#271 MAY 2023

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2 – Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271

‘Punxsutawney Hometown’ magazine

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The Evolution of the Punxsutawney Garden Club

This is the first installment of a two-part history of the Punxsutawney Garden Club. The second installment will appear in the June 2023 issue of Hometown magazine.

The Punxsutawney Garden Club is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year as the club was officially organized on April 4, 1933. The original founders and members dressed up for social meetings, wearing white gloves and hats, for 2 p.m. meetings where hostesses served tea during the first four and a half decades of its existence. However, the club has evolved into a working team of mostly women who are hands-on diggers, weeders, and planters whose main mission is to beautify Punxsutawney.

In 1933, the year the club was born, our nation was deep into the Great Depression during one of the worst years in our country’s history.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had just begun his first term in office a month before the club was founded. In his first hundred days, he initiated his New Deal by issuing executive orders and pushing through unprecedented federal legislation to provide relief for the unemployed, 25 percent of the workforce, and to promote economic recovery. Those Garden Club founders may have been motivated by a desire to be doing something pos-

itive that did not require much money but would benefit the community and provide members with a social outlet.

The first two decades, 1933-1940s: The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Lee North, president, on April 4, 1933. Twenty-five members were present; dues of one dollar were collected with a fiftycent assessment for the club program booklet. The object of the club was, and still is, according to the club’s constitution, “the advancement of gardening, the development of home grounds, the furthering of city and highway beautification and aiding in the protection of forests, wildflowers and birds.”

Meetings were held at 2:00 or 2:30 in the afternoon.

Member Nancy Hallman remembered in an interview for a Hometown article in April 2000: “When I was a little girl, I used to like to sit and watch my neighbor lady when she went to Garden Club. She was always dressed up so pretty, complete with a hat and white gloves,” a fashionable style for women’s outings in the 1930s.

That same style of dress continued into the 1940s when World War II, rationing, and an emphasis on practicality made squared shoulders, below-the-knee skirts, and narrow hip suits very popular. Luncheon teas with cookies were served by hostesses after a program

Punxsutawney Garden Club members celebrated the club’s 90th anniversary at its April 4th meeting by wearing dress-up hats and gloves as members did when the club organized in 1933. (front, l. to r.) Cindy Stefancik, Barb Postlewaite, Dotty Jekielek (corresponding secretary), Kerri Stebbins, Gloria Kerr (secretary), Kim Wittenburg (president), Peggy Brown, Zana Fye, Kim Lininger, Susan Lefcowitz; (back, l. to r.) Ann Lott, Laura Deet, Dena Taylor, Melissa Ferguson, Barb Certo, Char Skarbek, Donna Grabany, Suzy Meyer (vice president), Destiny Pifer, Judy Dumont, Debby Elder (treasurer), Clarence Troutman, Linda Amundson, Carol Bonnett. (submitted photo)

was presented, often by members. These were usually related to gardening and the outdoors, such as growth and care of roses, growing African violets, pruning shrubs, birds of Jefferson County, flowers for a rock or shade garden, and members’ reports on travels abroad.

The following committees gave the club structure: Program, Social, Scrap Book, Cemetery, and Floral. The Program Committee developed topics to be presented by members or invited speakers throughout the club’s year, which ran from July 1 through June of the next year; thus early booklets were la-

Scouts decorate the small evergreen trees that the Garden Club had placed in downtown meter urns over the Christmas season in 1968. The Scouts are Gail Hobba, Sharon Long, Joan Setree, and Denise Long. (photo taken by The Punxsutawney Spirit)
Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271 – 3 On the cover: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
This 1946-47 Punxsutawney Garden Club member booklet cover with hand-painted watercolor reflects the creativity that’s always been a hallmark of the club’s beautification efforts. Club booklets list members with contact information, committee assignments, monthly programs, and more. (submitted photo)
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Garden Club

beled, for instance, 1947-1948, with a hiatus in the winter months of December through February. A 1942 amendment to the club’s constitution addressed attendance at club meetings; it stated that “absence from three consecutive meetings without a written excuse acceptable to the Executive Committee shall be deemed equivalent to resignation. A written notice will be sent with an opportu-

and polio research, among others. In 1942, there was no flower show due to World War II and “general conditions that now prevail,” while a flower show in 1943 was for members only.

A meeting set for Tuesday, June 6, 1944, was cancelled because it fell on the day of the Allied invasion of Normandy, now known as D-Day. After the war years, during 1947-49, the club did make two different field trips to Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh and organized member flower shows.

nity to be re-instated.” That amendment has gone by the way years ago.

The Social Committee organized luncheons and card parties for members, while the Floral Committee organized some informal flower shows as meeting programs, the purpose of which was “educational, stimulation of civic improvement, and competition among exhibitors.” The Cemetery Committee focused only on encouraging care of the “Old Cemetery,” which is the historic cemetery on North Findley Street where some of Punxsutawney’s earliest residents are buried.

From its beginnings, the Garden Club was interested in collaborating with the Punxsutawney Hospital as club minutes report on members helping with some landscaping there in June 1936. In 1938, records show a Garden Club member was on the hospital council. That same year, the club had a committee “to superintend plants at the new West End bridge,” and members protested against cement walks being poured in the Barclay park that would damage or destroy plants and shrubs there. The club also held a fundraising card party at the Elks, with 68 tables, to raise money for park shrubbery. In 1939, it participated in what was called “Punxsy’s Big Farm, Flower, and Poultry Show” which it did not sponsor.

During the 1940s, the Garden Club continued its interest in the hospital grounds and the Old Cemetery, paying someone to trim trees, mow grass, and straighten tombstones. With funds raised, the club donated modestly to the YMCA, Red Cross, Selective Service Board,

1950s-1960s: In the 1950s, the Punxsutawney Garden Club began to take interest in beautifying Punxsutawney more broadly. On March 7, 1950, Bill Mechling, vocational agricultural instructor at the Punxsutawney High School, spoke to the club about ways to beautify the town at large: plant more grass, improve lighting, remove overhead wires, and dress up approaches to the city.

Another club program in 1954 featured a speaker from the Pennsylvania Department of Highways speaking about the increasing

Punxsutawney Garden Club presidents: 1933-69

1933-35 Mrs. Lee S. North

1935-37 Mrs. William Hampton

1937-39 Mrs. Charles St. Clair

1939-40 Mrs. H. W. Lyons

1940-41 Mrs. N. H. Boyd

1941-42 Mrs. J. P. Benson

1942-43 Mrs. G. M. Musser

1943-44 Mrs. L. W. Anderson

1944-46 Mrs. Jean H. White

1946-47 Mrs. John Lippert

1947-48 Mrs. George Gibson

1948-49 Mrs. Chester Bundy

1949-50 Mrs. Robert Mateer

1950-51 Mrs. Clair Tyger

1951-53 Mrs. F. D. Pringle

1953-54 Mrs. Paul Barclay

1954-55 Mrs. W. A. Dinsmore

1955-56 Mrs. Charles St. Clair

1956-58 Mrs. John Michele

1958-60 Mrs. Mrs. Clair Tyger

1960-62 Mrs. Anthony Barletta

1962-64 Mrs. John Barilar

1964-65 Mrs. Mrs. H. J. Purdy

1965-67 Mrs. D. R. Thomas

1967-68 Mrs. John Tushim

1968-69 Mrs. D. R. Thomas

1969-71 Mrs. Andrew Daskivich

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A group of unidentified Garden Club members dressed up for a club event in the 1940s. If you recognize and can identify anyone, please contact Gloria Kerr at drgkerr@gmail.com. (submitted photo)
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4 – Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271 Call 814-938-8243 for reservations Adult $25 • Kids 5-9 $12 • under 4 free Complimentary Mimosa for Mom! N. Main St., Punxsutawney punxsycc.com punxsutawney country club WE WANT TO SPOIL YOUR SPECIAL SOMEONE THIS MOTHER’S DAY! EVERYONE WELCOME Join us for a Spectacular Grand Mother’s Day Buffet Sunday, May 14 • 11:30 am to 2 pm in our newly remodeled Banquet Room! Featuring: Salad Bar & Shrimp Cocktail Beef Wellington • Chicken Marsala Creamy Parmesan Porkloin & so much more... Continued from previous page
Downtown parking meters then and now: left, Garden Club scrapbook photo of meter urn with petunias from 1958-1962; right, meter urn with petunias 2021. GC began placing parking meter urns planted with flowers in 1958. (submitted photo)
Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271 – 5

Garden Club

Continued from page 4

number of road side rests and the state government’s efforts to beautify along highways. He encouraged beautifying highway entrances into the town. Expanding its beautification efforts in 1950, the club had dogwood

The Adrian Hospital Auxiliary’s first House and Garden Tour fundraiser on July 31, 1957, included 12 impressive local homes. The Punxsutawney Garden Club assisted with the project that included the Barletta summer resort home and lodge six miles south of town on the Indiana road. (photo taken by The Punxsutawney Spirit)

Flower shows with themes were popular Garden Club programs during the 1950s and ’60s. A 1956 meeting at Mrs. R.E. Mateer’s home featured 44 arrangements created by members, each representing a song title. Prizes were awarded for the best arrangements and to the members able to identify the most song titles the arrangements signified. (submitted photo)

trees planted along the Mahoning Creek from Indiana Street to Morrison Avenue, while in 1952 it became active again with landscaping at the Punxsutawney Hospital.

In 1956, the first trash receptacles were placed downtown by the borough, and the club held a rummage sale to fund a clean-up of the Old Cemetery, thanking Walter Means and his crew for their help with that project.

Members’ own floral arrangements were popular programs in this era. The August 7, 1956, meeting minutes report that 44 flower arrangements created by members were on display at the afternoon meeting in the home of Mrs. R.E. Mateer on Ashland Avenue. Each was to represent a song title. Arrangements were numbered and the members then tried to identify the song each was representing. First prize went to Mrs. William Thompson for correctly identifying the most song titles, and to Mrs. Pringle and Mrs. Bidwell, respectively, for second and third place. The most popular arrangements were first to “Lille” by Mrs. N.H. Boyd, second to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” by Mrs. E.H. Brennan and third to “The Red Lantern” by Mrs. Chester Bundy.

