The Oravetz, Rebar, Prusak, Kuzio, Herpak, and Kovachik Families of Pennsylvania
Weddings Births Graduations Obituaries General News Home

 2003  Issue 15 August 2003

Andrew Polenik (1921-2003)

Our family has just lost one of its most respected members. Andy Polenik, a dedicated supporter of our Family Reunions since the early years, passed away on July 22, 2003. He was not well enough to attend the last few Reunions and Dot was unable to be here for the entire day because she was his primary caregiver during the last four years. For many years Dot and Andy were the "First Couple" of our Reunions, if they can be called by that name. Andy started the tradition of serving grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for the afternoon meal, and he could always be counted on to have the grill in his truck, until he could no longer do any lifting himself. Andy was one of the slowly dwindling group of second generation Slovak miners. The word "miner" hardly begins to describe the self-made man Andy became over the course of his mining career. He started with nothing, and achieved great success as partner in numerous mining endeavors. Andy was a modest man and never put on airs, although he was a man of considerable means in his retirement years. He sprinkled his conversation with folk wisdom, and he was quite gifted in the way he used humor when he talked with people. Andy's loss is a very painful one for his devoted wife, Dot, and we all honor his memory, and pray for his repose. Andy suffered much in recent years, and would not have wanted to remain with us in his condition. We know Andy is at rest, and we are confident that he is with us in spirit as we gather this year for yet another Reunion, until we are united with him again in Heaven. (Submitted by Carolyn Young Rebar)

2002 Reunion

At the 2002 reunion 70 attendees came in from 7 states.

Florida: Frank and Barbara Rebar (Ormond Beach).

Maryland: Alan Rebar (Baltimore); Joyce Rebar (Rockville); Ed and Mary (Molnarko) Rebar (Bowie); Troy and Linda (Rebar) Snyder (Baltimore); Robert Stoops (Silver Spring), and Curtis and Natalie (Rebar) Strength (Crofton).

Michigan: Rose (Nazarek) Butz (St. Clair Shores); Pat (Rebar) Cus-Curson and children Andy, Chris, Cindy, and Jeff Curson (Lake Orion); Joe Rebar (Warren); John and Vicky Rebar and daughter, Theresa (Clinton Township); Stella (Nazarek) Rebar (St. Clair Shores); and Rick and Karen (Rebar) Semik and daughters, Valerie Ann, Leah Kathleen, and Erica Lynn (Memphis).

Ohio: Jim and Carolyn (Young) Rebar (Napoleon).

Pennsylvania: Dave and Wendy (Mentch) Baum (Penn Run); Mike and Sharon (Kuzio) Berkheimer (Altoona); Anna (Kost) Closson (Tyrone); Ethel (Linsenbigler) Holigan (Verona); John Kost (Bellwood); Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio (Altoona); Betty (Kuzio) Lechene and friend, Mike Berzonsky (Elmora); Eddie Linsenbigler (East McKeesport); Julia (Kost) Marshall (Pittsburgh); John and Betty (Bell) Kuzio and children, Melissa, Maria, Robert and Monica, and granddaughter Danielle (Barnesboro); Michele (Kuzio) McCaulley and children, Kaitlyn, Zach, Brett and Maddison (Altoona); Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik (Clymer); Dave and Elsie (Williams) Rebar (Whitney); Wayne and Monica (Mulcahy) Rebar (Greensburg); Mark and Evelyn (Rebar) Stoops; Dennis Stoops (Sherman Dale); Mary White, Bob White, and Bob's son, Shawn Cordel (Glenshaw); and Sharon (Stoops) Wolf and son, Cody (Sherman Dale).

Virginia: Tony Pasquale (Centreville).

West Virginia: Dave Rebar, Jr. (Wiley Ford)


David Pollock and Cynthia Ann Bearden of Reno, Nevada, were united in marriage on July 26, 2003, at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno. David is the son of Jim and Carolyn (Young) Rebar. He is a chef at Tamarack Junction Restaurant-Casino in Reno, and Cyndi is a nurse. They have two children, Ruby and Brianna.

