsutawney Area High School Class of 1964. He went on to work for over fifty years in the Local 2274 Carpenters Union.  Dan was also a member of the Smicksburg Antique Tractor Club.  In addition to his wife, Patricia E. (Lukehart)

Chambers, surviving relatives include three children, Kathy (Kipp) Shellhammer, Dan Chambers, Jr. and fiancé Tanya Stahlman and David (Kelly) Chambers; three grandchildren, Kayla Shellhammer, Krista Shellhammer and Duncan Chambers; a brother, Timothy (Cindy) Chambers; a niece, Crystal (Jason) Olszeski; and a nephew, Paul (Sarah) Chambers.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Eleanor R. (Brocious) and William G. Chambers. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Denise Mary Pifer of Punxsutawney April 21, 1961 - November 26, 2021  Denise was a 1980 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School. She attended church at Chestnut Grove Independent Church. She worked for the Punxsutawney Area School District for 24 years.  She is survived by her husband, Kerry L. Pifer; four children, Brandi (Richie) Snell, Jacob (Felecia) Vanyo, Steven Omlor and Keagan Pifer and fiancé Lakyn Smith; a stepdaughter, Kourtney Pifer; two grandchildren, Kylah and Kenlee Snell; mother-in-law, Patty Pifer; four sisters and two brothers, Stephanie (Dallas) Pearce, Tim (Missy) Spack, her twin sister, Dolores (Al) Toven, Joe (Paula) Spack, Rita (Lenny) Yenzi and Patty Mock Spack; numerous nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Tammy (Bill) Mahan; brother-in-law, Jimmy Stewart.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Rita (Spack) Biggie and fatherin-law, Richard G. Pifer. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Leona Pauline Griffith of Punxsutawney, December 26, 1953 - November 30, 2021  Leona was a graduate of Jeff Tech. She attended the New Life Fellowship Church in Timblin. She worked as a babysitter, a private duty home health care aide and, most recently, with Senior Assist Services.  In addition to her parents, Shirley J. (Blose) and Wayne B. Combs, Sr., she is survived by three sons, Fred (Brandy) Griffith, Brook Griffith and fiancé Tammy Brooks and Wayne Griffith; four grandchildren, Austin Griffith, Holden Griffith, Sydney Griffith and Caitlin Hill; four siblings, Robert (Jacque “Toot”) Powell, LaDonna (Jeff) Rudolph, Bonnie (Craig) Farster and Jenny (Gary) Smith.  She was preceded in death by her sister, Sharon Powell, and a brother, Wayne B. Combs, Jr. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Daniel M. Powers, Jr. of Punxsutawney March 4, 1952 - December 2, 2021  Dan worked many years as Produce Manager at Fezell’s Shop-n-Save of DuBois. He also worked at Comet Market in Punxsutawney until his retirement. He deeply enjoyed serving his community. In his retirement years, Dan loved spending time with family, especially his buddy Braxton.  In addition to his wife, Vicki (Rushnok) Powers, and mother, Eva L (Neilson) Powers, surviving relatives include his two children: Jessica (Yagnik) Powers and husband Gautam and Daniel Powers and fiancé Brooke Kunselman; three step children, W. Michael (Wendy) Rushnok, Tyler Rushnok and significant other Justine Kaza and Casey Rushnok and fiancé Dan Geer; five grandchildren, Connor, Willa, Continued on next page

