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 2004  Issue 15 August 2004

Sara (Rebar) Mohar (1937-2003)

This year's newsletter is dedicated to Sara (Rebar) Mohar, who died of cancer last December. Her husband Paul wanted to make sure that we got a good picture of Sara to memorialize her in our family publication. Sara was passionate about polka dancing, loved her family, and made every reunion she attended a little bit happier by her presence. We will miss you, Sara.

2003 Reunion

At the 2003 reunion about 65 attendees came in from 6 states.

Maryland: Alan Rebar (Baltimore); Curtis and Natalie (Rebar) Strength (Crofton); Lori Kuzio (Waldorf); and Dave Rebar, Jr. (Frostburg)

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 Rebar and daughters, Heather and 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: Sharon (Kuzio) Berkheimer and daughter Darrian Nicole (Altoona); Ethel (Linsenbigler) Halligan (Verona); Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio (Altoona); Eddie Linsenbigler (East McKeesport); John and Betty (Bell) Kuzio and children, Melissa, Maria, Robert and Monica, Dana and granddaughter Gabrielle (Northern Cambria); Joe and Michele (Kuzio) George and children, Kaitlyn, Zach, Brett and Maddison (Altoona); Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik (Clymer); Dave and Elsie (Williams) Rebar (Whitney); Wayne and Monica (Mulcahy) Rebar (Greensburg); Michael and Tisha Lynn (Baum) Gomolka and son Zachary (Northern Cambria); and Ed and Mary (Molnarko) Rebar (Greensburg);

Virginia: Tony Pasquale (Centreville).

Washington: Donna (Linsenbigler) Sivy.


   Jesse Kirsch and Amy Marie Hahn were married on October 3, 2003 at the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto, Pennsylvania. They were married by the groom’s uncle, Fr. Patrick Kirsch before a small gathering of family and friends. They now reside in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and are both practicing physician assistants.

   In the 2002 newsletter, we reported on the marriage of Tom Kirsch and Heidi Wessel. Here are some further details: Tom and Heide were married June 15, 2002 in Columbus, Georgia, where they now reside. They were married along the Chattahoochee River by Fr. Patrick Kirsch, Tom's uncle, with a small gathering of family and friends. Tom received a medical discharge from the Army Rangers in 2003 after his four-month deployment in Iraq. Tom thanks everyone in the family for their prayers during that difficult time in his life.

     Lorie Jane Kuzio, daughter of Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and Brian Scott Mayhue, son of Russell and Karen Mahue of Ashville, Pennsylvania, have recently become engaged. Lorie is recently discharged from the U.S. Air Force and is enrolled at Penn State as an International Marketing major. Brian is a 1998 graduate of Penn Cambria H.S. and is currently employed as a supervisor at the Bedford, Pennsylvania, Wal-Mart Distribution Center. Lorie and Brian plan a June, 2006 wedding.


   Elizabeth Rose Stebner was born on September 9, 2003, to Mike and Karen (Fleshman) Stebner. Elizabeth Rose is the granddaughter of Duane and Kathy (Rebar) Fleshman, and great-granddaughter of George and Anna (Chatnick) Rebar. Karen and Mike are Division Managers with Primerica Financial Services in Maryland.


   Valerie Anne Semik, daughter of Rick and Karen (Rebar) Semik, graduated with honors on May 23, 2004, from Memphis (Michigan) High School. Valerie will be entering the U. S. Air Force on August 10th, where she hopes to train in pharmacy. Her favorite activities in high school were basketball, soccer, and academics.

   Jason Paul Kohute, son of Steve Kohute and grandson of Marleen (Rebar) Kohute, graduated from Moshannon Valley High School.