On July 1, 1957, the Adrian Hospital Auxiliary collaborated with Garden Club to conduct their first annual House and Garden Tour. Mrs. Sam (Elaine) Light chaired this major event which featured a tour of 12 houses over a four-hour period. The J.C. Penney Company, which then had a store in downtown Punxsutawney, provided dropcloths to cover the floors that visitors would be traipsing over, while the Smart Shop and Golden George’s clothing stores dressed models from the Beta Sorority with outfits coordinated with the various house decors at which each was stationed. The Garden Club prepared flower arrangements for each home.

Over 450 guests bought tickets for this very successful fundraiser tour, all the proceeds going to the hospital. Among the 12 homes were those of Mr. Raymond Dereume, Belgian consulate in Western PA, on Pine St.; Mr.

Sam Light on Church St.; Mr. Ben Rubin; Mr. Alva Cole on N. Jefferson St.; Mr. James Brown; Mr. Gene Kiehl; Mr. Lester Pete; Judge Robert Morris; and Mr. Clark McLaughlin of East Mahoning St.; along with the Barletta family lodge named Sunset, six miles out of town on the Indiana road; and Dr. McCaulely’s “old schoolhouse” summer cottage on the Bells Mills road. A second home and garden tour was held the next year in 1958; it drew 500 attendees with proceeds going to rebuild the sun porch at the Adrian Hospital.

In 1958 Garden Club had the first downtown parking meter urns planted and placed, 24 of them, and they’ve been placed every year since. In 1962, Otto’s Florist planted 31 urns, which were placed by the town’s street department. In the mid-sixties, Costanzo “Buck” Verdill was hired to water them. Garden Club paid for the flowers with money from fundraisers, card parties being one of their most frequent throughout the 1950s and ’60s, along with bake sales and tag sales.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Garden Club’s participation with floral displays in WPME radio’s Hobby, Art, and Flower Shows became a regular activity at the Punxsutawney Area High School cafeteria during Groundhog Festival. Eight hundred to a thousand people would pass through the doors of that popular event.

Garden Club’s current oldest, continuous member, Roberta “Robin” Dinsmore, joined the club in the 1965-66 season, 57 years ago. Her name first appears in the printed club booklet dated 1966-67.

The Punxsutawney Garden Club welcomes new members. The current officers are President Kim Wittenburg, Vice President Suzy Meyer, Secretary Gloria Kerr, Treasurer Debby Elder, and Corresponding Secretary Dotty Jekielek.

The next GC meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 2, at Barb Certo’s home at 114 Smithhill Road, Punxsutawney. Dues are $10. If interested in attending, contact Gloria Kerr at drgkerr@gmail.com or any Garden Club member for more information.

Thanks to Barb Certo who provided notes with information on the first two decades of the Punxsutawney Garden Club’s history, and to Debby Elder, Dotty Jekielek, and Judy Hampton whose brains I picked for detailed memories of their many years in the club. Other information was gleaned from Garden Club historic scrapbooks, annual member booklets, and meeting records.

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6 – Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271
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Ihave lots of wonderful memories of my mother. She was a baker, a seamstress, a math whiz, a carpenter, a singer, and an amazing parent. She could make something out of nothing for our dinners, and she made me lovely coats for Easter, doll clothes, paper mâché pots. She paid for all my music and art lessons and my tap dancing instruction (I can still cut a mean rug thanks to mom’s efforts). Yes, my mother was perfect. Well, almost. Everyone has a vice or two. Mom enjoyed smoking cigarettes. She also collected the coupons that were on the back of the package. I can still see the kind of yellowish-colored pack with the picture of some old guy from history on the front. My mother would tear off the protective crinkly plastic from the pack and toss that. Then, she smoked the cigarettes inside. I think she especially liked saving the coupons on the backside of the pack, too. I remember browsing in the cigarette company’s catalog that had all the free stuff. There were all kinds of neat stuff that she could get, simply with coupons: kitchenware, bedspreads, lamps, jewelry, and even toys could be had by simply smoking and saving the coupons on the cigarette packs. For instance, a two-slice toaster took 1,000 coupons. That’s about 500 cigarettes that you could smoke and then toast something with a free toaster. Nevertheless, Lucy loved to get free stuff and the idea of saving something really appealed to her.

We had some interesting ashtrays, too. I remember the fancy one in the living room. It was a stunning, standing brass smoker’s ashtray. That big ornate brass ashtray was positioned right by my mom’s chair. Sure, we had little ashtrays made from clear or green-colored glass, but I think she really enjoyed her cigarettes when she sat in her smoking compound in the living room.

Typically, my mom would wheel the station wagon up to her favorite local grocery store and send me in for a pack or two of her smokes. I liked going into the store alone to buy cigarettes because I felt like an important adult on a mission. Sadly, I was only around 7 or 8 years old so the clerk would always smile at me and ask me where my mother was. Then, she would turn from the cash register and wave to my mom who sat directly in front of the big plate glass window of the grocery store. Mom waved back when the clerk held up the pack of cigarettes for my mom to see. Then, Mom beeped the horn. I paid for the cigarettes and trotted off to the station wagon with them.

Now, please don’t judge. It was the early ’60s and the cat wasn’t out of the bag yet about cigarette smoking. Even when the smoking cat did escape, my mom Lucy didn’t believe it at first, I guess.

One cigarette compound in our house was located at the organ that we had in the corner of the living room. It was a huge, beautiful instrument and my mother spent hours on it, trying to teach herself how to play. She did a great job with her self-teaching and played Ramblin’ Rose and The Tennessee Waltz over and over until she got them right. In addition, Mom sang along to all the songs she mastered while she smoked.

My mother sat on a nice, padded bench that

stored the music. The top of the organ had a few crocheted doilies on it, a small plaster statue of Sebastian Bach, one of Ludwig van Beethoven, and a big green glass ashtray for her lit cigarette. Mom found it relaxing to take a puff between songs.

My father smoked too. Dad, however, was shocked and appalled when the announcement came out about cigarettes’ health dangers, and he quit immediately. Not only did my dad quit, but he also tried to force my mother to quit smoking. My mother would have none of it.

Although my dad repeatedly presented new smoking hazards literature to my mom, she wasn’t buying it. Consequently, he decided to switch her cigarettes with lettuce leaf cigarettes. Yes, one day, as my mom prepared to have her afternoon musical serenade at the organ, Dad sneaked into the living room and replaced a few of her unlit cigarettes with lettuce leaf smokes. That fateful day, after my mom did a fabulous mini-concert with My Wild Irish Rose on the keyboards, she lit up and flipped out – in that order. She was hugely angry that Dad betrayed her with faux cigs and stomped out of the room. She didn’t even do an encore.

Sadly, my mother continued to smoke cigarettes for a few years until she had an unexpected epiphany. One day, when her good friend and she sat at the kitchen table in the afternoon for one of their gab sessions, her friend noticed something weird.

“Lucy,” Mom’s buddy stared at my mother’s neck. “Do you have an Adam’s Apple?”

Mom kind of looked puzzled. Then, she ran her hand over her throat.

To make a long story short, Mom made a trip to the doctor the next day and after a few tests, she discovered that she had a growth on her thyroid. A surgeon at a big hospital later removed it, and happily the tumor was benign. Mom never smoked again. Fortunately, she got her singing voice back (she said she was hoarse for a while and said that she couldn’t reach the high notes when she sang in church), but she once again crooned her favorite tunes. This time sans cigarettes.

So that’s how it was in the ’60s when my mother smoked, saved cigarette coupons, and sent me into the grocery store for her favorite vice. Everything worked out pretty well; in the end, and my father was very happy that she quit. Also, the only lettuce leaves we ever had in the house again came on the head of iceberg! Me? I kind of missed going into the grocery store and shooting the breeze with the check-out lady. It was kind of fun pretending that I was a grown-up. And my mom Lucy? Well, she was blessed with many more decades and lived a long, beautiful life.

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Mom, me, and the ashtray – a great picture from the ’50s. (submitted photo)

Celebrating Mother’s Day with Memories

Justine Juart Lunsford vividly remembers the Mother’s Days she got to spend celebrating with her mom. “Every year we ‘surprised’ her with breakfast in bed,” she recalls. “We helped my dad prepare the breakfast and arrange it on the same silver tray each year. We rarely used this tray for anything else all year long. I remember it as the designated ‘Mother’s Day Breakfast Tray.’”

Justine grew up in Punxsutawney and was a member of the Class of 2003 of Punxsutawney

When Mary received a pancreatic cancer diagnosis on March 2, 2005, her family was devastated. Given her mother’s selfless nature, Justine recalls Mary’s first words to her after sharing the news of her diagnosis: “I’m sorry.” A mere eleven days later, her final words to Justine – words also conveying concern for another –came in a phone call from her hospital bed. “She asked if I was safe inside during an unexpected March snowstorm,” Justine remembers. “She passed away the very next day. She was brave and full of grace during that short time.”

Justine was left very suddenly without a recipient for her Mother’s Day breakfasts. However, Mary’s true spirit was that of a giver and a doer, which led to an instance of service during an event where she was one of the guests of honor! Justine recalls this Mother’s Day memory where her mother jumped in to help:

“Our first-grade class had a Mother’s Day performance of ‘Little Bunny Foo Foo’ complete with cake and punch afterward to enjoy with our moms. Instead of getting in line for refreshments with the other moms after the skit, MY MOM got behind the serving table and started to cut the cake, making me help serve it. I remember my thoughts so vividly (slightly annoyed that I had to wait for my dessert while everyone else was eating) – the party was for her; why was she helping?”

Area High School. She is the daughter of Gary and the late Mary Juart. Both her parents were long-time teachers in the Punxsutawney Area School District – her mother in various elementary schools and her father in the high school. Her dad was the head coach of the PAHS varsity football team for 13 years and was inducted into the Punxsutawney Sports Hall of Fame with the Class of 2017.

Justine, who is an educator like her parents, now lives in Staunton, Virginia. She commemorates Mother’s Day with memories and shares her thoughts about celebrating this special day after losing one’s mother and about honoring the memory of a lost one. She also shares the lessons she learned from her mother’s life and death. Justine continues her “Breakfast in Bed” memory. “As a child, the tray seemed so very fancy and special because it always made me think of those special mornings when we tried to make my mom feel like the queen she was. However, looking back, I’m pretty sure it was made of plastic,” she laughs. “My brother, David, and I would pile in the bed with her and eat our breakfast in her bed, too. (So much for Mother’s Day solace, huh?) We would present her with flowers and a mixture of homemade cards/gifts and purchased gifts.”