30 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

Continued from previous page Madison, Zoey, and Braxton; three sisters, Linda (Sauers) Powers, Connie (Thiebaud) Powers and husband Tom and Sue (Weaver) Powers and husband John; one brother, Jon (Paula) Powers; and numerous nieces and nephews.  In addition to his father, Daniel M. Powers, Sr., he was preceded in death by his daughter, Stacey Lynn Powers, and a brother-in-law, Tom Sauers. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Terry P. Stahlman of Punxsutawney December 5, 1936 - December 3, 2021  Terry and his wife Evelyn were the owners of Stahlman’s Country Store for over thirty-three years.  Terry was baptized in the Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney. He attended St. John’s Reformed Church. He was a graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School.  Terry was drafted into the United States Army where he served for two years and then continued his military service with the Army National Guard for another ten years.  He is survived by three children, Jamie (Jackie) Stahlman, Richard (Tammy) Stahlman and Shelley Smith; fourteen grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; five siblings, William (Mary Ellen) Stahlman, Oma Joye Dunmire, Mary Ann Holt, Jerry (Nancy) Stahlman and Nada Smith; brothers-in-law, Terry (Linda) Bowers and Arnold (Peggy) Bowers; and his dog. Josie.  In addition to his wife, Evelyn M. (Bowers) Stahlman, and parents, Martha M. (Slawson) and Paul H. Stahlman, he was preceded in death by a brother, Darl M. Stahlman, and a son-inlaw, Samuel E. Smith. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Joan A. Peace of Punxsutawney December 2, 1946 - December 4, 2021  She was a member of One Life Church of Punxsutawney.  In addition to her husband, John W. Peace, she is survived by two sons, Rick Peace and Randy (Krista) Peace; three grandchildren, Trenton Peace, Marcus Copelli and Maya Peace; two brothers, Bud Frantz and twin John (Marge) Frantz; four sisters, Helen Ramsel, Norma Smith, Lois (Tom) Spitz and Kathy (George) Ecelbarger; and numerous nieces and nephews.  In addition to her parents, Twila (Siple) Frantz Bishop and Charles Calvin Frantz, she was preceded in death by a brother, Larry Frantz, and four sisters, Dorothy Payne, Margaret Beck, Alma Fye and Carol Mills. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Janice C. (Shaffer) Hartzell of Punxsutawney May 14, 1945 - December 4, 2021  She is survived by a daughter, Joyce (Michael) Good; a son, John M. Hartzell; three grandchildren, Jeremiah Good, Katelyn (Jacob) Neal and Jacob Good; two sisters, Judy (Jerry) McAdoo and Alice (Ellsworth) Lechner; numerous nieces and nephews; and loving companion Bill McDonald.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Milton and Violet (Rummel) Shaffer, and a brother, James Shaffer. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u

Louise F. Fye of Punxsutawney October 19, 1949 - December 5, 2021 Louise was a graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School, Class of 1967.  Louise was a well-loved and respected caretaker to many in the community. She adored her extended “families” while looking after their loved ones, and they loved her right back. She also loved working at Mary’s Place, named after her beloved mother. In addition to her husband, Dave Fye, she is survived by three children, David (Jenica) Fye, Marsha “Sis” (Robert) Groves and Nathan (Adrienne) Fye; eight grandchildren, Hailyn, Gunnar, Evan, Mimi, Ellee, Pip, Jackson and Allegheny; five siblings, Paul (Maggie) Marie, Bob (Jill) Marie, Bill (Ann) Marie, Frank (Minta) Marie and Joyce Farcus; sistersin-law, Bernice Wright, Beverly Fye and Brenda (David) Bofinger; brothers-in-law, Richard (Zana) Fye and Joseph (Paula) Fye; numerous nieces and nephews; step-sisters-in-law, Marci Hodgson and Kitty Hogdson; and stepbrothers-in-law, Anthony Stello and Vincent Villella.  In addition to her mother, Mary (Felicetti) Marie, she was preceded in death by sisters-inlaw Barbara K. Fye and Martha Villella and brothers-in-law Terry and Jim Hodgson. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Bodhi Grant Gourley was born to heaven on December 6, 2021.  Born a heavenly son to Alena (Kupchella) and Matthew J. Gourley; a brother to Issadora, Jacob and Ian; a grandson to Patricia and John Kupchella and Lisa and John Gourley; a greatgrandson to Pat Giavedoni; a nephew to his aunts and uncles: uncle Joshua and Mallory Kupchella, aunt Devon Kupchella Ruby, uncle Hunter Ruby and aunt Sarah Gourley; cousins Cassidy, Jonas and Marlee, Thea and Lillian, and Dominick; he is also survived by numerous great-aunts and great-uncles, cousins, family and friends. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Mae Jean Kennedy of Punxsutawney December 1, 1934 - December 6, 2021  She was a member of Ramsaytown United Methodist Church. She enjoyed cooking, crafting, puzzles, word searches and teaching her children about the constellations.  She worked for Cameron making tubes for several years before her children were born. In addition to her husband, Abraham A. Kennedy, she is survived by three sons, James (Deborah) Kennedy, Stephen (Lorrie) Kennedy and Kevin (Wendy) Kennedy; six grandchildren, Pamela (Sidney) Shuler, Lisa (Keith) Pentland, Kathleen (Kyle) Conway, Adam (Erin) Kennedy, Nicholas Kennedy and fiancé D’eja, Stephanie (William) Powers and Andrew and Phillip Kennedy; six great-grandchildren, Sylvia and Lydia Pentland, Eleanor and Beatrice Shuler and Elliot and Avery Kennedy; and a brother, Jerry (Dee) Burkett. In addition to her parents, Andrew P. and Florence Burkett, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Matthew Kennedy; five brothers, Stanley, Richard, Herbert, Bobby and Everett Burkett; and two sisters, Genevieve Miller and Myrna Smith. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Doris I. Kunselman of Ringgold September 5, 1929 - December 6, 2021  Doris was a homemaker. She enjoyed bowling, crocheting and playing cards.  She is survived by a daughter, Carol (Donald)

