The Oravetz, Rebar, Prusak, Kuzio, Herpak, and Kovachik Families of Pennsylvania
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 2005-2006  Issues 17 and 18 August 2006

Welcome to the 25nd annual family reunion of descendants of the Oravetz (Oravec), Rebar, Kovachik, Lelak, and Kozak families.

As you know, last year there was no newsletter due to a family illness, so this year we are combining all the material that we have been collecting for two years, and we'll try to make this the best newsletter yet.

It seems that every year we make contact with another long-lost family member, and this year is no exception.

Holly Rehbock from Round Lake, Illinois, found Jim's web site in February and emailed him for more information. Holly is the great- granddaughter of Alex and Elizabeth Oravec. Holly passed on a little tidbit of information that few people know -- that Alex and Elizabeth met on the ship coming over to this country. See the section on General News for more information on Holly and her family.



Kimberly Valco, daughter of Thomas and Carolyn (Good) Valco, and Michael Holt were married August 7, 2004, in Raleigh, NC. Michael is from Raleigh. The couple now lives in Greenville, NC. Behind them is the bride's family: her younger brother, John Thomas Valco (the sole future of the Valco name) and her parents Carolyn & Tommy Valco. Tommy Valco is the youngest child of Lois & Norman Valco.

LeeAnn Martin and Cevin Beall were married on September 3, 2005, in a small ceremony at the home of the brides's mother, Norann Valco Lustfield. LeeAnn is the great-great-granddaughter of Valentine "Barney" and Mary Kozak Valco (also spelled Valko). Cevin works for General Electric, and LeeAnn is a nurse at hospital Continued Care Unit.

Lorie Jane Kuzio and Brian Mayhue were married on July 23, 2005, at St Rose of Lima Church, Altoona, PA. Brian is the son of Russell and Karen Mayhue of Asville, PA. Lorie is a student at Penn State - Altoona Campus. Brian is a supervisor at the Walmart Distribution Center in Bedford, PA.

Beverly Ann Rebar and Mark Covington were married Thanksgiving weekend 2005 on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean. Immediate families of both attended.

The couple currently resides in Richmond, Va. in a stately old brick house refurbished by Mark. They are currently making plans to leave the corporate world behind, break ties up north, and move to Tampa to operate a gourmet deli/wine market as partners. Mark also moonlights as a novelist currently working on his fourth book. His first published novel, Bullfish, can be found at

Valerie Semik, currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, and John Colosimo, also in the Air Force, will wed on August 3, 2006, in Parma, OH. Karen, daughter of Rick and Karen (Rebar) Semik, is stationed in Germany, where she met John. He has since been transferred to Maryland. Valerie will be re-assigned to the States next February. The ceremony will be a small affair for immediate family and close friends, and will be followed next August with a larger ceremony and reception.

Chris Kus, son of Pat Kus-Curson, and Nicky Larkin were married on June 6, 2006. Chris, a 2003 graduate of the University of Michigan at Flint, is employed at Faurecia Automative in Troy, MI. Like his cousin Valerie, Chris' wedding was a small affair, and the couple plans to renew their vows in a much larger wedding on June 16th, 2007. Chris is the grandson of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar.

Dave Rebar, Jr. and Sarah Bernier were married on June 21, 2006 in Frostburg, MD. Dave is the son of David and Elsie (Williams) Rebar, and grandson of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar. Sarah is the daughter of Robert Joseph Bernier, Jr. and Janise Elizabeth (Larkin) Bernier, a career Air Force family. Both Dave and Sarah are enrolled at Frostburg State University and are Network Support Technicians, working at home for Airwave Networks Call Center.

Teresa Rebar, daughter of John and Vicki (Essenmacher) Rebar, is engaged to Douglas Evans.


Joseph Thomas Paterno was born October 31, 2005, to Robert and Linda (Kendall) Paterno. Joseph Thomas joins two brothers and two sisters. He is the grandson of Louie and Mary Kay (Kovachik) Paterno.