Michele Kuzio and Joey George were wed on May 16 2003. Michele is a nurse with Medical Staffing Network in Altoona. Joe is a chef by trade and is currently interviewing with local establishments.

Jeannine Falgout, daughter of Les and Mary Ann (Oravetz) Falgout, married Daniel Buckner on March 22, 2003 in Covington, Louisiana. Jeannine and Dan are pictured here during the Second Line dance, which is similar to the Bridal Dance at Slovak Weddings. A Second Line in New Orleans started with jazz funerals; first in line was the jazz band, the hearse and family, and the people who danced in the street following the procession was called the 'second line'. This dance has been adopted by Louisianans and it is done at major events like weddings, Mardi gras, or whenever they want to celebrate. Because of the heat the leader of the jazz band would carry an umbrella to help with keeping the sun off while he danced and lead the jazz parade. At weddings one umbrella is decorated for the bride and one for the groom, the groom's being funny. Daniel's had handcuffs, ball and chain and whatever else the family could find.

Leslie Falgout, daughter of Les and Mary Ann (Oravetz) Falgout, will be married in New Orleans on October 17, 2003 to Jeremy Dumas.


Kevin Michael Baum was born on May 20, 2003, at Indiana Regional Medical Center to David and Wendy (Mentch) Baum of Penn Run. Kevin weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces at birth and was 19 inches in height. Kevin is the grandson of Betty (Kuzio) Lechene and David Baum, great-grandson of Mike and Verna (Oravetz) Kuzio.

Natalia Christine Pollock-O'Dorisio was born on July 7, 2003, in Arnot Medical Center in Elmira, NY, to Mary Pollock-O'Dorisio and Joel O'Dorisio. Natalia weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces at birth, and was 21 inches long. Mary's sister, Amanda, assisted with the birth. Mary is the daughter of Jim and Carolyn (Young) Rebar.

Mike and Sharon (Kuzio) Berkheimer are the proud parents of Darrian Nicole Berkheimer. Darrian was born on September 6, 2003 at Altoona Hospital.


Scott White, son of George and Sharon White, will graduate August 2, 2003, from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Vehicle Design.

Joyce Rebar, daughter of Frank and Barbara (Jager) Rebar, was awarded a Master's degree in Biological Resources Engineering in December, 2002, from the University of Maryland, College Park. Joyce has submitted an article for publication that draws on information in her thesis. She is awaiting word on the publication date.

Timothy Lee Breyer, son of Bill and Donna (Rebar) Breyer, graduated from Oxford High School, Oxford, Michigan, on June 17, 2003.

Stephen Kohute, son of Stephen Kohute and grandson of Dave and Marlene (Rebar) Kohute, graduated from Moshannon Valley High School in 2003. Stephen will attend Pennsylvania State University, DuBois Campus, in the Fall.

Rebecca (Noble) Kohute, wife of David Kohute, is enrolled in a two-year distance-learning program offered by the University of Pittsburgh. When she completes the program, Rebecca will be awarded a Master's of Library Information Sciences degree from the university.

Bill Harchak, husband of Sandy Kohute Harchak, is enrolled in a two-year program at the Academy of Medical Arts and Business in Linglestown, Pennsylvania. Upon completion of his studies, Bill will be a professional massage therapist.

Ashley Jean Darin, daughter of Shirley (Bungo) Darin and Bob Darin, graduated with honors from Grand Island High School, Grand Island, New York, in June 2003. She will attend SUNY Fredonia in the Fall studying elementary education. Ashley is pictured here with her grandmother, Alta (Bloom) Bungo Johnson, at graduation.