DeFoor; a son, Ronald (Kathy) Kunselman; five grandchildren; three sisters, Lois Richards, Velma Smouse and Lucy Vandevort; eight grandchildren, Kimberly, Michael, Todd, Jamie, Shannon, Chastity, Courtney and Bradley; fifteen great-grandchildren, Marissa, Alexandra, Brady, Christian, Jorden, Ryan, Cora, Cameron, Natasha, Jackson, Caitlyn, Hayley, Alaina, Ryder and Alexandria; and many nieces and nephews.  In addition to her husband, Harold B. “Skip” Kunselman, and parents, Hazel L. (Reed) Himes and Leonard O. “Lennie” Himes, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Beverly Kunselman and a son, Jerry Kunselman; four brothers, Alton, Martin, Frank and James Himes; and five sisters, Catherine Himes, Mary Louise Himes, Betty Powell, Elsie Yeager and Bonnie Minick. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Ronald Francis Infantino of Punxsutawney February 24, 1942 - December 6, 2021 Ron was a Vietnam Veteran serving with the United States Army.  Ron was a member of Saint Cosmas and Damian Catholic Church, Punxsutawney and the Punxsutawney Eagles Club. Ron was a 1960 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School. He worked various jobs around Punxs’y before starting his career as a meat cutter. Ron worked at Riverside, Bilo, and ended his career at County Market. During Ron’s career, he owned his own meat cutting business, Infantino’s Custom Cutting.  He is survived by his wife of 56 years, JoAnn (Kaylor) Infantino; four sons and a daughter, John Infantino and wife Stefanie Allegretti, Ronald (Christine) Infantino, Robert Infantino and Kasey Schaffer, Richard Infantino, Ronda Jo (Troy) Berkey; seven grandchildren, Riley, Arianna, Adalyn, Maddisynne, Solomon, Silas and Aris; two brothers, James (Dorothy) Infantino and Thomas Infantino; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, John A. and June (Reed) Infantino, an infant son, Brian Michael Infantino, and a sister, Rose Lee Smith. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Clair J. Bishop of Punxsutawney April 20, 1943 - December 8, 2021  Clair was an active member of Countryside Baptist Church. He was very strong in his faith. Clair taught Sunday School, lead nursing home ministries, visited people to invite them to church and officiated the Memorial Day services at Pine Church. He enjoyed playing his harmonica and dulcimer. Clair was gifted in crafting the dulcimer instrument and wooden spoons for himself and others. He worked for 50 years in the Natural Gas Industry. He worked with Fairman Drilling, Goal Drilling, and retired with Range Resources.  He is survived by two sons and a daughter, John (Jan) Bishop, Nancy Beth Bishop, Russell (Jackie) Bishop; three grandchildren, Ryan (Courtney) Fulton, Anna Bishop and Nathan Bishop; two great-grandchildren, Bryce and Rees Fulton; a brother, Warren Bishop; a sisterin-law, Janice Bishop; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Martha (Armstrong) Bishop, his wife, Fidella A. (Pifer) Bishop, a grandchild, Carlee Fulton, an infant sister, a brother, Dale Bishop, and a sister-in-law, Ellen Bishop. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u