Amanda Stebner was born August 5, 2005, to Mike and Karen (Fleshman) Stebner. She joins her sister, Elizabeth, who was . Amanda is the great-great- granddaughter of Andrew and Kathryn (Kozak) Rebar, great-granddaughter of George and Anna (Chatnick) Rebar, and granddaughter of Duane and Kathy (Rebar) Fleshman.

Keira Nicole Mayhue was born on April 17th, 2005 at 6:45 AM. She is the daughter of Lorie Jane (Kuzio) and Brian Mayhue.

Jim and Carolyn Rebar are the proud grandparents of a new baby boy, Gabriel Anthony, who joined parents Mary and Joel O'Dorisio and sister Natalia, age 3, on May 19. They are moving to Bowling Green, Ohio, in August, which is only 25 miles from Jim and Carolyn. Finally, close to some grandchildren!


Joe Rebar, Jr., son of Joe and Heidi (Doran) Rebar, graduated in June 2005 from East Detroit High School. Joe is the grandson of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar.

Andrew Joseph Rebar, son of Stan and Lauri (Green) Rebar graduated from high school in June 2006 and will be attending Florida Atlantic University, Lauri's Alma Mater. Andrew's great- great-grandfather was Andrew Rebar, but Stan and Lauri did not realize the family connection when they named him.

Andy Kus, son of Pat (Rebar) Kus-Curson, graduated from the University of Michigan at Flint in May 2006 and is now employed by Dow Chemical.

Of Special Note

Karen (Rebar) Semik has returned to school to get her certification in General Business. Karen is enrolled at St. Clair Community College in Port Huron, MI.

Karen's daughter, Leah, played varsity basketball last year at Memphis (Michigan) High School. Her team went 20-0 for the season, but lost in the post-season playoffs.

Cindy Kus, daughter of Pat (Rebar) Kus-Curson, is currently enrolled in the Physical Therapy program at the University of Michigan at Flint. She is now in her second of three 8-week clinicals at the UM hostpital in Ann Arbor. During her first clinical, she was permitted to observe open-heart surgery at the doctor's side, an unheard-off privilige for PT students.

From Joyce Rebar, daughter of Frank and Barbara (Jager) Rebar: "I turned 40 years old in November (2005), but that wasn't going to deter me from fulfilling one of my dreams -- to try out for a U.S. National team in something....anything. I had the opportunity to play in a Ball Hockey tournament (also called floor hockey, deck hockey, or street hockey) in early April. I did not have any ball hockey experience, even though I have been playing ice hockey for 10 years now. So I felt very fortunate to be among those chosen from the tournament to attend the final tryout session in early May (in Frederick, MD). Although I had sprained my ankle in the April tournament, I knew I didn't want to miss this opportunity. So I threw on an ankle support and limped my way through the 7-hour tryout, which included many drills and a lot of scrimmaging. A few weeks later, I got my notification letter -- I was not chosen to be a member of this year's National team, but I was invited to be on their Developmental Squad. So I will have an opportunity to train with and play with the National team in some tournaments -- which is quite an honor!"


Duane and Kathy (Rebar) Fleshman are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year.


(Toledo Blade, April 2, 2006): Clair L. Bloom, age 82 years, of Temperance, MI, died Friday, March 31, 2006, in Flower Hospital, Sylvania, OH. Born April 6, 1923, in Irvona, PA, he was the son of Singleton and Anna (Rybar) Bloom. A 1941 graduate of Coalport-Irvona High School, he married Lois Jeanne Welti on June 15, 1947, in The First Baptist Church, Temperance, MI. In 1941 he served with the Civilian Conservation Corp as a clerk in recreation in the Post Exchange. Clair served his country as a Corporal during WWII in the 2nd Marine Division in the South Pacific and Japan from 1943 - 1946. He was employed as a Foreman for the J. Richards Industries in Toledo (Formerly Flodon Swaging in Temperance) for 31 years, retiring in 1988. Prior, he worked in Niagara Falls NY from 1942 -1943. Clair was a member of the Temperance First Baptist Church for the past 58 years, where he had served as head usher for 29 years and president of Sunday School Class 20. He was also a member of the former Rotary Club in Temperance, serving as president for 4 terms and the American Legion Post 192, Temperance. Surviving are his loving wife of 58 years, Lois Jeanne; daughters, Jill Fisher of Livonia, MI and Kayleen (Edward) Seybold of Perrysburg, OH; sisters, Alta Johnson, Della Lamar and Alva Shaffer, all of Niagara Falls, NY; grandchildren, Matthew Fisher and Kristin Seybold. Friends may call from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday in the Michael W. Pawlak Funeral Home, 1640 Smith Rd. (at Jackman) Temperance, MI, where funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Rev. Stephen Sparks and Rev. Stan Howard, officiating. Interment will follow in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the Temperance First Baptist Church or the American Lung Association.