Since her mother’s passing, Justine chooses to spend Mother’s Day spreading love in her own mother’s memory. “I try to take a little time that day to reach out to others who have a special woman missing from their life to let them know they are not alone and still so loved – especially if their loss is fresh,” she says.

Her advice to others who have lost someone –specifically, on Mother’s Day, when so many are missing their mom or another female influence in their life – is to “give yourself permission to feel everything you feel. So often in grief we feel that we want to make others comfortable or ‘be strong’ because your loved one wouldn’t want you to sit around and be sad. While that might be true, there’s a lot of pressure that comes with that mindset. Giving ourselves permission to be sad and grieve for what is gone is okay.”

Justine also points out the importance of having a support system made up of people with whom you can share your feelings. “Choose people that you can be honest with and who will check in on you and just listen,” she says.

After the loss of a loved one, many feel pressure, in Justine’s words, “to do life and keep all traditions the same as when your loved one was alive.” Although continuing such traditions is a way to honor and remember loved ones, keeping them can be sad and painful. “It’s okay to create new traditions, too. Time certainly doesn’t heal all wounds, but it does allow us to adjust to a new

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The late Mary Juart attends the wedding of her son, David, in 2004. (submitted photo)

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Continued from previous page

normal,” says Justine. “Give yourself grace and take people up on offering to be a shoulder to cry on or to listen to when you need it.”

During the 20 years that she had with her mom, Justine recalls a scenario that occurred over and over again: “She often donated her time, and often encouraged me to join her in serving.” Her mom’s service by example embodied her values: “Do more, watch less. Give more, take less.”

Another of her mother’s lessons was: “Be kind and help when you can.” Justine has many specific memories of how Mary helped people in various ways. “Because she always did those things in private or without fanfare, I won’t share those in detail, but they certainly stick with me,” she says. “What I can share is that I witnessed my mom’s gigantic heart. She was a ‘doer’ – that has always stuck with me.”

Justine chooses to honor her mother’s memory by following her mother’s example. “I think the best way I can honor my mom is to keep who she was alive. On the most surface level of that idea, I still talk about her, tell stories about her, and just let the people in my life who never met her know about her,” she explains.

In addition to selfless giving, Mary left behind the lesson of being in the present with those around her. This is probably why many of Justine’s best memories are centered around time spent together with loved ones: taking family vacations (many of which led to inside jokes the family still shares); preparing Mary’s classroom for the first day of school together; passing out

candy together on Halloween (Mary’s favorite holiday); and baking Christmas cookies.

And then there was Mary’s love for the family dog – “definitely the third child,” according to Justine. “When my mom was gone for an evening or my parents away for the weekend, she would leave notes taped up around the house ‘Does your dog have water?’ or ‘Was he fed recently?’” she remembers.

Justine recalls her mother’s laughter as being recognizable and contagious.

“Selfishly, I like to think I inherited my laughter from her,” says Justine, who laughs freely. “She was a great listener. Being immersed in that definitely taught me some of her greatest lessons – being present, being a listener, and the importance of human connection with those around us.”

Her mother’s allencompassing love and compassion for those around her is imprinted in Justine’s memory. “I think of her socializing and being present with those around her. Whether it was with her family or friends, running errands around town, or on an airplane traveling, no matter the location, she was talking with – and getting to know – people,” she says. “It sticks with me how genuine she was in these conversations: truly wanting to know how people were doing, what they were up to, asking about their families, or just laughing.”

Mary always encouraged Justine and her brother to be themselves and not to follow the crowd. She wanted her children to be true to themselves and not to succumb to peer pressure. “I always felt supported and encouraged for who I was as an individual,” says Justine. “My dad certainly

supported all of this, too! A great lesson and encouragement from two amazing parents!”

Justine continues: “I honor her memory by trying to live a life that she would be proud of.

When I’m making a big life decision, I still think about her and the advice she would give me. It certainly isn’t the same as having her here with me.” Because her mom was consistent in how she lived her life and was so involved in the lives of her children, Justine points out that “it isn’t too hard to guess the advice she would give or how she would react to big moments.”

Justine notes that continuing holiday traditions isn’t necessarily the best, or only, way to preserve the memory of her mother. “It’s more of what I do and how I act in the small moments of everyday life. Because I think that is my mom’s greatest legacy – her daily interactions that made a lasting impact,” she says. “Through her example, I learned the importance of volunteering, generosity, yet assertiveness, and most importantly, showing kindness to everyone, especially when it is really hard because that is when it is needed the most.”

From her mother’s life and untimely death, Justine learned valuable lessons about time –how to enjoy each moment, big and small. “I learned at a young age that it is an honor to grow old. Time is fleeting and one of our greatest gifts is the ability to connect with others through laughter and listening,” she says, “so I try to do those things every day in the smallest of ways. … Living those lessons through action is the best way I can honor her memory.”

Remembering and honoring a loved one isn’t all brightness and light, and Justine acknowledges this day-to-day reality. “I miss my mom every single day. I don’t want to minimize the loss and the hard times because there have been some extraordinarily hard and sad moments within these past 18 years,” she admits. “The first few years were not all rainbows and sunshine. The loss of my mom was unexpected and certainly blindsided me.”

“Finding a new normal was hard – there are so

many feelings,” she concludes.

For Justine, as the years passed, she understood – perhaps learned as a lesson – that she could choose to control how she reacts to the “hard stuff” that inevitably is part of life. “We ALL are going to go through situations that seem impossible,” she says. “We can only control our reactions and spend the majority of our energy on what we can control.”

“My dad has been an amazing role model for that,” she adds.

Memories are certainly rooted in holiday traditions, but can also be prompted by small, prosaic things – which Justine readily admits. “There are so many things that remind me of her and make me feel close to her (as silly as it seems): lilacs, Diet Peach Iced Tea Snapple, JellO jigglers, Pillsbury Orange Rolls, glitter, ‘Love Shack’ by the B-52s, shopping, Abraham Lincoln,” she says. “All these little things that will sometimes come out of nowhere and strike a memory.”

“All these little things” prompted another “larger” memory that Justine shares. “Every Christmas Eve day we – ‘Okay, my mom!’ –would make gingerbread cookies: gingerbread men and women, gingerbread houses, stars, christmas trees, bells – you name the shape, she had a cookie cutter for it!” laughs Justine. “She would crank out the cookies and my dad, brother, and I would decorate the cookies.”

As Dave and Justine grew older the family cookie-decorating day evolved into an “open house” for their friends as well. “They would swing by and help us decorate,” Justine recalls. “When I think back, cookie decoration was so much more than icing and cookie cutters. Those moments were filled with so much laughter and togetherness. What a gift!”

The memories of those cookie-decorating days resonated with Justine as she went to bed on the day her mother died. “I remember thinking about those moments and wondering, ‘Who would make the cookies?’” she says. “It wasn’t the

- Continued on page 15 Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271 – 9 RideATA Call Today Sign Up is Easy 1.866.282.4968 Punxsutawney •85% DISCOUNT Door to Door on ATA Call a Bus & ATA Countywide PWD & Seniors 65+ Seniors 65+ •RIDE FREE on ATA Fixed Routes
Justine’s mom, Mary, at her daughter’s Senior Night in 2003 when Justine was awarded Class Hearts. (submitted photo)


Tues., May 2, 9, 16 & 30

Thurs., May 4, 11, 18 & 25

All Classes at 10 am! Join the fun!

BREAKFAST Mondays from 9:30 - 11 am

May 1: French Toast Strawberries w/Sausage

May 8: Blueberry Pancakes & Sausage

May 15: Mother's Day Breakfast: Mini Quiches & Choc. Chip Muffins

May 22: Pancakes & Bacon

May 29: Center Closed/Memorial Day


Monday, May 1 at 11 am


Tuesday, May 2 at 11 am


Tuesday, May 16 from 10 am to 2 pm


Thursday, May 11 at 1130 am


Wed., May 3, 10 & 17 10 am & 12:30 pm


Mon., May 8 at 12:30 pm - Cones $1

Wed., May 17 at 12:30 pm - Sundaes $1.50


Wednesdays at 11 am with Fitness Instructor Carole

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Thursday, May 4 at 12:30 pm


Tues., May 2 at 12:30 pm

Tues., May 9, 16, 23 & 30 at 11 am


Thursday, May 18 at 12:30 pm


Food, Physical Activity Check List

Wednesday, May 31 at Noon


Thursday, May 11 at 11 am

HYMN SING with Kay Young

Thursday, May 18 at 11 am


Mon., May 15: Mother’s Day Breakfast

Wed., May 24: Scavenger Hunt Day 12:30 pm Hunt With Us

Thursday, May 25:



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The Company Store at Walston. Employment at the company store, of widows and daughters of coal miners who had been killed in the mines, was one way mine companies helped provide for mine families who had lost their wage earner in a mining accident. Today there are safety nets, including public assistance and Social Security to assist families in these situations. (photo courtesy of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society)

Coal Town Wives, Daughters Enrich Their Communities

Women in the Punxsutawney area have been intimately connected to the coal mining industry. They have had family connections through fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons, who were employed in and around the coal mines; they have been the heart and soul of the families that have lived and worked in the mining communities; and they have been the backbone of the service industries that developed as a result of the coal mining industry. Through the years, women’s contribution to the quality of life in the Punxsutawney area has been significant.

Women of the Punxsutawney area coal mines came to national prominence for their determination to support their husbands and sons in 1894. Newspapers across the country reported on the action of the women during a miners’ strike. The mining companies had hired the Coal and Iron Police to subdue the strike. The miners were fully aware of the reputation of the Coal and Iron Police, and had memories of the 1890 strike in which some miners lost their lives. This time the women of the mines took action to let the Coal and Iron Police know they were not welcome. Women stoned the work train at Walston, and they made a fierce attack upon men who were repairing the railroad track at Adrian. Although one woman was injured, no deaths occurred as a part of this civil action. The National Guard was deployed to Punxsutawney to maintain the peace. The headline in the Philadelphia Times of June 26, 1894, was: “WALSTON WOMEN IN WAR PAINT.” These women defended their husbands and families in a difficult situation and helped to better life in their community.

