The Oravetz, Rebar, Prusak, Kuzio, Herpak, and Kovachik Families of Pennsylvania
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 1991 Issue 3 August 1991
For the reunion of 1990, approximately 96 people attended, children included. All families were well represented. A first-time attendee was Valerie Natale--she came with her parents, Paul and Sara Mohar. Nice to see you, Valerie!

Also for the first time were Joe and Barbara Oravetz and daughter, Hayley. They came from Texas and were visiting Joe's sister, Patty (Oravetz) Kirsch and family, in Barnesboro. When he was very young, Joe left this area to live with his sister, Mary Ann (Oravetz) Falgout, after the death of their mother, Veronica Mae (Keblesh) Oravetz. Joe was very happy to get re-acquainted with his relatives. He came the farthest.

Pictured above are Nancy Leona Rebar and David Andrew Rebar, about 1947.

Another first-time attendance was by Alan and Sandy Oravec and daughters, Chrissy and Laura; they knew absolutely no-one. Alan's grandfather, Alex Oravetz, was the brother of our grandfather, Joseph Oravetz. We were very happy to make Alan's and Sandy's acquaintance. Alan said he enjoyed meeting cousins he didn't know he had, and was looking forward to coming again. This year, Alan? They live in Delmont, PA.

As usual, it is always good to see everyone again, and I hope we all continue getting acquainted with each other. We should all introduce ourselves to someone we don't know and find out how we are related. It took several reunions before Kathrine (Rebar) Fleshman and Georgia (Rebar) Stice, daughters of George and Anna (Chatnick) Rebar, found out that the "Ramey Rebars" (Sara Mohar, Elma Venerick, and Marlene Kohute) were their cousins. What an exciting discovery that was! Kathrine Fleshman, by the way, was named afte r our grandmother, hence the unusual spelling of her first name.

The youngest person in attendance last year was Marie Faustina Kuzio (5 months old), daughter of John and Betty (Bell) Kuzio.

There is a small correction to the map in last year's newsletter: Mysla should be southeast of Kosice, and should be two villages (Nizná Mysl'a and Vysná Mysl'a). That's where all the Kozak, Herpak, Valco and Rebar families came from.


On September 13th, 1991, Veronica Elizabeth (Oravetz) and Michael Kuzio (our Aunt Verna and Uncle Mike) will celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Fifty years ago they tied the knot in St. John's Roman Catholic Church in Barnesboro, PA. Congratulations, Verna and Mike!


  • Maryland: the Helts, the Ed Rebars, the Frank Rebars, the Fleshmans, Georgia Stice and friend Mary Nolls, Albert Kovachik;
  • Michigan: Stella Rebar, the Breyers, the John (Jr.) Rebars, the Semicks, the George (Jr.) Whites;
  • New Jersey: the Morgans;
  • New York: the Johnsons;
  • Ohio: Zella Prusak, the William (Jr.) Prusaks, the Herpaks, the Amens;
  • Oklahoma: the Joe Oravetzes;
  • Pennsylvania: the Venericks and Kohutes (Clearfield area); the Alan Oravics, Mary White, the Robert Whites, and Dave Rebars (Pittsburgh area); the Mohars, Natales, and Stoops (Harrisburg area); and the Poleniks, the Kirsches, Verna Kuzio, the Michael (Jr.) Kuzios, and the John Kuzios (local area); and
  • Virginia: the Pasquales.


Stephen J. Herpak died of cancer on November 6, 1990. He was 68 years old. Steve and his wife, Phyllis (Paxton), were at the reunion last year. They made it to almost every one. He will be missed.

Blair Lamar, husband of Della (Bloom) Lamar, died of complications of kidney disease. Blair and Della came to every reunion while he was able to travel, even bringing the dialysis equipment with them in an RV. Blair was a wonderful person.

Mary Jane Rebar, aged 60, wife of Elmer Rebar, died in November, 1989, of complications of diabetes. Mary Jane and Elmer made it to one reunion, and it was nice making her acquaintance. She was a very nice person.