Roy Christy, son of Anthony and Anna (Rebar) Christy, was born on January 28, 1922, and died August 27, 2004. (Anna Rebar Christy later married Singleton Bloom.)

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 3, 2005) Daniel F. Halligan of Penn Hills, age 66, died on Tuesday, November 1, 2005. Dan was a retired bus driver with the Port Authority Transit. Husband of Ethel M. (Linsenbigler) Halligan; father of Sharon Halligan , Daniel F. Halligan, Jr., and Edward Aldrich all of Penn Hills and the late Charles Aldrich; grandfather of Nicole, Amanda, Brittany, Carly, Autumn, Angela and Kimberly; great-grandfather of Anthony, Deklan and Alison; brother of Thomas of Penn Hills, James of DE, Michael of Penn Hills, Ruth Eieble of North Huntingdon and the late Mary Bolgert. Friends may call Thursday 7-9 pm and Friday 2-4 and 7-9 pm at PATRICK T. LANIGAN FUNERAL HOME, INC., 700 Linden Avenue At Cable, East Pgh., (412-824-8800) where a Blessing service will be on Saturday at 11 am. Memorial donations may be made to Forbes Hospice, 115 S. Neville St., Pgh., PA 15213.

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 4, 2006) Joseph A. Linsenbigler of East Pittsburgh, age 75, died on Friday, March 3, 2006. Husband of the late Sherry (Morrell) Linsenbigler. Joe was survived by a family of children; grandchildren; brothers and sisters. Friends welcome Sunday, 2-4 & 6-8pm at PATRICK T. LANIGAN FUNERAL HOME, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh, 412-824-8800 where a Service will be held on Sunday, 8pm. Joe was a WWII Army Veteran and will be buried with Military Honors in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies on Monday, 10am.

Alexander D. Oravec, son of Alex and Elizabeth (Javorsky) Oravec, was born on April 29, 1919, and passed on January 27, 2004.

(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 15, 2004) Catherine Oravec, 88, of North Huntingdon, died Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004, in UPMC Shadyside. She was born May 1, 1916, in Pittsburgh. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Alex and Frank Oravec, and three sisters, Helen Linsenbigler, Ethel Myers and Agnes Drost. She is survived by her son, James Francis and his wife, Deborah, of Monroeville; a nephew, Richard Drost and his wife, Barbara; and a sister, Elizabeth Fedior, of Michigan. Friends will be received at the JAMES W. SHIRLEY FUNERAL HOME INC., Clay Pike, Circleville, North Huntingdon, Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A blessing service will be held Monday at a time to be announced. Interment in New St. Joseph Cemetery, North Versailles.

Frank Oravec, mentioned in the above obituary, was born June 25, 1922, and died on August 22, 1999.

Ethel Oravec Meyers (photo at left, with husband Ralph), also mentioned above, was born on June 25, 1921, and died on January 15, 1993.

Agnes Oravec Drost, also mentioned, was born in May 1925 and died in September 1961.