Anna McAndrew, the daughter of coal miner John McAndrew, became a nurse. Anna’s grandparents were Irish immigrants. Her parents settled in the Punxsutawney area where

her father worked in the coal mines. Anna was one of their seven children. She was among the young women who attended nurses training in Punxsutawney when the first hospitals were established in the community. She provided nursing care for those in the community and in 1918 volunteered to provide nursing

services at Wishaw. She volunteered to care for those at Wishaw during the Spanish Flu epidemic. Wishaw had the largest number of deaths of any community in the county during that epidemic. Anna’s death was reported among the six at Wishaw in the October 8, 1918, issue of Brookville’s Jeffersonian Democrat newspaper, bringing the total that day to 48 for the small community. Anna exemplifies the women of Punxsutawney, who pursued a career, provided the care of a trained nurse, and gave her life serving others.

Rose Pugliese, the daughter of Joseph and Antoinette Pugliese, was born at Walston. Her father was a coal miner who came from Italy. He worked in mines at Walston, Sykesville, and Rossiter. When Rose graduated from high school in 1927, she found work with the Glenn Insurance Agency. She later met and married Joseph Reschini, had two children, and moved to Indiana, Pa., where she started the Reschini Insurance Agency. Rose Pugliese Reschini lived a long and full life as a busi-

- Continued on next page

10 – Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271
Walston Mine. The main industry, the mine where the men worked, is in the foreground. In the background on the hill are company houses where the women were occupied with the daily chores of maintaining home and family. (photo courtesy of PAHGS)

Two daughters of Walston Mine. Left is Rose Pugliese, Class of 1927, and right is Ursula Mondi, Class of 1953, graduates of Punxsutawney High School. Both of these young women expressed a desire to work; and both far exceeded the expectations for their future lives. They enjoyed lives as daughters, wives, mothers, and career women. (photos courtesy of PAHGS)

Coal Town Wives

Continued from previous page

ness woman. She was honored as the Indiana Civic Leader of the Year in 1990, was the first woman to become a member of the Indiana Rotary Club, and was recognized as an Indiana County Woman of Distinction. Her legacy lives on in her many philanthropic efforts, including the Girl Scouts, the Indiana YMCA, the Indiana Guidance Center, and the endowing of the Reschini Room at the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society. She was a miner’s daughter who put her talent to work to make her community a better place.

Ursula Mondi, the daughter of Anthony J. and Rose Marie Adams Mondi, was born at Punxsutawney. Her father was a first-generation American, his parents having been born in Italy. Her grandfather and her father worked in the coal mines at Walston. Ursula

was a 1953 graduate from Punxsutawney High School. She achieved a degree in education at Indiana State College of Pennsylvania, now Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in psychology from Penn State University. She married Joseph Albino and they raised a daughter. She was a special education teacher with the Punxsutawney Area School district for 35 years. She volunteered with many community organizations and especially enjoyed working with the Groundhog Festival Committee. Ursula, a miner’s daughter, left a lasting mark on the lives of many young people in the Punxsutawney area.

Miriam Cokely, a daughter of George A. and Florence Wherle Cokley, grew up in mining towns, including Rossiter and Yatesboro, where her father worked as a bookkeeper, before they settled in Punxsutawney. Miriam, who graduated from Seton Hill College, earned a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and had secured a teaching position with the Moon Township High School when she felt a more pressing calling. In 1942, she was the first woman from Punxsutawney to volunteer to serve in the United States Navy and was one of 12 women selected from 60 women who took the tests to become an officer candidate with the Women Accepted for Voluntary Service (WAVES). She was commissioned as an ensign, was stationed in Washington, D.C., and in March 1944 was promoted to lieutenant, junior grade. During her time in service, she worked in the Office of Naval Procurement and continued to advance in rank and responsibility. In 1945, she

was transferred to the Office of Naval History where she worked on preserving the History of the Navy in World War II. She left active service in 1946 and continued to serve with the U.S. Navy Reserve until her retirement from military service in 1962 with the rank of lieutenant commander. From 1947 to 1980 Miriam Cokely served the community as a teacher at the Punxsutawney Area High School, where she taught Latin.

Miriam Cokely, who lived at Rossiter and Yatesboro during her youth, pursued a career in the military and education. (photo courtesy of PAHGS)

In 1994, Miss Cokely was named the 1994 Punxsutawney Woman of the Year. Throughout her life she continued to volunteer in the community, state, and nation giving of her time and talent to better the Punxsutawney community.

These coal town daughters became women who actively protected their families’ livelihood, provided care when and where it was needed, developed businesses, educated the communities’ children, and served in mil-

itary service. They are but a few examples of women who have contributed significantly to the quality of life in the Punxsutawney area. 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, Punxsutawney News @ Newspapers.com., and the Library of Congress. Direct comments to PAHGS, P.O. Box 286, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. A dedication for the 2023 memorial tile additions to the Punxsutawney Area Coal Memorial will take place on Sunday, September 3, 2023. Individuals desiring to honor a coal or coal-related industry worker in 2023, are encouraged to purchase their tile by June 30, 2023. 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 • • •

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Punxsutawney Area Hospital to Celebrate National Hospital Week

The Punxsutawney Area Hospital is getting ready to celebrate National Hospital Week, which is held annually to recognize employees for their dedication and commitment as well as to interact with their communities. This year the dates for NHW are May 7 through May 13. Healthcare workers play a vital role in our communities; this was incredibly evident in recent years as the world struggled through the global pandemic. NHW is a great time of the year to shine a spotlight on hospitals and health systems who play such an essential role in the health of our communities.

The staff members at Punxsutawney Area Hospital will be invited to participate in various activities throughout the week. Some of these activities include: an online

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Continued from page 9

actual cookies, of course. The cookies were certainly a symbol of all the ‘togetherness’ that mom orchestrated.”

“For the record, my dad has done a fabulous job of keeping that family feeling going,” adds Justine. “He’s simply an extension of who they were together. He’s the best!”

Author Hope Edelman once wrote that we learn as much from someone’s absence as we do when they are with us, and Justine says she couldn’t agree more. “I’ve lived almost as much time without my mom as I lived with her,” she says, “and while I learned, and carry so, so much of

scavenger hunt, employee breakfasts, the Groundhog Grindz Coffee trailer, department bowling, a cornhole tournament and picnic, cookie competition, and many others. This year the Punxsutawney Area Hospital will host a National Hospital Week Kick Off Event and Mixer on Monday, May 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This event will have PAH Updates from Jack Sisk, president, along with other speakers. The PAH Wellness Bus will be available for tours. There will be light snacks and beverages available as well. The community is invited to attend, show support for the hardworking employees at PAH, and learn more about the great services that are provided at PAH. For more information, please visit www.path.org.

what she taught me from her life, her death has taught me just as many lessons.”

“My experience has shown me that every day is actually unprecedented (and fleeting!), so don’t take life too seriously,” she adds, before concluding, “[Losing my mom at such a young age] has also shown me that beautiful moments and experiences can stem from the hardest situations. We can feel joy and sorrow simultaneously. The greatest lesson from her absence is we always have the choice of how we handle what we are given. I hope to ground my choices in so much of what she gave to the world: kindness, laughter, fun, understanding, and love.”

• • •

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Membership Benefits • Tournaments, unlimited golf 7 days a week, 4 hour rounds • Includes social membership, with no food or beverage minimums • Full use of Clubhouse, access to dining room & bar • No initiation fee *Only available to New Members. Active members of the Punxsutawney Country Club for the years 2019-2022 are not considered new members and are ineligible for the Step Plan Join under any of the existing base rates and see step plan below. JOIN UNDER ANY OF THESE 2023 ANNUAL BASE RATES FAMILY $3,720 SENIOR $1,900 ADULT $2,095 WOMEN’S $1,725 ADULT 35-40 $1,590 ADULT UNDER 35 $945 NON- RESIDENT $1,185 ADDITIONAL OFFERS ASSOCIATE outside 12 air mi. from PCC $795 SPECIAL JUNIORS age 18-22 $280 JUNIORS $180 KIDS 14 & UNDER FREE PAHS GOLF TEAM $100 SOCIAL $10 single $15 Couple Qualify for the following Step Plan outlined below: Step 1 50% of base rate 1st year Step 2 66.6% of base rate 2nd year Step 3 83.2% of base rate 3rd year Step 4 Dues go to full base rate 408 N. Main St., Punx’y www.punxsycc.com 814-938-9760 2023 MEMBERSHIP SPECIALS Call Dan 814-938-9760 for More Details PAID FOR BY THE CANDIDATES We would appreciate your VOTE Tuesday, May 16th PUNXSUTAWNEY SCHOOL BOARD "Quality Education is our Priority" Honest, Hard Working; Reliable and Community Minded People (l. to r.) Doug Blose; Trevor Yount; Deneen "Dee Dee" Evans; Jessica Smith
Employees of the Punxsutawney Area Hospital pose during the 2022 kickoff event for National Hospital Week. (submitted photo)
• • •

Douglas M. “Mutt” Pequeen, Sr. of Punxsutawney

November 25, 1960 - March 27, 2023

Douglas was a retired painter and wallpaper hanger. He enjoyed spending time and visiting with friends at Frank ’n Steins when they were open. “Mutt,” as he was known to his friends, lived his life to have a good time. He is survived by his wife, Jenny Pequeen; his sons, Douglas (Denise) M. Pequeen, Jr., and Michael (Ashley) J. Pequeen; his daughter, Catherine (Chris) D. Pennington; grandchildren Amber (Josh) Walker, Dillon Pequeen, Malachi, Micah, Elijah and Avah Pequeen, and Brianna and Kolbi Pennington; brothers, James (Linda) S. Pequeen, Jr., Scott (Ann) Pequeen; sister, Cathy Wiggins; his close nieces, Amy and Theresa Pequeen; as well as numerous other nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Barbara (Fousnaught) Pequeen, and a brother, Steven Pequeen.

McCabe Funeral Home, Inc. (www.mccabewaldronfh.com)

Elaine Marie (Pluchinsky) Koromaus of Punxsutawney

July 21, 1941 - March 29, 2023

Elaine graduated from Punxsutawney High School. She was a longtime member of the Saints Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Punxsutawney, as well as a member of the Lady’s Auxiliary within the church. She was also President of the PnP Angels as well as secretary and treasurer for GCU Lodge #62. She was a member of the Punxsutawney Eagles and The Walston Club. With her sister, the two provided catering to almost every event in the Punxsutawney area for a long time. She was an extremely welcoming person, with a beloved personality. Above all else, she was extremely proud of her four grandchildren. She never tired of her main calling, as a loving mother, wife, grandmother, and friend.