Osborne Hogan, husband of Jean (Rebar) Hogan, died on November 23, 1990. He was a wonderful brother-in-law, and will be missed by Jean's family.

John Patrick, husband of Agnes (Rebar) Patrick, died on May 25, 1991. He also was a wonderful brother-in-law, and will be missed by Agnes' family.


Deborah Pasquale, daughter of Ben and Nancy (Rebar) Pasquale, married Michael Kilgallen on November 16, 1990. The couple is now living in Centreville, VA.

Cheri Lynn Abel, daughter of John III and Ruth Ann (Semo) Abel, great grand-daughter of John II and Catherine (Rebar) Abel, married John M. Vlha on November 24, 1990. Cheri was an X-ray technician at Griffiss Air Force Base hospital, where John was completing a tour as an Air Force Captain. The couple is now living in Florida, where they are both employed.

Sharon Stoops, daughter of Mark and Evelyn (Rebar) Stoops, married Darrell Wolf on March 9, 1991. They are now living in Duncannon, PA.

Thelma Jane Miller, daughter of Martha Miller, granddaughter of the late Mary (Rebar) Petcavage, married Brian Hoffman on May 18, 1991.

Congratulations to all the newlyweds!


Jeffrey Allen Curson was born to Patty (Rebar) and Alan Curson on October 11, 1990. Jeffrey joins 6 half-brothers and sisters. Patty is the daughter of Stella (Nazarek) and the late John Alfred Rebar.

Leah Kathleen Semik was born on October 12, 1990, to Karen (Rebar) and Rick Semick. Leah joins sister Valerie. Karen is also the daughter of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar.

Zachary William Harchak was born on February 6, 1991, to Sandy (Kohute) and Bill Harchak. Zachary joins sister Milessa Kay. Sandy is the daughter of Marlene (Rebar) and Dave Kohute.

Kristina Marie Kilgallen was born to Debbie (Pasquale) and Michael Kilgallen on June 17, 1991. Kristina is the first-born. Debbie is the daughter of Nancy (Rebar) and Ben Pasquale.

Congratulations to all the proud parents!

General News

Jean Marie Fleshman, daughter of Kathrine (Rebar) and Duane Fleshman, graduated from high school and will attend Frostburg State University. Good luck, Jean! Her younger sister, Karen, is a singer in the school choir and is a member of a barbershop quartet. Nice work, Karen. Kathrine, daughter of George and Anna (Chatnick) Rebar, recently spent six weeks on temporary duty to Rangoon, Burma. She found Southeast Asia to be very interesting, to say the least!

I forgot to mention in last year's Family Portrait that Sharon Kuzio, daughter of Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio, also headed off for college. Sharon has completed one year already at the Altoona campus of Penn State. Keep up the good work, Sharon!

Last year, John David Rebar, Jr., made Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In the Navy, making Chief is a tremendous accomplishment. John is in the Reserves, and has to spend two weeks each year in some different exotic, locale. Poor guy... Congratulations, John!

Joe Rebar, son of Elmer and the late Mary Jane Rebar, left for Operation Desert Storm on December 26, 1990, and did not get back home again until May 1991. Joe is stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and is married to H. Yon Chu. With God's help and his family's prayers, he got back home safely. Welcome back home, Joe!

Paul and Sara Mohar have taken up Polka dancing, traveling to different places to dance. Paul retired last year, but Sara (unfortunately) is still working for the State Police.

Alan Rebar, son of Ed and Mary (Molnarko) Rebar, has returned from a year's study at the University of Liverpool in England. Alan was awarded a $6,000 tuition scholarship to the University as an exchange student under the Studies Abroad Program of the History Department of the University of Maryland, College Park. Alan is majoring in American History and should graduate in May, 1992.

Alan was fortunate enough to do some traveling in England and Europe during his stay in Liverpool. He made two trips to Germany, and visited Belgium and Switzerland. He also visited Czechoslovakia with his uncle, Jim Rebar, and visited the village of Zdana, the home town of his mother's parents (the Molnarkos).