General News

From Holly Rehbock: My Grandparents are Ethel Myers (Oravec), born June 25th, 1921, died on January 15, 1993, and Ralph Myers Sr. (he passed away in 1985). My Mom is Marilyn McClain (Myers), born October 6, 1950, my aunt is Cheryl Myers, born March 20, 1957, and my uncle is Ralph Myers Jr., born July 5, 1946. Ralph has a son, Aaron Myers, who is married with 2 kids. He also has a daughter who is married with 2 kids. Cheryl does not have kids. I am an only child. I am Holly Rehbock (McClain), born October 7, 1975, married to Rich Rehbock. We have two sons: Tyler Rehbock, born October 13, 1995, and Braden Rehbock, born December 21, 2003. We are also in contact with Aunt Flo; Uncle Al passed away. Aunt Catherine and Uncle Frank passed away. We also keep in touch with Aunt Elizabeth Fiedor (Oravec) and her family.

From Norann Lustfield, whose grandmother, Helen Elizabeth Osif, married Thomas Valco: I found our much more about the Oszif family this year, tracing it back several generations. The parents of Helen Osif Valco had a 'mixed' marriage. Her father, John Oszif was a Greek Catholic and was of Rusyn descent. Her mother, Maria Marussa, was Roman Catholic, of Slovak descent. The Rusyn people are a group that lived in the Carpathian mountains; they had their own dialect, tended to the Greek Orthodox branch of Catholism and used the Cyrillic alphabet. John Oszif's birth record is in Cyrillic. He and Maria Marussa married in 1881 and then he came to USA to work for 7 yrs before returning to Slovakia where they began their family. In 1910 he sent daughter Helen to USA. I found her passenger record. Regardless of the stories we heard, she arrived in New York City and passed thru Ellis Island just like everybody else! She arrived on Dec 7, 1910 aboard the s/s President Grant, which had sailed from Hamburg, Germany. She was 18, had $24 in her pocket & declared her destination to be her Uncle George Tomas in Barnesboro, PA. She was described as 5' 6", fair complexion, brown hair & grey eyes. Three years later, Helen's sister, Anna Osiv, arrived in NY on Dec 8, 1913 aboard the s/s Prince Friedrich Wilhelm which had sailed from Bremen, Germany. Her destination was to her sister Helen Osif in Barnesboro, PA. She was 17, had $8, was described as 5'5", fair, blonde hair & blue eyes. This uncle, George Tomas, was the husband of Elizabeth Marussa, sister to Helen's mother, Maria indeed, they are aunt and uncle to Helen. I found George and Elizabeth Tomas in the 1910 census, and can not for the life of me find them before or after! I am sure their name has been mis-written and/or mis-read! Lots of us remember hearing about a Mary Thomas/Tomas in Helen's life, but does anyone know who she is? I need help solving this mystery!

Lauri (Green) Rebar, Stan's wife, started back to school in August 2005 to pursue a Masters in Library Science from University of Southern Florida in Tampa. Much of her course work will be done on-line.

Jim and Carolyn Rebar missed last year's reunion because Carolyn was in the hospital with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This is a curable condition commonly known as "French polio." Carolyn had to learn to walk and use her hands again with Jim as her primary caregiver after 49 days in the hospital. Recovery is slow but steady, and in time her nerves will repair themselves, but that can take up to two years or more. The illness in her case was caused by a seemingly harmless respiratory infection. Thanks to everyone who sent cards and called over the past year. Carolyn teaches 25 piano students and was able to teach almost the full year. Jim started a new job in April. He works at the local newspaper as a graphics specialist and photographer. He enjoys working part-time. After 4 years of retirement, he was getting bored. This job keeps him running all over the county taking photographs of local events for the paper. Fortunately, he has been in good health and has been a tremendous source of support and encouragement for Carolyn. They celebrated their 24th anniversary on July 24.

From Mark Rebar in Bimghamton, NY: My name is Mark Rebar, I currently live in Binghamton, New York, working as a Prepress manager for a major book printer, The Maple-Vail Book Mfg Group. I live here with my wife Theresa and 3 sons Matthew, Zachary and Adam. I recently received your web page from my sister-in-law Lauri Rebar. I originally grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, where my father Elmer Joseph Rebar and my mother Mary Jane Rebar (Wodarski) resided. My father was from the Clearfield area and my mom was from Erie. As a child we took several of our summer vacations in Clearfield PA to visit my father's family. I can remember staying in an old coal miner's house. The outside was not painted -- it was black. I never was one to eat my veggies and can remember my grand mother going out on the porch to call the veggie police to come and get me, and my mom would take my veggies when grandma went on the porch. There was a river in the yard and we use to swim in it. I also remember one year being there for Christmas and watching TV with the family and seeing Santa knock on the window to scare me to go to bed so he could come in with the presents.