Elaine is survived by her two sons; David (Sharon) Koromaus and Marc (Richelle “Shelly”) Koromaus; four grandchildren, Sydney, Logan, Max, Lukas; and two siblings, John R. (Maryann) Pluchinsky and Dolores (Mario) Cardamone.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary (Meterko) Pluchinsky, and her husband, John Michael Koromaus. Fait – d’Argy Funeral Home (www.dargyfh.com)

Aletha J. Franklin of Big Run

June 22, 1935 - March 31, 2023, A 1952 graduate of New Kensington High School, Aletha was a member of the Chestnut Grove Independent Church in Punxsutawney. She was an active and faithful servant in her church, serving on committees, helping with funeral dinners, and sending cards. She dedicated her life to her family and friends.

Aletha is survived by four children, son David (Tracy) Franklin, daughter Bonnie (Art) Rizzino, daughter Nancy (Gary) Reinhart, and daughter Rebecca (Ed) Serafin; five grandchildren, Michael Reinhart, Michele Reinhart, Eddie Serafin, Brandon Serafin, and Andrew (Sara) Franklin; and a brother, Robert (Cathy) Brady.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William L. Franklin, and her parents, Jean (Lingenfelter) and Robert Brady.

Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)

Betty Jean Plotner of Punxsutawney formerly of Knoxdale

March 6, 1923 - April 1, 2023

Jean held various jobs throughout her life. She worked at Sylvania and Jefferson Manor, drove a school bus, and most importantly was a mother and homemaker. Jean made sure everyone that visited her did not leave hungry. She also enjoyed her cats, fishing, tending her vegetable garden, feeding wildlife, traveling, attending yard sales, and finding a bargain.

She is survived by two sons, Cecil F. Plotner and George (Brenda) W. Plotner; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; a special niece, Debbie; and other numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Blanche (Kessler) Hopkins; husband, Cecil F. Plotner; a son, Robert Plotner; five sisters; a brother; and a greatgreat-grandson.

McCabe Funeral Home, Inc. (www.mccabewaldronfh.com)


Karen Rose Verdill Gratz of Clarion formerly of Punxsutawney

April 12, 1951 - April 3, 2023

Karen graduated from Punxsutawney High School in 1969 then attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Kent State University with a concentration in Art and


She retired from US Airways in 2006 as a Reservation Sales Specialist working in the Washington, DC, Dayton, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Ind., sales offices. She previously worked in retail around the Punxsutawney area for Harls Shoe Store, The Smart Shop, and Thrift Drug Store.

Karen was a published poetess of the poem, “Time to Swim,” and a self-publisher of the children’s book “Fido the Duck, a Short Tale.” She contributed artwork to the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society.

Karen was also a member of the First Baptist Church of Punxsutawney.

In addition to her husband, Leonard “Leo” J. Gratz, she is survived by two siblings, sister Kay (Dave) DeLuca, and brother Michael (Mindi) Verdill; nieces and nephews, David (Beth) Uzzo, Adam (Melissa) Uzzo, Emily (Dale) DeLuca Holmes, Carrie (Austin) DeLuca Glahn, Andrew (Jill) DeLuca, Beau Verdill, and Bailee Verdill; several great nieces and nephews; and to her best friend Debbie Hardie, “I love you, my best friend, we will hang on Tarzan Swings in Heaven.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Barbara R. (Rhodes) and Rocco Verdill, and a sister, Joyce Ann Uzzo, whom she considered the best “big sister” ever.

Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)

Alec J. “Ike” Godo of Punxsutawney

October 3, 1957 - April 6, 2023

Alec lived his life to the fullest. He enjoyed spending time with his family. He is survived by a daughter, Jessica A. Carr; two grandchildren, Jessalynn and Ayden Carr; two sisters, Cheryl (John) C. Waters, Pamela J. McClure; a brother, Jerry (Shelby) L. Godo; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph J. and Lenora (Beatty) Godo, and a sister, Linda M. Godo.

McCabe Funeral Home, Inc. (www.mccabewaldronfh.com)

Dustin A. Davis of Worthville

February 29, 1988 - April 9, 2023

Dustin enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with his father. He was a member of the Eagles.

In addition to his parents, Marsha J. Faudie and Donald C. Davis, he is survived by a sister

Missy L. Gilbert and husband Danny, Pa., and a niece Marissa L. Dunlap. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)

Ruth E. Peace of Cloe

May 15, 1926 - April 10, 2023

Ruth was a member of Cloe United Methodist Church. She was the cafeteria manager at Bell Township Elementary School for 22 years before her retirement. Ruth enjoyed traveling with her husband trying to visit all of the 50 states and cooking Sunday dinners for her family, friends, and whomever would stop by. Most of all Ruth loved her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is survived by a son and two daughters: Richard (Nancy) E. Peace, Pamela J. Pifer and Kitty (Richard) Long; nine grandchildren: Rebecca (Tim) Pellas, Autumn (Matt) Rheaume, Amber Pifer, Hope (Rusty) Young, Justin Peace, Mallory (Ethan) Evans, Lacey (Patrick) Lydick, Brock (Heidi) Long and Shawna Peace; 17 great-grandchildren; a daughter-in-law, Cheri Peace; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert E. and Elva (McCarty) Mallory;her husband, Theodore Peace; a son, Ted S. Peace; and 13 siblings.

McCabe Funeral Home, Inc. (www.mccabewaldronfh.com) u

William R. Giovanetti of Brookville

September 1, 1946 - April 10, 2023, William served in the United States Army during Vietnam from 1966 to 1969. William earned his high school diploma and furthered his education at the Rosedale Technical Institute in the Auto Diesel Mechanic curriculum. He worked as a member of the Operating Engineers Local 66 and held various construction jobs. He retired as a Union Mechanic with his last job being for Waste Management in Washington, Pa. He enjoyed hunting, tinkering in his garage, riding his tractor, and spending time with his friends. He was also a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In addition to his partner, Mary K. Jenkins, he is survived by four children, son David (Colleen) Giovanetti, daughter Kelly Giovanetti, son Stephen Giovanetti, and daughter Kristy Giovanetti; six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren; a sister, Louise (Leo) George; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Anna Lominski and

16 – Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271 Providing Families the Best Care at Their Worst Time Waldron FUNERAL HOME McCabe FUNERAL HOME INC. 114 Maple Ave. , Punxsutawney 814-938-0400 831 Market Street, Mahaffey 814-277-9911 Andrew R. Philliber Supervisor, Owner, Funeral Director Andrew R. Philliber Owner, Funeral Director Lisa J. Waldron, Supervisor Continued on next page

Continued from previous page

Jack Joseph Giovanetti, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Donald, Bobby and infant Peter Giovanetti, and a sister Marie Smith.

Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)

Velma Belle Burkett of Punxsutawney

October 19, 1933 - April 13, 2023

Velma was a homemaker and always put others first and led a life of service to her church and community. As an active member of the First Church of God, she served as a Sunday School teacher for 30 years as well as a member of The Women of the Church of God and The Owl’s. Velma was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary at Oliver Township Fire Hall and also served 30 years on the election board in Oliver Township.

She is survived by three sons, Dennis (Patricia K.) R. Burkett, Durwin Burkett, and Wayne (Linda) A. Burkett; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a sister, Betty (Paul) Reed; two brothers, David (Denise) Rogers and Robert Rogers.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William B. and Blanche (Means) Rodgers; husband, Lorraine W. Burkett; and two brothers, William and James Rogers.

McCabe Funeral Home, Inc. (www.mccabewaldronfh.com)

Donald M. Jordan of Punxsutawney

December 23, 1939 - April 16, 2023

Don worked as a coal truck driver and as a custodian for the Punxsutawney Christian School. He was a member of the First Church of God of Punxsutawney.

Don enjoyed hunting, dirt track races, spending time with his family, and taking trips to Benezette to see the elk.

He is survived by four children, son Michael (Melinda) D. Jordan, son William (Jamie) W. Jordan, daughter Catherine (Kevin) Knox, son James L. Jordan and fiancée Brittany; five grandchildren, Eric (Nikki) Knox, Kayla (Jared) Webb, Canaan (Ashlyn) Knox, Roman (Amanda) Bowser and Octavia Jordan; two great-grandchildren, Quinnly Webb and Canyon Knox; and a special friend, Doris Good.

In addition to his wife, Carolyn A. (McQuown) Jordan, and parents, Faye (Young) and Eugene Jordan, he was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Jacquelyn Jordan, and five siblings, Marie Fry, Walter Jordan, Chuck Jordan, Ruth Petroff, and Dorothy Nicholson. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)

Barbara Jane McConnaughey of Rossiter 1932 - April 16, 2023

Barbara was married to the late James R. McConnaughey. They spent the beginning of their married life in Buffalo, New York, and they moved to their farm in Canoe Ridge in 1971. She worked various jobs in Buffalo. Her last job was as a meat demonstrator at County Market in Punxsutawney. After retirement, she enjoyed being with friends at the Grandmother’s Club as well as at the Mahoning Hills Senior Center. Her grandson Ken did his Eagle Scout project for the Senior Center and her granddaughter Juli did a project with the Grandmothers Club with her fellow AG students from the Marion Center School District.

Barbara enjoyed oil paintings, nature watching, and cooking. Her absolute favorite times were spent with her grandchildren and later on with their spouses as well.

In addition to her husband and parents, Clyde and Lucille Ferrier McGee, she was also preceded in death by her four brothers: William, Phillip, Jack, and Don, and her four sisters: Emma Tate, Elizabeth Maue, Dorothy Gardner, and Marylou McGee.

She is survived by her daughter Diana (Kenneth) Carlson, her grandson Kenneth (Heather) Carlson, and her granddaughter Julianne (Ryan) Hickok.

McCabe Funeral Home, Inc. (www.mccabewaldronfh.com)

Robert Dwight Himes of Rochester Mills

August 11, 1933 - April 20, 2023

After graduating in 1951 from Marion Center High School, Bob owned and operated the family dairy farm for 25 years in Rochester Mills. He received the Keystone and American Farmer’s Degree. He loved the outdoors, planting, harvesting, and maintaining the fields. Bob was an avid deer hunter and looked forward to hunting season each year when his many friends and family would come to hunt on the Himes Farm.

For a number of years he was an active member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Punxsutawney. During that time he served on the Board of Trustees. He also loved serving in the church kitchen helping prepare dinners for different occasions throughout the year. On Sundays between the services you would find Bob in the social room serving coffee. He later became a regular attender to the First Church of God in Punxsutawney.