   Teresa Marie Rebar, age19, daughter of John David and Vicki Lynn Rebar, graduated from L’Anse Creuse High School with honors. Some of her accomplishments and interests were: directing a school play, getting the Presidents Award for Volunteering, singing in the school choir, and an award for her writing. Teresa also went to a vocational school where she received a certificate for completing “Health Occupations.” The class study included job shadowing at a near-by hospital to learn about the different medical fields.
   This fall Teresa will either attend Baker College for a three-year degree as a “Radiological Technician”, or she will go in the Active Navy. Teresa Marie and family reside in Clinton Township, Michigan.

Special Occasions

   Mike Kuzio was very surprised on April 25th, 2004, when his wife took him to a birthday party. What Mike didn't know was that the party was a surprise 60th birthday bash that Jean and her daughters had cooked up for him!


   Norman and Lois Virginia (McIntyre) Valco celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2002. See the General News section for more information.

   Barbara L. and Joseph J. Oravetz (son of Rudolf and Veronica (Keblesh) Oravetz) will be married 20 years this August 4th, 2004.


Sara D. (Rebar) Mohar

   Sara D. (Rebar) Mohar, age 66, of Harrisburg, PA, passed into eternal rest Wednesday, December 17, 2003 at home.
   She was an employee of the PA State Police. Born March 25, 1937 in Phillipsburg, PA, she was the daughter of the late Joseph Rebar and the late Elizabeth (Swartz) Rebar.
   She is survived by her husband, Paul S. Mohar; a daughter, Valerie (Mohar) Fadrowski of Harrisburg; sisters, Evelyn Stoops of Shermans Dale, PA, Elma Venerick of Clearfield, PA, Jean Hogan of Baltimore, MD, and Marlene Kohute of Ramey, PA; and a brother, Joseph Rebar of Florida. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Agnes Patrick and Mary Petcavage and a brother, Elmer Rebar.
   She was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church; a life member of VFW Post 1718 Ladies Auxiliary; the American Legion Post 730 Auxiliary; Capital City Polka Dancer's Associa tion, the Polka Pals of Lebanon, the Dutchland Polkateers, the Capital Spice of Life Dance Club in Maryland; and the St. Lawrence Club in Steelton.
   Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, December 22, at 10 a.m. at her church, with the Rev. Daniel F.X. Powell as celebrant. A viewing was held Sunday, December 21, from 7-9 p.m., with a Prayer Service at 8 p.m. and Monday, December 22, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., at the Jesse H. Geigle Funeral Home, Inc., 2100 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery in Harrisburg. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Dauphin Unit, 3211 North Front Street, Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

Michael Nazarek

   Michael Nazarek, brother of Stella (Nazarek) Rebar, died April 20, 2004. He was 84 years old.

   The following obituary of Andrew John Rebar, Jr. was sent by his daughter, Cathy McGivern, of Kansas. We know that Mr. Rebar is related to the Pennsylvania Rebars, but we still have not figured out the exact relationship.

Andrew John "Andy" Rebar Jr.

   Andrew John "Andy" Rebar Jr., 68, of Mayetta, KS, died Tuesday, August 26, 2003, at his home. He was born October 22, 1934 in Kansas City, KS, the son of Andrew John Rebar Sr. and Mary Irene Moskal. Andy attended Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic School and Argentine High School in Kansas City. He worked as a machinist for the Santa Fe Railroad in the Argentine area of Kansas City from 1951 until he retired in 1999.
   Mr. Rebar was a Navy veteran of the Korean War serving aboard a destroyer. He was a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers serving as local chairman of his union in the late 1960s. He was a member of the Moose Lodge in Topeka and the Eagle's Aerie in Lawrence. He was a life member of the American Legion Post #225 in Ozawkie and a life member of the VFW Post #10815 in Meriden.
   He was married to Geraldine E. Walling on June 30, 1956. They were married for 17 years and had four children. He was married to Joanie Abney on November 28, 1981 in Kansas City, KS. She survives. Other survivors include three daughters, Catherine McGivern of DeSoto, KS, Julie King of Lenexa, KS and Cindy Myers of Kansas City, MO; a stepdaughter, Twen Barton of Tonganoxie, KS; a son, Andrew John Rebar III of Kansas City, KS; 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Andy loved to have friends and family around and hosted and entertained many a party at "Rebar's Attic."
   Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, August 29, 2003, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Mayetta, KS. Burial was in Mayetta Cemetery. A Rosary was recited at 7 p.m. Thursday at the church with visitation following in the hall. Memorials may be given to Holton Community Hospital Hospice or to the church. (Arrangements: Mercer Funeral Home (785) 364-2626) Published in the Kansas City Star on 8/27/2003.