Dennis R. Farmery of Rossiter May 19, 1945 - December 11, 2021  Denny worked many places throughout his life, including Benjamin Coal Company, Interstate Amiesite Company, R & L Development, Huey Bros., Inc., Dave Curran and Lamkie Paving, and he plowed snow for Banks Township, hauled coal for various coal companies and helped Gordie Shaffer set up for the Shriners’ Circus in Altoona, PA.  He belonged to the John W. Jenks Masonic Lodge #534, was a lifetime member of the Glen Campbell Fire Company, Glen Campbell American Legion, Teamsters Local 110 and served in the National Guard of Punxsutawney.  In addition to his wife, Mona V. (Huey) Farmery, he is survived by four children, Bobbi (Sam Keener) Farmery, Dennis (Janet) Farmery, Jr., Robin Farmery and Michelle (Robert Smith) Farmery; grandchildren, Heather (Donny) Elbel, Nichole Smith, Julie (John Pearce) Zahursky, Meghan (Kory) Trimmer, Marcy (Lee Queen) Farmery, Rebecca (Andy) Weaver, Rena (Devin) Rymer, Shane Keener, Alexander (Branda White) Farmery, Justen Smith, Haley (Mr. Dusty) Keener; great-grandchildren, Tavia Henry, Donny Elbel, Jr., Tucker Smith, Deakin Rymer, Vivian Rymer, Stella Rymer, Paisley Weaver, Olivia Rymer, Emery Weaver and two great-grandchildren to be born in the spring; a sister, Deborah (Rich) Hook; a sister-in-law, Grace Farmery; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Regina “June” (Menear) and Wendell “Buzz” Farmery. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Roger L. Steele Punxsutawney February 8, 1946 - December 13, 2021  Roger held many jobs in his life but most remembered are the 35 years in the military. He served 15 years in the National Guard and 20 years fulltime in the Army at the Punxsutawney National Guard facility. He started his career at McCreary Tire and Rubber in Indiana, PA. He settled in Punxsutawney after accepting a position with the National Guard. Through his military position, he was able to help his community by providing security at Groundhog Day and helping during the flood of 1996. His passion was devoting his time to his community through many organizations. He was 1986 Punxsutawney’s Man of the Year. He served on the Punxsutawney Lions Club, Punxsutawney Regional Development, Punxsutawney Borough Council, Chamber of Commerce, Weather Discovery Center, Historical Society and was chairman of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Festival for 35 years. Roger loved his family, especially his grandchildren.  He is survived by his children, Teresa Neal and Eric (Jackie) Steele; three grandchildren, Dylan Steele, Kyle Neal, Leila Jo Steele; a brother, Harold “Blaine” (Betty Jean) Steele; sisters-inlaw, Sara Steele, Floy Steele, Diana Buffone and Arlene Troutman. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alvord Boyd and Irene May (Johnston) Steele; his wife, Mary L. Steele; a son-in-law, Keith Neal; brothers, Raymond, Bruce Earl and Dean Steele; sisters, Helen Steele, Myrna Marshall, Evelyn Vinton, Lula Malcolm, Donna Daugherty and Martha Anderson. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u

Please visit the website of the funeral homes listed to view complete obituary, sign their guestbook, plant a tree and offer your condolences. If you have a loved one who has passed away and would like to publish it in Hometown Magazine, please contact us at hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com or call 814-952-3668. uuu

Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 31

Good Luck, Chucks!

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32 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255


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BOYS BASKETBALL (front, left to right) Cole Brooks, Cooper Hallman, Logan Brown, Nick Johns, Ryen Heigley, Noah Weaver, Noah Kengersky; (back) Carter Savage, Zach Presloid, Aiden Cameron, Donnie Neese, Dasean Davis-Smith, Gabe Kengersky, Kyle Nesbitt, Tysen Leasure, Kolton Kopenhaver, Josh Shoemaker, Jimmie Neese, Nick Wisnesky. Photos by Abbey Stello, photo collages by Melissa Salsgiver.