The past years Bob’s eyesight had deteriorated, but he filled his time doing yard work, listening to Family Life Network and Fox News. He followed sports, especially the

Steelers, Pitt, and Penn State football, and Indiana High School baseball.

Bob enjoyed traveling and special holidays when all the family would be together.

He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Grace (Nichol); five children: a daughter Patti and husband Dave Grant, three sons, Douglas and wife Bonnie, Gregory, Mark and deceased wife Cathy, daughter Christie and deceased husband, Todd and 10 grandchildren, Nathan (Kristin) Miller, Jessica (Scott) Warshel, Derek Miller and fiancée Kira, Joel (Micha) Himes, Travis (Erin) Himes, Ashlynn (Andy) Starr, Mark Himes and Grace, Mackenzie, and Andrew McGee; nine great-grandchildren, Natalie and Vincent Miller, Thomas and Aubrey Starr, Jaxyn and Rylan Warshel, Parker and Ethan Himes, and Ruby Himes; and a brother, Andrew Himes.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Eincle and Arminta Himes; two sisters, Ida Beatty and Ruth Troupe; and five brothers, Earl, Roy, Merle, Melvin, and Ellis Himes. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)

Ray Wilson Dinsmore, Sr. of Punxsutawney

November 12, 1931 - April 21, 2023

A veteran, Ray served during the Korean War as a member of the United States Navy and the Marines. He joined the Navy in 1950, where he became a medical corpsman, and later transferred to the Marine Corps.

In 1967 Ray was ordained an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney and also elected to the Punxsutawney Borough Council. He also served as president of the Mary A. Wilson Elementary School PTA. Ray was the owner of Dinsmore Lithographer, which he founded in 1969. He became the printing instructor at Jefferson County Vo-Tech when the school first opened in 1969. He later became the school’s cooperative education coordinator.

Ray is survived by his wife, Roberta Joan Maier; three sons, Ray W. Jr., Jeffrey (wife Kathy), and Matthew; and a daughter, Debra Dinsmore (Michael Shaffer); two granddaughters, Megan and Keri Dinsmore; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Arthur and Grace (Monteith) Dinsmore; two sisters, Cathryn Stahl and Helen Elliott; and three brothers, Arthur, Alex, and Hal Dinsmore.

McCabe Funeral Home, Inc. (www.mccabewaldronfh.com)

Janeen Barrett of Punxsutawney

October 4, 1955 - April 21, 2023

Janeen was a member of the First Church of God of Punxsutawney. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and her cat, Lily, baking, singing in the church choir, and puzzle


She worked for The Potters Place and as a secretary for the Christian Missionary Alliance district office in Punxsutawney.

Janeen is survived by three children, son Jason (Sarah) Barrett, son Daniel (Megan) Barrett, and daughter Amber Barrett; five grandchildren, Viera, Kayta and Javen Barrett and Tenley and Landon Barrett; a brother, Robert (Carol) Burkett; sister-in-law, Millie Burkett; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, Daryl J. Barrett, and parents, Ruth (McGonagle) and Eugene Burkett, she was preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Burkett, and a sister, Bonnie Burkett.

Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)


John “Bill” William Brooks, Jr. August 28, 1949 - April 21, 2023

Bill was a graduate of Punxsutawney High School and a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he proudly served in the Vietnam War as Crew Chief of a Huey helicopter.

Bill had many passions but his constant was aviation. However, what Bill was the most passionate about was family. He made a tradition of road-tripping back to Pennsylvania at least twice a year to visit his family.

Bill is survived and greatly missed by his children, son, Blake Brooks, three daughters, Brittany Brooks, Kristy (Bradley) Day, and Amy (Dalton) Wiley; his beloved grandchildren, Blake Brooks, Lucas Nelson, Will Wiley, and Channing Day; his very much loved siblings, sister, Millicent Burkett, and three brothers, James Brooks, Joel (Judy) Brooks, and Dave (Cindy Seger) Brooks; a sister-in-law, Jane Brooks; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his eldest son, John William Brooks III, his eldest brother, Randell Brooks, his brother-in-law, Tom Burkett, sister-in-law, Kay Brooks, and his parents, John William Brooks, Sr., and Henrietta (Long) Brooks.

Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. (www.deeleyfuneralhome.com)


Please visit the websites of the funeral homes listed to view the complete obituary, sign their guestbooks, plant a tree, and offer your condolences.


If you have a loved one who has passed away and would like to publish the obituary in Punxsutawney Hometown magazine, please contact us at hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com or call (814) 952-3668. uuu

Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271 – 17 33 Hillcrest Dr., Punxsutawney (814) 938-5400 Alex J. Park Owner, Funeral Director Supervisor William C. Deeley Funeral Director Douglas A. Deeley Funeral Director "Serving the community we live in." Jacob T. d’Argy OWNER / FUNERAL DIRECTOR Kelsey E. Makin SUPERVISOR / FUNERAL DIRECTOR Call to make an appointment to prearrange, meet staff members, tour any of our facilies or for any other questions. dargyfh.com 117 N. Jefferson St., Punxsutawney 814-938-8200



Joining Forces to Support Veterans

In a Veterans Day recognition speech given by President Barack Obama on Nov. 10, 2010, in Seoul, South Korea, the commander-in-chief addressed his audience with a reminder of the gratitude and respect due to and deserved by the men and women who had served in the United States Armed Forces and those who were still enlisted.

He said directly to veterans, “So I want all of you to know when you come home, your country is going to be there for you. That is the commitment I make to you as Commander-in-Chief. That is the sacred trust between the United States of America and all who defend its ideals.”

With these words, President Obama was making a promise and, in doing so, issuing a call of action to the people of his country. This call asks each citizen to express honor to the men and women who have selflessly dedicated themselves to protecting the “Land of the Free.” It is a call for everyone to do what he or she can to show appreciation for the individuals who served or who are serving.

This action can be realized with caring words of praise, with simple acts of kindness, or with grand gestures of admiration. For the group Freedom Hunters, the call to action has

been answered through its military outreach program.

According to Anthony Pace, founder and CEO of Freedom Hunters, based in the mission of the group is “to salute the noble work of our courageous men and women of our Armed Forces. Freedom Hunters reflects the



Day Giveaway’ 129 Aspen Rd., Punxsutawney, PA 15767

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outdoor community’s appreciation to our troops by taking select active duty and combat veterans, families of fallen heroes, children of the deployed, as well as those wounded or injured, on outdoor adventures.”

Pace founded Freedom Hunters in 2005. He and his associates wanted to send veterans on outings as a way of thanking them for their service.

“We took Sean Nies (an active-duty sailor) to Texas for a deer, hog, and turkey hunt in 2006,” Pace reported about the group’s initial adventure. “Sean had just returned from a long 18-month deployment to Iraq.”

Pace said that this gesture was intended to show simple gratitude; however, he did not realize the full therapeutic value of getting the warriors outdoors. He added, “It wasn’t long before I started hearing stories from adventure recipients and their families about the healing properties and how being in nature saved their life and changed their perspective.”

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Fun was had and memories were made at the 6th Annual Western PA Charity Sporting Clays Shoot at All Seasons Trap & Skeet Club last year as individuals and teams competed for a worthy cause: helping veterans. Freedom Hunters and Shoot for a Cure will team up again for the 7th Annual event in June. (submitted photo)
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Joining Forces

Such moving and heartfelt comments and reactions from recipients validated the work of Freedom Hunters and gave the members of the group the drive to stay the course. Pace said that Freedom Hunters has sent the military community on therapeutic hunting, shooting, and fishing trips all over the United States and internationally. In the 18 years since its fruition, the number of those helped by the Freedom Hunters has grown by thousands.

In fact, Pace said, “We have taken over 12,000 veterans on adventures since Sean in 2006.”

Being able to conduct these outdoor adventures, though, takes a lot of resources. Therefore, Pace and his 501(c)3 nonprofit organization are thankful for the outpouring of help from individuals and businesses.

“Dream hunts can cost several thousands of dollars, but we try to partner with outfitters, landowners, and sportsmen to reduce the costs involved with those hunts.”

Empowered by help from conservation groups, outfitters, corporations, government agencies, and landowners, this organization honors individuals from all branches of the military.

Pace said, “It is with immense pride and enthusiasm that Freedom Hunters carries on the American tradition of hunting, fishing, and marksmanship.”

While it is true that each successfully executed adventure brings the reward of positively affecting the life of a veteran and his or her family, Pace explained that sometimes the benefit of the endeavor can be twofold. Such was the case for a hunt that took place in western Pennsylvania a few years ago with the assistance of Jerry Tibbott from The Bearded Buck.

“Jerry hosted a group of our veterans on a whitetail hunt near Mahaffey, PA,” Pace said. “Jerry grew up with one of our hunt recipients.”

This chance encounter then led to another sort of adventure. Through Tibbott, Pace and Freedom Hunters were introduced to Mark Gagliardi and his 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Shoot for a Cure. Shoot for a Cure hosts sporting clays tournaments to raise money for several national charities, such as the March of Dimes, LLS, and the Knights of Columbus, as well as local charity groups like Lisa’s Ladybugs and Snacks to Grow On. Gagliardi, a native of Walston and graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School who now resides in Clarksville, Tenn., works as a public relations representative at American Income Life and outside of his professional schedule, he operates this national nonprofit. Gagliardi reports that Shoot for a Cure, now in its 21st year of operation, has raised just over $8 million net for charity. What started with one event in northern California has since grown to 25 events across the country. Both Gagliardi and Pace, upon meeting, were so impressed by each other’s dedication and mission that they decided to join forces for an event last year to raise money for Free-

dom Hunters. Gagliardi, a U.S. Navy veteran himself, was all in for helping Freedom Hunters because it is a cause that is very near and dear to his heart. Since Gagliardi was a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, he experienced firsthand interaction with veterans as he worked in a VA hospital.

“I saw a lot of veterans from Vietnam,” he explained, adding that the toll of such warfare had left these individuals with physical as well as mental trauma. Therefore, he was drawn to the work of Freedom Hunters. “I really like their mission and what they’re doing for veterans.” Gagliardi said. “It’s healed a lot of people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and those who are physically disabled. It gives them a sense of community, almost like group therapy in the outdoors.”

