|The Oravetz, Rebar, Prusak, Kuzio, Herpak, and Kovachik Families of Pennsylvania|
Jim and I had a very successful two-week trip to Slovakia early in July this year. In addition to doing the tourist thing, we spent a full day in the village of Oscadnica, visiting three families who are all related to my husband, Andy Polenik. Andy's mother and father were born in that village, and we were treated as honored guests by everyone we visited there. It was an experience neither of us will ever forget.
(Photo above: Roman Catholic Church, Zakarovce, Slovakia, Lelak ancestral home.)
The other goal of our trip was to visit all the villages where our ancestors lived, and we managed to cram in seven towns in Slovakia and one in Hungary during two grueling days in an un-air-conditioned Volkswagen Rabbit. We walked the same streets of Opátka that Joseph and Alex Oravec walked as children; we saw the very altar in the church in Niná Mysl'a where my grandparents, Andrew and Kathrine (Kozak) Rebar, were both baptized and where they were also later married in 1891; and we actually found the grave of our great-grandparents, Ferenc and Maria (Kordovaner) Oravec, in Opátka. At the Catholic church in Geca, a woman unlocked the doors and let us photograph the interior where Joannes and Borbála (Majoros) Ribar, our paternal great-grandparents were married in 1860. In Pereces, Hungary, the church where Mary, Josephine, and Margaret Lelak were baptized is boarded up now, and scant evidence exists in the cemetery of the Lelak, Oravec, and Mihalik families who left their homes in Slovakia in search of work there.
(Photo above: Grave marker of Ferenc and Maria (Kordovaner) Oravec, Opátka, Slovakia. The purple color is on the photo, but not on the marker. Photo at left: Ferenc Kordovaner grave marker.)
About 63 people attended last year, counting children. Instead of breaking it down as I have done previously, I will just name the families who signed our guest book.
Michele Lynne Kuzio and Christopher Robert McCaulley were married on May 13, 1995, at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Michele is the daughter of Michael Jr. and Jean Kuzio, and granddaughter of Verna (Oravetz) and the late Michael Kuzio.
Tisha Lynn Baum and Carl Walter Gallaher were married on June 17, 1995. Their lovely wedding took place at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania. Tisha is the daughter of Elizabeth Ann (Kuzio) Lechene and David Baum, and is also the granddaughter of Verna (Oravetz) and the late Michael Kuzio.
We wish all the newlyweds prosperity, health, and many years of happiness. Congratulations!
Brianne Susan Paterno was born on August 29, 1994. Brianne is the daughter of Thomas and Susan Paterno, granddaughter of Mary Kay (Kovachik) and Louis Paterno, and great-granddaughter of the late Matilda (Kovachik) Salley.
Zackary Michael Gallaher was born on September 14, 1994, to Tisha (Baum) and Carl Gallaher. Zachary is the second great-grandchild of Verna (Oravetz) and the late Michael Kuzio; the other is Kaitlyn Marie, daughter of Michele Lynn (Kuzio) McCaulley.
Katarine Marie Stice was born December 2, 1994, to William and Kim Stice. Katarine is the granddaughter of Georgia (Rebar) and William Stice, and great-granddaughter of the late George and Ann Jane (Chatnick) Rebar.
Kyle Benjamin Pasquale was born on March 2, 1995, to Debbie Pasquale, daughter of Nancy Rebar and Benjamin Pasquale, and granddaughter of the late Margaret Ann (Oravetz) and John Rebar.
Our heartiest congratulations to all the new parents. May your children be calm and sleep through the night!
Beverly Rebar, daughter of Frank and Barbara (Jager) Rebar, graduated in May 1995 with a Law Degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. She is now working for a law firm in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We wish Beverly lots of luck in her new job and profession, and we can truly say that we are proud to have a lawyer in the family. One never knows when her services might be needed... Good luck, Bev.
Michael Kuzio, beloved husband of Verna (Oravetz) Kuzio, died May 28, 1995, at home in Bakerton, Pennsylvania. Mike had been sick all Winter, and the death of his only brother, Harry Kuzio, on March 10, 1995, was very difficult for him. Uncle Mike will be missed very much by his children, Michael Jr., John, and Betty Ann. Mike was preceded in death by his son, Joseph, who passed away on December 10, 1991.
Mary Ann (Oravetz) Falgout, daughter of Verna (Keblesh) and Rudolph Oravetz, died on June 13, 1995. She lost her battle with cancer, which started with breast cancer about 2 years ago. Mary Ann, who turned 47 in May, is survived by her husband, Les, and three children, Jeffrey, Jeannine, and Leslie Ann; and by her sister, Pat, of Barnesboro, Pennsylvania, and brothers, John, Robert, and Joseph.
Mary (Oravetz) and George White were married 50 years in July 1993. They didn't want a fuss, I guess, and so they did not tell anyone until after their son, Robert, had a little dinner party for them. Well, Mary and George, we congratulate you now! You didn't really think you could get away with it, did you? We love you both very much.
On August 7, 1994, the day after last year's reunion, my brother, Ed Rebar, had a heart attack. He was medevac-ed by helicopter out of Indiana to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Ed had not one, but two, angioplasty surgeries while there. He was finally able to return home to Bowie, Maryland, two weeks later. He had yet a third angioplasty done in Maryland not long after the bruises cleared up from the first two! He's doing fine now, and plans to attend this year's reunion. Ed, we're cheering for you.
Last year, after paying for miscellaneous hot foods, rental of the shelter, etc., there was $110 left. A supply of plastic dishes and forks was needed, so I used $20, leaving $90 from the donations you all so kindly made. That should be enough to pay for the holupki, potato salad, and the shelter. We've got everything covered, so we are not asking for any donations this year. Thank you all for being so considerate in the past.
Last, but not least, the news contained in this newsletter is what I had access to by being personally involved with all those mentioned here. I received essentially no information in the mail from any of you. If most of you are still interested in continuing this newsletter, please send either me or Jim any news that you want to have published for family history purposes. We can only include what you send.
Only a couple invitations were returned 'Address Unknown' this year, but we don't want to leave anyone out. If you have moved in the last couple years and have not received a personal copy of the reunion invitation, please give Jim your new address.
From Jim Rebar
I am including the ancestor charts for my four grandparents to help you put some of this family history in perspective. These four people are: Andrew [Andrej] and Kathrine [Katalin] (Kozak) Rebar; and Joseph [Jozsef] and Mary [Maria] (Lelak) Oravetz. To a greater or lesser degree, everyone who attends our yearly reunion has an ancestor somewhere on these charts.
Well, that about wraps up another newsletter. Please keep us in mind when special events happen in your family. Any genealogy information and the latest family news are always appreciated.
Dot (Rebar) Polenik
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