Special Occasions

Zachary Gomolka, son of Michael and Tisha Lynn (Baum) Gomolka of Northern Cambria, PA, celebrated his First Communion on May 4, 2003, at Prince of Peace Church, Northern Cambria. Zachary is the grandson of Betty (Kuzio) Lechene and David Baum, and great-grandson of Mike and Verna (Oravetz) Kuzio.


Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary on June 8, 2003.


Mark Stoops.

J. Mark Stoops, 82, of 750 Windy Hill Road, Shermans Dale, died early Monday morning, January 27, 2003 in the Harrisburg Hospital.

Born March 24, 1920 in Shermans Dale, son of the late Daniel Oscar and Ada Clouser Stoops, Mr. Stoops resided all his life in the same house where he was born.

He retired from Appleby Brothers in Harrisburg, with 30 years of service.

Surviving are his wife, Evelyn M. Rebar Stoops, to whom he was married for 55 years; 3 sons, Joseph D. Stoops of Thompsontown, PA, Dennis J. Stoops of Shermans Dale and Robert L. Stoops of Silver Spring, MD; 1 daughter, Sharon M. Wolf of Shermans Dale; 2 sisters, Treva M. Broich of Owego, NY and Shirley Bagley of Virginia; 3 grandsons and 1 great-grandson. He was preceded in death by 1 son, Gary Mark Stoops, who died in 1983; 4 brothers and 1 sister.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, January 30th, at 12 noon, in Ewing Brothers Funeral Home, 630 South Hanover Street, Carlisle, with Arthur L. Montgomery officiating. Burial was in Mt. Gilead United Methodist Church Cemetery, Perry County, PA.

Andy Polenik

Andrew George Polenik, 81, Grisemore (Clymer), Pa., died July 22, 2003, at Scenery Hill Manor in Indiana, Pennsylvania, from complications of a stroke. Son of Matthew and Vincka (Camborek) Polenik, he was born on Nov. 27, 1921, in Boardman, Pennsylvania. Mr. Polenik was a member of the Church of the Resurrection, Heilwood site. He had been co-owner with his brothers in the Glory Coal Company until his retirement in 1979. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik, Grisemore; these brothers and sisters, Pete Polenik, and wife, Margaret, Alverda; Frank Polenik, and wife, Jean, Grisemore; Verna Polenik, Alverda; Margaret Fiala, and husband, Joseph, Parma, Ohio; and Susan Buzminsky, and husband, Steve, Colver; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Joe, Paul, John and Stephen Polenik; three sisters, Josephine Polenik, Mary Grau and Anna Polenik. Bence Funeral Home, Clymer, was in charge of arrangements. Funeral Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 25th, at the Church of the Resurrection, Heilwood site. Interment followed in the church cemetery in Camerons Bottom.

General News

Elsie (Williams) Rebar retired from Latrobe Hospital in February 2003 with 22 years of service. She was a surgical perioperative technician. The mother of two grown sons, Elsie now specializes in custom embroidery, and is currently making fabric creations and hand-sewn gifts for her customers.

Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio and their grand-daughter Kaitlyn were involved in an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on April 5th. All are mending nicely and are glad to be back to a normal lifestyle.

If anyone wants to bring old photos (Oravec side) to next year's reunion, Mike Kuzio has offered to combine them with his own and produce a photo CD or a photo DVD (to play on TV) to make available to anyone who wants one. We'll give more details at the reunion.

Norann (Valco) Lustfield took a trip to France last year. She flew into Paris and then went by bus to Lyon, Nice, Avignon, Carcassonne, Lourdes, Biarritz, a chateau on the Loire, Omaha Beach, Giverny and back to Paris. She described the trip as educational, exciting, and exhausting. Norann's parents, Norman Thomas and Lois (McIntyre) Valco, both now in their 80s, are doing well in their home in Boerne, Texas.

Senior Airman Lorie Kuzio is currently stationed at Andrews A.F.B in Washington DC. Lorie currently resides in Waldorf, Maryland.