Since these guys had the common connection of western PA, the hometown of Gagliardi and the location of an annual Freedom Hunters event, it was an ideal partnership for the two to host the 6th Annual Western PA Freedom Hunters Shoot in 2022. Gagliardi said that the event at All Seasons Trap and Skeet in Luthersburg was very popular and well-attended, which he attributes to his observation that people around his hometown area are PROUD of their veterans and willing to show their appreciation.

Pace expressed a similar pleasure about working with Shoot for a Cure at the event.

He said, “From my perspective, Mark and the crew from Shoot for a Cure are local heroes. They raised over $8,140,000 for various charitable causes. To have Freedom Hunters associated with such a philanthropic group is an honor and truly humbling.”

Even though most events that Shoot for a Cure hosts are large scale in size, Gagliardi communicated that he loves to come back to Punxsutawney when he can to help local charities for two main reasons: at the request of his many friends and family and as a way for him to give back to his hometown. Commenting on the local shoots he has held, Gagliardi said, “We always have good attendance. We are grateful and blessed for that.”

Because last year’s shoot for Freedom Hunters was so positive and successful, Gagliardi announced that he and Pace are teaming up once again to host an event in the area. The 7th Annual Western PA Freedom Hunters Shoot is scheduled for Saturday, June 17, 2023, to be held once again at All Seasons Trap and Skeet in Luthersburg.

In anticipation of June’s shoot, Pace remarked, “This is the second year we have partnered with Shoot for a Cure at All Seasons Trap and Skeet in Luthersburg, Pa. We look forward to getting back to the area to be with friends. Interacting with the patriotic people in Western PA is always a pleasure. These are true Americans that love our country and servicemen.”

Gagliardi explained that the day’s itinerary will include 100 targets, shooting games, a BBQ lunch, and a raffle. Awards will be

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Continued from previous page
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Mark Gagliardi and his nonprofit organization, Shoot for a Cure, have raised millions of dollars for charities across the nation and locally. (submitted photo)

Hometown Community Happenings

From the staff of Hometown magazine and the Community Calendar at Punxsutawney.com, here is a list of events coming up in our area:

n Penguins Contest Winner Named, on Thursday, April 13, the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime. Scott Wundrack of Punxsutawney correctly predicted that five total goals would be scored, making him the winner of Hometown’s Penguins Contest. Scott plans to redeem his gift card at Fox’s Pizza Den. Congratulations!

n Tickets may still be available for the “Frumpled Fairy Tales” event presented by the Punx’y Memorial Library at noon May 13

at F.O. Eagles. This event includes a buffet lunch and the theatrical retelling of three classic fairy tales, and is recommended for children ages 512, who must be accompanied by a parent/guardian with a ticket. Tickets are $20 per adult and $10 per child. Proceeds benefit the library. Tickets can be purchased by cash or check at the library.

n April 29: Bag Fashion Sale, 9 a.m., at The Salvation Army. Purchase a bag to fill for $10.

n April 29: Extreme Weather Program, 10 a.m. to noon, at Punx’y Weather Discovery Center. $12 entry fee, suitable for kids ages 6-13.

n April 29: Basket Raffle & Dinner for Medical Bills, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Perry Town-

ship Fire Co., benefits Kevin Hutton & Shelli Hutton.

n April 29: Spaghetti Dinner, 11 a.m. until sold out, at Reynoldsville American Legion, benefits Reynoldsville Homecoming Committee. Eat in, adults, $10; children, $5. All takeouts, $10.

n April 29: Gun Bash, 1 to 5 p.m., at Gobbler’s Knob, by the Punx’y Chamber of Commerce. Doors open at noon. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Chamber office and Laska’s Pizza. Tickets at the door will be $25.

n April 29: Spaghetti Benefit Dinner for Tessa Spearing, 3 to 7 p.m., at Covode United Methodist Church, Rochester Mills.

n April 29: Wine, Shine & Dine opens at 11 a.m., at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. $30 ticket per person. Proceeds benefit the Jefferson County Fair.

n April 30: SSCD Knights of Columbus breakfast, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., open to the public, $9 adults, $5 children.

n April 30: Bridal & Wedding Expo, 1 to 4 p.m., at The Barn at Willow Grove, Mayport.

n May 1: Registration begins for the Summer Reading Program at Punx’y Memorial Library. Classes are capped at 20 participants. Call the library at 938-5020 for more information.

n May 1, 8, 15, & 22: Adult Coloring Club, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Punx’y Memorial Library. Bring your own supplies or borrow some from the library.

n May 1: Punx’y Christian School Open House, 6 to 7:30 p.m., open to the public.

n May 2 & 30: Book Sale room books are free at the Punx’y Memorial Library.

n May 3: Meet the Candidates for Borough Council and Punx’y School Board, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Punx’y Eagles Club.

n May 3: PAHS Band Concert, 7 p.m., at the PAHS auditorium.

n May 3 & 17: Bingo at Big Run Event Center, benefits the Big Run Area Vol. Fire Co. Doors open at 4 p.m., early bird games start at 6 p.m. and regular games at 6:30 p.m. Food & beverages available.

n May 3-31: Registration open for VBS at One Life Church, June 19-21, 6 to 8 p.m., for ages 3 to fifth grade. Register at onelifepunxsy.org/one-life-kids.

n May 4: National Day of Prayer. Send up good thoughts for the nation.

n May 5 & 6: Grange’s Helping Hands free clothing, Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Grange Church of God.

n May 5, 12, 19, & 26: Paws for Reading, 3:45 p.m., at Punx’y Memorial Library. All ages welcome.

n May 6: For The Kids! Car Show, 1 to 5 p.m., at H&H Supply, presented by Lifted & Lowered Detailing. Proceeds benefit Make A Wish.

n May 6: Hunter-Trapper Education Course, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the American Legion Post, Reynoldsville. Registration information is on the PA Game Commission website.

n May 6: 8th Annual Military Collectibles Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Jefferson County Fairgrounds, presented by Jefferson County History


n May 6: Youth Fishing Derby, 9 a.m. to noon, at Clear Creek State Park.

n May 6: 4th Annual Vendor & Craft Show, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Jefferson County Fairgrounds, hosted by Egypt Free Methodist Church, benefits We Care Pregnancy Center. Includes an outreach event at 3 p.m. by Spurred to Victory Ministry.

n May 6: Gobbler’s Knob Wine Festival, cohosted by the Groundhog Club and the Punx’y Chamber of Commerce. Tickets available at www.groundhog.org, Punx’y Chamber, Laska’s Pizza, and Buds to Blooms Farm Shop.

n May 6 & 7: Hazen flea market open, 7 a.m. to mid-afternoon.

n May 6: Spring ’23 Trash & Treasure Sale, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Ringgold Area Vol. Fire Co.

n May 7: Chicken BBQ, 11 a.m., at Rossiter Vol. Fire Co.

n May 8-12: Teacher Appreciation Week Remember a favorite teacher with something special from one of Hometown’s advertisers.

n May 9: Citizens Band Open House/Meet & Greet, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at First English Lutheran Church. The Citizens Band & Alumni Band of Punx’y welcome prospective new members.

n May 10: Blood Drive, 1 to 5 p.m., at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Sykesville. Benefits American Red Cross.

n May 10: PAHS Chorus Concert, 7 p.m., at the PAHS auditorium.

n May 11: Catastrophic Book Club, 5:30 p.m., at Punx’y Memorial Library. This month’s book is “The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich. Call the library to reserve a copy.

n May 11-14: Blacksmith Gathering at Reynlow Park.

n May 13: Punx’y Memorial Library closed.

n May 13: Solid Rock Bundles of Blessings, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the parsonage next to Solid Rock Community Church. Donations accepted by pre-arrangement only.

n May 13: Big Run B.R.A.N.C.H.H. food distribution, 11 a.m. to noon, at First Christian Church of Big Run.

n May 13: Glow in the Dark Day, noon to 2 p.m., at Weather Discovery Center. $12 person, or $20 for mom & child duo. Register at 814938-1000 or email educator@weatherdiscovery.org.

n May 13: Par 3 Shoot Out golf tournament at Punx’y Country Club, 1 p.m., Proceeds benefit the George C. Brown Community Pool.

n May 13: Food sale, 6 p.m., at Rossiter American Legion. Doors open at 5 pm. Fundraiser for American Legion Post 62, Punx’y.

n May 13: PAHS Prom Processional, 6 to 8 p.m., at Barclay Square. If it rains, at the high school cafeteria. Prom follows at Big Run Event Center.

n May 13: Laughs for the Library show at The Bellamauro. $25 tickets, proceeds benefit the Reynoldsville Public Library Educational & Recreational programs.

n May 14: Mother’s Day. Remember your mother with something special from one of Hometown’s advertisers.

n May 16: Primary Election Day. Don’t forget to vote.

May 16: Blood Drive, noon to 5:30 p.m., at St. Mary’s Church, Reynoldsville. Benefits American Red Cross.

n May 17: Drive-Through Community Dinner, begins at 4:30 p.m., at Punx’y Presbyterian Church. Enter the alley off East Mahoning St., beside the old Pantall and drive toward Union St. Meals will be handed to the driver. The meal will include an entrée to heat at home and a dessert.

n May 18: Blood Drive, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Punx’y Alliance Church. Benefits American Red Cross.

n May 19: Punx’y Memorial Library closed.

n May 20: Punxsy Dash 4 Diabetes, 8 a.m.

20 – Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271 Finger foods • Deli, Cheese & Relish trays Sandwiches • Cakes • Cookies Wine • Balloons • Flowers & more www.shopnsavefood.com punxsutawney country club BOOK YOUR PARTY OR EVENT FOR 2023! ASK ABOUT OUR SOCIAL CLUB MEMBERSHIPS Call Daggi at the clubhouse or cell at 814-771-0095 for more info on private events. EVERYONE WELCOME! 814-938-8243 N. Main St., Punx’y For updates visit, www.punxsycc.com Route 310, Elk Run Ave. Punxsutawney DROP ANCHOR AT THE NEW ANCHOR INN The Area’s Favorite Family Restaurant FEATURING ITALIAN AMERICAN CUISINE 938-8060 BANQUET FACILITIES AVAILABLE Sunday 11 am - 7 pm • Closed Mon. Tuesday - Thursday 11 am - 9 pm Friday - Saturday 11 am - 10 pm WWW.PUNXSUTAWNEYMAGAZINE.COM ONLINE - ALL THE TIME Specialty Cakes & Cookies for All Occasions CATERING FOR ANY SIZE OF GATHERING HOMEMADE FAMILY RECIPES Weddings Parties Graduation Funerals
- Continued on page 22

Punx’y Historical Society Begins Archiving Kovalchick Collection

Work has begun on archiving the Kovalchick Collection held by the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society (PAHGS). Valerie Metzler, Certified Archivist and Historian, recently visited the Society to assess the collection, determine the various items and to begin the process of identifying, cataloging, and preparing them for storage and future accessibility.