In Memorium

   Evelyn (Rebar) Stoops lost her husband, Mark, last year, and she asked that we include this memorium to Mark in this year’s newsletter: “In sad but loving remembrance of my dear husband Mark who departed this life over a year ago. The time has passed since our great sorrow fell. The shock we received that day, we still remember well. We think of you in silence, no eye can see us weep, but many silent tears are shed while others are asleep. Peaceful be thy sleep, dear Mark. It is sweet to breathe your name. In life we loved you dearly. In death we do the same. If we could only hear your footsteps, and see your smiling face. The year has wiped out many things, but these they wipe out never. The memory of those happy days, when we were all together. Dear is the grave where he is laid, sweet is the memory that never fades. Gone but not forgotten, nor never shall be. Sadly by your wife, Evelyn, and children.”

General News

   Duane Fleshman, husband of Kathy (Rebar) Fleshman, retired from University of Maryland Baltimore Campus (UMBC) after 35 years service. Though retired, Duane is busier than ever around the house, and has taken a part-time, admitedly low-stress, job at a resort near his home.

   Dave Rebar retired on June 30th from Elliott Turbo Machinery, Jeanette, Pennsylvania, after more than 34 years of service. Dave was a toolmaker/machinist at Elliott; he achieved his status at the company early in his career through an International Correspondence School (ICS) four-year training program. Elliott Turbo Machinery is a subsidiary of Ebara Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of industrial pumps and related equipment.

    Pat (Oravetz) Kirsch plans to visit her brother Joe and family in Southeast Asia in July and tour Bali, Singapore, and Thailand with them. Joe works for Unocal and is stationed in Jakarta, Indonesia.

   Evelyn (Rebar) Stoops has recently had a back operation and had two stents inserted in her arteries in February. She had two blockages that were 80% closed.

   Evelyn's sister, Elma (Rebar) Venerick, had triple-bypass surgury on April 1, 2004. Elma had a stent inserted in an artery last September, but it was not doing the job, and Elma had to return for the bypass.

   Frank Rebar also had bypass surgery on January 13, 2004, and is back playing tennis already. You’ll recall that Frank had surgery for an aortic aneurysm in mid-July last year, so it’s been a tough year for him and his family.

   The oldest surviving child of Thomas and Helen Valco is Norman Valco who turned 85 this year. He and his wife of 62 years, Lois, continue to both enjoy relatively good health at their home in Boerne, Texas (near San Antonio). They will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina for the wedding of their grandchild, Kimberly Valco, in August 2004. She is the daughter of Tommy Valco, youngest son of Norman and Lois.
   The next child of Thomas and Helen Valco is Elmer Valco of the Cleveland, Ohio area. He turned 80 this year but is not doing well. His health is very bad.
   The youngest child of Thomas and Helen Valco is Betty Raymond of Lapeer, Michigan. She is 78 and has been married to Norman Raymond for 54 years. She and Norman are both doing well.
   This year the Valco descendants embarked on a DNA study for people with the surnames: Valko/Valco/Valyko/Walko/Valkomen/Valkoff/Volkov. The name is found not only in Slovakia, but the Czech Republic, Hungary and Ukraine. A simple DNA sample (rubbed from the inside of a cheek) from the males will hopefully tell them if they all come form the same 'hereditary line'. For more information check out the website at or the compamy that does the testing

   Carolyn (Young) Rebar, wife of Jim Rebar, is teaching 20 piano students and just completed a year of music theory study at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She continues to study with a private teacher and recently performed Brahms' Intermezzo Op. 76 No. 6 at a Piano Teachers workshop at the university.