Joe Oravetz, son of Rudolph and Verna (Keblesh) Oravetz, has left ExxonMobil after 21 years with the company. He now works for Unocal in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Willie Breyer, son of Bill and Donna (Rebar) Breyer, was accepted as a member of the University of Michigan wrestling team. He has traveled with the team to matches in Pennsylvania, New York, Nevada, and Illinois. Donna reports that he is doing all that, and still keeping his grades up.

Valerie Semik, daughter of Rick and Karen (Rebar) Semik, plays varsity basketball at Memphis Senior High School in Michigan. Her team was the league champion for the 2003-04 season. Her team went on to play in the district championships, but lost in the final match by 3 points. Valerie is also a member of the National Honor Society at her school.

Val's sister, Leah Semik, played junior varsity at Memphis Junior High School this year, and her team was also the league champions for the 2003-04 season. Leah was also nominated by one of her teachers to attend the Junior Young Leader Conference in Washington, D.C. this year.

Joyce Rebar, daughter of Frank and Barbara (Jager) Rebar, started playing soccer last Fall with a women's team called the Red Hots. Thanks to a clinic given by the Washington (D.C.) Freedom (Coach Clyde Watson, player Anne Makinen, and account executive Kathryn Hamm, a gifted soccer player), Joyce scored her first-ever and second-ever soccer goals, the second one being in the championship game. Last winter, Joyce resumed her ice-hockey playing with the Washington Wolves women's team, and still found time to play with a co-ed hockey team and a co-ed indoor soccer team.

Ed and Mary (Molnarko) Rebar moved from Bowie, Maryland, to Greensburg, Pennsylvania earlier this year. Ed retired from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a number of years ago. He recently underwent quadruple-bypass surgery shortly after moving into their new townhouse.

Milessa Harchak, daughter of Bill and Sandy (Kohute) Harchak, received the Presidential Award of Accelerated Academics last year. Milessa was in the eighth grade at Moshannon Valley School when presented with the award.

Zachary Harchak, son of Bill and Sandy (Kohute) Harchak, graduated from the 6th grade at Moshannon Valley School.

Mackenzie George Harchak, son of Bill and Sandy (Kohute) Harchak is taking guitar lessons, and Laura Kohute, daughter of David and Rebecca (Noble) Kohute, is enrolled in the Better Beginnings pre-school.

Carolyn Rebar, pianist and teacher, and her partner, Vicki Roth, vocalist, perform a repertoire of music from 1850 to 1920 for groups, private parties, and celebrations in Northwest Ohio. They wear antique costumes and accessories and are professionally known as Floradora. They had a successful first year and are now working on their winter program. Carolyn is the wife of Jim Rebar.

Alta (Bloom) Bungo is now recovering from a heart attack she suffered in April of this year. She had a stent inserted and is now doing quite well, back to her busy life enjoying her summer campground activities.

Frank Rebar is recovering from an aortic aneurysm operation that was performed in mid-July.

Front (L-R): Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar, Mary Ann (Oravetz) Falgout, Nancy Rebar, Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik.
Middle (L-R): Pat (Oravetz) Kirsch, Bob White, Betty (Kuzio) Lechene, Mary (Oravetz) White
Rear (L-R): George White, Verna (Oravetz) Kuzio

Well, that's it for another year and another newsletter. Please remember to drop us a line next year when you get the reunion invitation, and let us know of any special events that have occurred in your family. We want everyone to feel like they're a part of the family, and we do this by sharing your information with others. You can play a big role in this endeavor.

Dot Polenik and Jim Rebar


Looking for Old Photos

If anyone wants to bring old photos (Oravec side) to next year's reunion, Mike Kuzio has offered to combine them with his own and produce a photo CD or a photo DVD (to play on TV) to make available to anyone who wants one. We'll give more details at the reunion.

Recognize These People?

This photo was taken in 1966 at the home of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar in Twin Rocks, Pennsylvania.

More >>

©2006 James Rebar HomeBack to TopNewsletters