The Kovalchick Collection contains the business records previously located in the Cascade Mine Office at Sykesville, Pa., and includes various types of records from the

in order to create a list of archival supplies that will be needed for proper care and storage.

Metzler will return later this spring to work with volunteers on cataloging and placing the collection in archival storage.

This project is funded by a grant from the Historical & Archival Records Care (HARC) grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The next phase of the project will be cataloging the collection. Persons interested in volunteering to assist with the cataloging phase may contact Shirley Sharp, PAHGS Volunteer Coordinator, Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at (814) 938-2555 for more information on volunteering to assist with this project.

Cascade Mining Operation as well as affiliated mines.

Metzler met with Nancy Anthony, PAHGS Board Member and Office Administrator, to review the mission of the Society and its current methods of recording and storing historic collections. Anthony described how the Kovalchick records were collected, cleaned, and placed in storage until they could be evaluated, cataloged, and properly preserved.

Following the orientation, Metzler and Anthony began the assessment of the Kovalchick Collection of mining records, which include documents, maps, drawings, ledgers, and other records. They surveyed the quantity of documents in order to determine the care of the materials and the types of archival storage materials that will be needed

to accommodate the collection.

Metzler then began by analyzing the materials in the collection. She advised that one guideline for archivists is to determine if the item could be found elsewhere, or is it unique to this collection. For example: A specific newspaper may be found in that newspaper’s archive and may not need to be maintained with the Kovalchick Collection. She examined items in the collection, noting the various types of documents and their size

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Nancy Anthony, left, shows archivist Valerie Metzler the extent of the Kovalchick Collection held by the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society and explains the historic value to Punxsutawney area communities. (photo courtesy of PAHGS) Archivist Metzler conducted an analysis of the types of materials in the Kovalchick Collection to determine the variety and types of storage containers that will be needed to properly store the materials. (photo courtesy of PAHGS)
• • •
Archivist Valerie Metzler, left, interviews Nancy Anthony, PAHGS board member, regarding the Society’s process for archiving documents. (photo courtesy of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society)


Hometown Community

Continued from page 20

registration, at Punx’y Rails To Trails-Ballfields, 5K race & 1M walk. Find registration information on their Facebook page.

n May 20: 8:30 to 11 a.m., Pancake Breakfast, $10. First English Lutheran Church, Gilpin & Pine Streets. Proceeds will establish PXYCF Fund to honor Punxsutawney area fire fighters.

n May 20: Basket Raffle & Vendor Show Benefit, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Big Run Event Center, benefits John McBee & Shelly Reese. Event given by FOCUS Accounting & Business Solutions.

n May 20: Little Toby Smoke-Off BBQ Competition, noon to 4 p.m., at Taylor Memorial Park, Brockway.

n May 20: 2023 Outdoor Gun Extravaganza, 3 to 11 p.m., at Reynoldsville Fire Co.

n May 20: “Dial M for Mother,” a murder mystery dinner, 5 p.m., at Heritage House, presented by Brookville Laurel Festival and Mystery’s Most Wanted. $30 per person, benefits the Laurel Festival.

n May 20 & 21: Coolspring Power Museum open. $10 admission; children under 12 free.

n May 20 & 21: Greenberg Cadillac Museum open, 1 to 4 p.m., Brookville, in partnership with Brookville Area Chamber of Commerce. Donations benefit the chamber’s local beautification efforts.

n May 20 & 21: Spring Tour De Forest ATV/UTV Ride in the Allegheny National Forest, Marienville.

n May 21: McCalmont Township Vol. Fire Dept. Breakfast, 7 a.m. to noon, at the fire hall. Adults, $10; kids 5-12, $5; and kids under 4, free.

n May 26: Last Student Day at Punx’y Area School District. Watch for children.

n Camp Friendship applications are available at jcarc.org. They are due by May 26.

n May 26-28: Living History Weekend at Cook Forest State Park.

n May 27: Hawthorn Vol. Fire Dept. 6th Annual Kayak/Canoe Poker Run, launch 9 a.m. to noon Redbank Creek, Summerville to Hawthorn. Adults, $20; under 18, $5. Find more information and registration at www.hawthorn560.com.

n May 28: Fish for Free Day in PA, no license required by the PA Fish Commission.

n May 28-June 3: Groundhog Festival at Yoder’s Antique Mall.

n May 29: Punx’y Memorial Library closed.

n May 29: Memorial Day. Remember the veterans who gave their lives in service to the nation.

n *If your church will celebrate a milestone anniversary, such as the 50th anniversary of its founding, please let Hometown know about it. Such longevity should be recognized with a story! You can email Hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com.

n Punx’y Citizens Band rehearsals are held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at First English Lutheran Church. For more information, go to https://punxsypa.com/band. Musicians of all levels are welcome.

n The Punx’y Chamber of Commerce is seeking vendors for the 2023 Festival in the Park. Contact the chamber for more information.

n Applications for JCARC’s Camp Friendship are available at The Arc of Jefferson & Clearfield Counties’ website, JCARC.org.

n The Salvation Army holds weekly Bible studies at 11 a.m. Wednesdays.

n The Punx’y Vol. Fire Dept. will hold a Gun Raffle on Aug. 19 at Gobbler’s Knob. $10 tickets are on sale from any firefighter.

n The First Church of God and SSCD Church offer food banks. Contact the churches for dates and times they are available.

n The PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau is holding a Big Fish photo contest through May. Visit the bureau’s website for more information. Scheduled events may change. Hometown magazine is not responsible for changes or cancellations.

• • •

Joining Forces

Continued from page 19

given to the highest scoring teams and to the top individual shooters. The event is limited to the first 120 who sign up, so Gagliardi stressed the need for those interested to not delay in securing their spot. He further explained that businesses, organizations, and associations can show their support by contributing through sponsorships. There are multiple levels of sponsorship with numerous perks offered at each distinction with the top four levels allowing the contributor to send four shooters to the event. The top level, the Diamond, includes a VIP shooting clinic and dinner for four the day before the event.

Gagliardi and Pace are hoping that this year’s event will be as successful, if not more so than last year’s. They believe this can be accomplished through more area businesses, organizations and associations showing their patriotism and participating in the effort.

“Our goal at the event is to raise funds to take more of our nation’s finest on outdoor adventures and network with sportsmen and landowners to create new opportunities for our veterans to get outdoors,” professed Pace.

Near the end of his Veterans Day speech 13 years ago, President Obama said, “It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America.”

To join Freedom Hunters and Shoot for a Cure in answering the call, individuals, teams and businesses can visit http://www.shootforacure.us, go to the “2023 Events” page and click on the event name to download the event information and registration form or by contacting Gagliardi directly at mark@shootforacure.us.

• • •

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(“From Our Past,” researched by S. Thomas Curry, features items of interest from past editions of Punxsutawney and area newspapers.)

April 16, 1931 — “The Smart Shop” is the name chosen for the ladies’ and children’s wear shop of A. Pete. It is one of the prettiest and most complete shops of its kind in Punxsutawney. A prize for the name is divided among three local women. Mr. Abraham Pete is to be congratulated. The shop is a credit to him and to Punxsutawney. (Punxsutawney Spirit)

Note: For nearly 70 years a popular women’s clothing store on East Mahoning Street in downtown Punxsutawney, The Smart Shop closed in August 1999.

April 24, 1889 — The foot ball players of this county met in DuBois on the 15th instant and organized the “Jefferson County Foot Ball Association,” James Budddock, of Adrian, was chosen president. All clubs are required to organize at once and prepare to compete for a cup, which will be presented to the club which wins the championship (Punxsutawney Spirit) Note: The first football game in the U.S. was in 1869.

April 28, 1870 — OUR PHYSICIANS say that there are yet many cases of scarlet fever throughout this part of the country. There has been more sickness in the vicinity during the past few months than has been known here for years before. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer)

Note: More common in children and young teens, scarlet fever is recognized by a pinkred rash or sore throat. Contagious, in earlier years (such as 1870) a child with scarlet fever was quarantined to their home and a sign placed in a window.

May 6, 1869 — OUR TOWN IN THE FUTURE – A number of new buildings will be erected this coming summer. Our enterprising merchant, Mr. George W. Zeitler, intends to erect a large frame building on the corner of Mahoning and Jefferson streets, opposite the new Jennings’ Hotel. Two and one-half stories high, the first floor will be a storeroom with a ceiling fourteen feet high. The second floor is intended for a Town Hall. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer)

Note: The location of the Zeitler Building at the corner of East Mahoning and North Jefferson streets in 1869 is now an empty lot since a December 1971 fire that destroyed buildings across from the Pantall Hotel. The buildings included the Jordan Furniture store. May 17, 1899 — The talk of moving the B. R. & P. Passenger station has not died out yet. One day we hear that it is to be moved down to Pine Street, another that it is to be moved up to Penn Street; and others rumor that it will not be moved anywhere. (Punxsutawney News)

Note: In 1883, the “first” passenger station of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad (B. R. &P. RR) in Punxsutawney was a frame station built at the railroad crossing on North Findley Street. In 1903 this station was replaced by a new, larger red brick passenger station. Located east of North Findley Street at the end of North Jefferson Street near the high school, the brick station was demolished in 1981.


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 Pirates vs. Orioles 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: ‘Pirates Giveaway,’ c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. PLEASE MARK YOUR TEAM PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE.

5. All entries must be received by 4 p.m. Thursday, May 11.

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.

Pirates vs. Orioles

Sat., May 13 • 7:05 p.m.

Hometown magazine ‘Pirates Giveaway’: Complete, Clip,

Drop off or Mail to: Pirates Baseball Contest c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767 Name Address Zip Phone Coupon for Game of Tues., May 13 Step 1:
vs. __
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Winning Team:
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Guess the Total Points that will be Scored in that Game: Total Points Step 3: Should I win, I would like to redeem my
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• • •



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24 – Punxsutawney Hometown – May 2023 - Issue #271
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