Natalie Rebar, daughter of the same Ed and Mary, has a new job as District Sales Manager for the Annapolis (Maryland) Capitol, a daily newspaper. They publish four local newspapers and two glossy magazines, including the Washingtonian. Natalie joined her brother, Alan, in England for a week in May to do some sightseeing.

Frank Rebar, who works for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the Chief Engineer for an experiment on board the Hubble Space Telescope. The experiment, called the Goddard High-Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) Experiment, is one of only five on board the satellite. Frank is also the Chief Engineer for a follow-on experiment, which will be launched in the late-1990's. Good work, Frank!

And, finally, my brother, Jim, and his wife, Carolyn (Young) Rebar, returned from his three-year tour in Germany. They are very happy to be back in the land of endless shopping and low-calorie yogurt. Welcome back, Jim and Carolyn!

Family History

We had a very successful year concerning information on our relatives, the Kozaks. On October 20, 1990, Frank Rebar, my husband, Andy Polenik, and I went to visit Catherine and Raymond Kozak of Ginter, PA. We received much information and identification of pictures, besides having a delightful visit with two wonderful people. Catherine and Raymond plan to come to this year's reunion.

Raymond Kozak's grandfather, George Kozak, was a brother of my grandmother, Kathrine (Kozak) Rebar. Raymond's father, Andrew Kozak, was a first cousin of John Rebar and his brothers and sisters, making me and my brothers and sisters Raymond's second cousins.

On April 13, 1991, while Andy and I were in Florida, we visited Oscar Kozek and his daughter, Joyce (Kozek) Powell, and her family, in Dunedin, Florida. Oscar is Raymond's brother, but spells his name a little differently. Joyce, who has a child-care center in her home, has 3 children of her own: Jessica Powell, 10; Jamie Lee, 8; and Jordanne, 5. They all lived in Iowa, where Oscar was a podiatrist (foot specialist). Again, I must mention that we were graciously received by Oscar and his family and we enjoyed the visit very much.

The above two visits provided us with more information about our Kozak relatives and ancestors, as well as interesting tidbits too numerous to mention here, and the opportunity to meet cousins we had not met before. We are able to clarify some of the information that was in error in the 9th reunion newsletter.

Two George Kozaks arrived in America, which was very confusing to us. George Kozak of Ramey, Pennsylvania, was the half-brother of my grandmother, Kathrine (Kozak) Rebar, also of Ramey. Mary (Kozak) Valco of Barnesboro, Pennsylvania, was Kathrine (Kozak) Rebar's full sister and, of course, George's half-sister. Based on census records, this George Kozak arrived in the U.S. in 1889; he was joined by his wife, Annie, and son, Andrew, in 1892, the same year as my grandfather, Andrew Rebar, arrived. It is highly likely that my grandfather accompanied them for safety reasons. My grandmother, Kathrine, did not arrive until 1896.

Anna (Kozak) Herpak, another half-sister of George Kozak and full-sister of Kathrine Kozak, stayed in Slovakia with her husband, Peter, and son, Peter. Her other son, Joseph Herpak, came to America in 1902 and boarded with the Valcos in Barnesboro until he married Josephine ("Peppy") Lelak. A John Kozak and another George Kozak emigrated and lived near the Valcos in Barnesboro; we are almost positive that they were nephews of the George Kozak from Ramey and of Kathrine (Rebar) Kozak and Mary (Valco) Kozak. We are not sure who their father was, but he has to have been a brother of Kathrine, Mary and the Ramey George. This faction of the family moved to the New York area, and we have all but lost contact with them.

We hope to give you a chronological listing of the family in next year's Family Portrait. Also, Jim Rebar is working with some new software that holds a lot of promise for us in publishing a narrative type family history. The Lelak family will not be forgotten in these pages, we promise; Jim and I are still working on it, and since we know a lot more about the Lelaks, we aren't having as much trouble with setting up the foundation. Each year in this newsletter we plan to profile one segment of the family.

As always, your views and comments are most welcome. Keep the news coming, and we'll have an even better and larger newsletter next year.

Dot (Rebar) Polenik
With contributions by Jim Rebar


Photo Gallery

John S.Rebar, about 1962.

John David Rebar, ca 1962.

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