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Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 33

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INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD (front, left to right) Kaden Heigley, Jordann Hicks, Grant Miller, Taylor Bair, Jaden Schidlmeier, Evan Groce, Izzy Knarr-Lester, Abby McAdoo, Greg Poole, Claire Skarbek, Emily Bussard, Abby Smith; (back) Bryce Horne, Daniel Lenze, Madison Rudolph, Olivia Bish, Mary Grusky, Lydia Miller, Michael Clemmer, Tyler Elliott, Elizabeth Long, Hannah Surkala, Garrett Bartlebaugh, Isaac Greenblatt. Missing from photo: Amy Poole and Rebekah Miller. Photos by Abbey Stello, photo collages by Melissa Salsgiver.


Winter Wonderland

inter Wonderland,” with its vivid cold weather imagery, seems like it was tailor-made to sing around Christmastime. But much like “Jingle Bells,” the song wasn’t actually written for the holiday season. The lyrics were penned in the 1930s by Richard Bernhard Smith, who was suffering from tuberculosis at the time and holed up indoors. Smith stared out his window observing kids playing innocently in the snow and wrote a poem evoking feelings of the carefree days he once knew. Smith’s friend and musician Felix Bernard took the lyrics and composed a melody to go with them. Even though the song never specifically mentions Christmas, it quickly became a holiday standard. “Winter Wonderland” Sleigh bells ring, are you listening, In the lane, snow is glistening, A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, Walking in a winter wonderland. Gone away is the bluebird, Here to stay is a new bird,

He sings a love song, as we go along, Walking in a winter wonderland.

Hometown Classifieds Place your FREE Hometown Classified ad!

(Chorus) Up to 20 words for FREE. Mail-in, E-mail, In the meadow we can build a snowman, call or text to 814-952-3668 or Then pretend that he is Parson Brown, hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com He’ll say: Are you married? We’ll say: No man, But you can do the job while you’re in town. WANTED: Part-time caregiver. 9-15 hours per week. Experience helpful, refLater on, we’ll conspire, erences required. Please respond to refAs we dream by the fire, erence #78 by email to hometown@ To face unafraid, the plans that we’ve made, punxsutawneymagazine.com. Walking in a winter wonderland. (Chorus) When it snows, ain’t it thrilling, Though your nose gets a chilling We’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way, Walking in a winter wonderland. Walking in a winter wonderland, Walking in a winter wonderland. Lyrics by Richard Bernhard Smith; melody by Felix Bernard Lyrics courtesy of Christmassongs.net •••

34 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

HELP WANTED: TEMPORARY OUTSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVE One of the most reputable businesses in the area is looking for a person who would be willing to sell special projects. Apply today. Respond by email to hometown@ punxsutawneymagazine.com. Ref. #22. OFFICE HELPER for individual who wishes to learn all aspects of print and online publication. Responsibilities to include invoicing and sending emails. Respond by email to hometown@ punxsutawneymagazine.com. Ref. #12.

LEARN ALL ASPECTS OF MARKETING FOR A PRINT AND ONLINE PUBLICATION. Respond by email to hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.co m. Reference #12. WE BUY LAND Extra Acreage? Need Cash? Call 814-952-8425. C L E A N I N G  P E R S O N  N E E D E D MONTHLY Experience and References helpful. Please respond by email to hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com. Reference #18. PROFORM POWDERED METALS Now accepting applications for all shifts. Office hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday -Friday. 814-938-7411. 700 Martha St., Punxsutawney. NOW HIRING CAREGIVERS send resume to 98 Foundry St., Punxsutawney, PA 15767. 814.938-1745. BUYING AND SELLING all types of rare coins, currency and precious metals. Gold, silver and platinum jewelry. Call 814-590-0609. •••


You’re In ...You’re Out WE DO IT RIGHT!



Instant Lube and Oil


Earn Points on your order by getting a code in the McDonald’s App. Redeem Points for FREE FOOD on Future orders!

Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to noon



108 N. Findley St., Punxsutawney TAKE-OUTS WELCOME

09/12 09/19 09/26 10/03 10/10 10/17 10/31 11/08 11/14 11/21 11/28 12/05 12/09 12/19 12/26 01/03 01/09


Have a

207 Hampton Ave., Punx’y



Closed Mon. • Tue. - Thurs. 10:30-8, Fri. & Sat. 10:30-9 • Sun.11-8


1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 1:00 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 8:15 pm 1:00 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 8:15 pm 1:00 pm

Meat Market Package Deals Large Selection Available

• Party Trays • Meat & Cheese • Fresh & Lean Meat • Our Own Old-Fashioned Sugar-Cured Hickory Smoked Semi-Boneless Ham Owned & Operated by Ted Palumbo & Sons Hours: Mon-Wed 8 to 5; Thurs 8 to 6 Fri 8 to 8; Sat 8 to Noon Located 1 1/4 mile East of Reynoldsville on 4th St. or 6 miles West of DuBois on Wayne Road


*Some weeks may be subject to “Flexible Scheduling”


Full Menu • New Menu Catering • Six Packs to Go Remodeled Dining Room Please call ahead during this time for Hours & Days.

@ Bills Raiders Bengals @ Packers Broncos Seahawks Bye Week @ Browns Bears Lions @ Chargers @ Bengals Ravens @ Vikings Titans @ Chiefs Browns @ Ravens




2021-22 SCHEDULE

Home of the Big Daddy

119 South, Punx’y

State Inspection & Mechanic Work by Appointment

Rt. 36 S. in Cloe, 2 Miles South of Punx’y


(Next to Dairy Queen)

Starting Oct. 1st Mon. & Tues 4 pm to 2 am; Kitchen 4 to 9 pm Wed. - Sun. 11 am to 2 am; Kitchen 11 am to 9 pm


1. Complete the coupon on this page. 2. Guess the winning team and the total number of points you think will be scored in the Steelers vs. Browns Game and enter the guesses in the spaces provided on the coupon. 3. Enter one of the participating advertisers on this page in the space provided to redeem your coupon should you be the contest winner. 4. Clip and forward the coupon to:‘Steelers Football Contest,’ c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. PLEASE MARK YOUR TEAM PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER ENVELOPE. 5. Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Thur., Dec. 30. 6. No purchase necessary to participate. All entries must be original magazine coupon (no photocopies). 7. In the event two or more contestants correctly pick the winning team and total number of points, one winner will be randomly selected and awarded the winning prize. In event two or more contestants tie for closest to the total score, one winner will be randomly selected to win the $20 certificate. Each issue we will give one $20 certificate. 8. Hometown magazine retains the right to make any final decisions regarding the contest, and by submitting an entry, contestants agree to abide by the rules of the contest.

Steelers vs. Browns

Family Owned Since 1909 324 INDIANA ST. PUNX’Y

Mon., Jan. 3 • 8:15 p.m.


Hometown magazine ‘Steelers Football Contest’: Complete, Clip, Drop off or Mail to: Steelers Football Contest c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767

TO QUALIFY FOR Name __________________________________ CONTEST YOU THE ST MARK YOUR TEAMU Address ________________________________ M PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON OUTSIDE OF ETHE Zip __________________________________ ENVELOPE. ON THON E ENTRY PER ENVLY ELOPE. Phone ________________________________

Coupon for Game of Mon., Jan. 3 Step 1: Guess the Winning Team: __ Steelers vs. __ Browns Step 2: Guess the Total Points that will be Scored in that Game: _______ Total Points Step 3: Should I win, I would like to redeem my merchandise certificate at: (List business from this page) _____________________




We Carry Hunting Boots, Work Boots & Clothing

Hunting Supplies Sports Afield Safes in Stock

Hunting Rifles, Bows, Handguns, Ammo and more!


Total Discount Foods



Groundhog Plaza, Punx’y Fresh Bakery, Deli & Fruits We Sell Only U.S.D.A. Choice Beef, Pork, Lamb and Veal



588 W. Mahoning St. Punxsutawney

CARULLI AUTO SALES & SERVICE Let us take care of your vehicle We offer a full line of

Auto Repairs

WE'VE GOT TIRES! Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255 – 35

A Season for Remembering At a time when loved ones lost are especially missed, we wish all of our friends and neighbors here comfort and peace. Thanks to this community for your trust in us.

Providing Families the Best Care at Their Worst Time



Andrew R. Philliber, Supervisor / Funeral Director

Lisa J. Waldron, Supervisor Andrew R. Philliber, Funeral Director 831 Market Street, Mahaffey


114 Maple Ave., Punxsutawney




www.mccabewaldronfh.com 36 – Punxsutawney Hometown – Christmas 2021 - Issue #255

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