   Joe Oravetz recently sent along more information about his new job. He started his new job in April, 2003 with Unocal as a consulting geophysicist doing deepwater hydrocarbon exploration. Previously, Joe worked as a geophysicist for ExxonMobil for 21 years, but views this as a very positive and rewarding change. He drilled my first deepwater well this year (6000 feet to the seafloor) with success (and luck)! He reports that everything is going fine in Jakarta.

   In the spring, Kathy (Rebar) Fleshmen was in the hospital for 2 weeks with pneumonia, then broke her ankle a week later! She tells us that she is doing well now.

   Tony Pasquale, son of Nancy Rebar and Ben Pasquale, is in Graduate School at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He is roughly two-thirds of the way to a Masters of Science in Chemistry. Tony works as a chemist for the Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C.

   Melissa Kay Harchak, granddaughter of Marleen (Rebar) Kohute, completed her freshman year at Moshannon Valley High School with Distinguished Honors.

   Mackenzie George Harchak, grandson of Marleen (Rebar) Kohute, recieved an award for one the most improved of the 5th graders at Moshannon Valley Grade School. They, also, presented him with tickets to an Altoona Curve baseball game, as a "Steamer All-Star".

   Zachary William Harchak, grandson of Marleen (Rebar) Kohute, continues his service in the Boy Scouts of America. This past year they have done a number of community service projects, one of which included sending various supplies and cards to our armed service personnel overseas. Zack's brother, Mack, crossed over this year from a Cub Scout to also become a Boy Scout.

   Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik contacted the Prince of Peace Roman Catholic Church in Barnesboro, PA (now known as Northern Cambria) after last year’s reunion and found some new family history information. The Prince of Peace church is the former St. John the Baptist RC Church, attended by all the Slovak Catholics in town.
   Joseph and Josephina “Pepi” (Lekak) Herpak had a child, Joseph, born on December 4, 1918, who died December 12, 1918. “Pepi” died on June 7, 1931, of a pulmonary embolism and phlebitis of the left leg following a difficult labor. There is no notation of the child's birth or death in the Prince of Peace records. However, Bacha Funeral Home records (now in possession of the Long-Contre Funeral Home) indicate that the baby (no gender) was born on May 20, 1931, and was stillborn. Cause of death was given as difficult labor and instrumental delivery. Therefore, Aunt Pepi lived an additional 18 days after the baby died.
   Joe Herpak re-married about a year following Pepi's death to a Mary Molnar, and they had a son, Joseph Robert, born August 11, 1934. This Joseph Robert married Anne J. Zelko on September 14, 1963, at St. Vitus RC Church in Cleveland, Ohio.
   Norman Valco remembers the funeral of Pepi in 1931. He was 12 years old. He and his family attended. He remembers that Joe was so distraught at the death of his wife that he tried to throw himself on the casket as it was being lowered into the ground. Some time later, he and Mary Molnar came to the Valco house in Barnesboro and Thomas Valco (father of Norman, first cousin of Joe Herpak) lent (or gave) him $20 for their wedding.

Front (L-R): Zella (Herpak) Prusak, Verna (Oravetz) Kuzio, Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar, possibly Angeline Penchak of Canonsburg (Pennsylvania), and Mary (Oravetz) White. Mary recently identified Angeline as the mystery person, but can we be sure? We think the photo was taken in the Kuzio home in Bakerton, and the picture on the wall offers some clues.

   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

Mike Kuzio and Jim Rebar will both have scanners at the 2004 reunion, so please bring your old pictures. We want to share them with everyone.

Recognize These People?

We all know four of the women in this photo, but does anyone recognize the second person from the right?

John and Margaret Oravetz Rebar, Alex Oravec, Verna Oravetz Kuzio

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