In June, Joyce Rebar, daughter of Frank and Barbara (Jager) Rebar, took 4 weeks off from work and went up to Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, to attend 4 "short courses" in forensic anthropology with students from all over the world. Throughout the 4 weeks of classes, she saw many interesting presentations -- about the investigation of Flight 93 (that crashed in the field on 9/11), the recovery of victims from Hurricane Katrina, the recovery of victims from the tidal wave in Thailand, and many forensic crime cases. (Pictured at left, Joyce and her friends at a martini bar in Erie: Diana, forensic dentist from Colombia, who works with Chilean human rights team; Kjeld, a police officer from Norway; Karla, a Chilean forensic dentist; and Joyce.)

2004 Reunion

At the 2004 reunion about 70 attendees came in from 6 states.

Florida: Frank Rebar (Ormond Beach).

Maryland: Dave Rebar, Jr. and Sarah Bernier (Frostburg); Bob Stoops (Silver Spring); Earl Venerick (Pasadena); and Jean (Rebar) Hogan (Baltimore).

Michigan:Pat (Rebar) Cus-Curson and children Andy, Chris, Cindy, and Jeff Curson (Lake Orion);John Rebar and daughters, Heather and Theresa (Clinton Township); Niki Kus and friend, Holly Reilly; Donna (Rebar) Breyer and sons, Willie and Tim (Oxford); Stella (Nazarek) Rebar and Rosemary (Nazarek) Butz (St. Clair Shores); and Rick and Karen (Rebar) Semik and daughters, Leah Kathleen, and Erica Lynn (Memphis).

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

Pennsylvania: 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 (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); Lori Kuzio and Brian Mayhue (Altoona); Bob White (Glenshaw); Mary (Oravetz) White (Glenshaw); Nancy Rebar (Indiana); Dennis Stoops (Shermansdale); Sharon (Stoops) Wolf and son, Cody (Shermansdale); Paul Mohar (Harrisburg); Evelyn (Rebar) Stoops (Shermansdale); Dave and Marlene (Rebar) Kohut (Ramey); Elma (Rebar) Venerick (Clearfield); Shelley (Rebar) Cunningham; Dave and Bernadine (Mitchell) Rebar (Clearfield); Betina Rebar and friend Adam Popa (Clearfield); Steve and Irene Kohute (Osceola Mills); and Ed and Mary (Molnarko) Rebar (Greensburg).

Virginia: Tony Pasquale (Centreville).

2005 Reunion

At the 2005 reunion there were about 40 attendees from 5 states.

Florida: Frank and Barbara (Jager) Rebar (Ormond Beach).

Maryland: Joyce Rebar (Bowie); and Gloria Carrillo (Bethesda, with Tony Pasquale); and Georgia Stice and Earl Medford.

Michigan: Donna Breyer (Oxford); Stella (Nazarek) Rebar (St. Clair Shores); Rosemary (Nazarek) Butz (St. Clair Shores); Rick and Karen (Rebar) Semik and daughters, Leah and Erica.

Pennsylvania: Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik (Clymer); Dave and Elsie (Williams) Rebar (Whitney); Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio (Altoona); John and Betty (Bell) Kuzio and children, Matt, Dana, Melissa, Robert, and Maria, and Monica, granddaughter, Gabrielle Stevens, and friend, Timmy Pellas (Northern Cambria); Wayne Rebar (Greensburg); Ed Rebar (Greensburg); Lorie (Kuzio) Mayhue and daughter, Keira (Altoona); Joe and Michele (Kuzio) George and children, Kaitlyn, Zach, Brett and Maddison (Altoona).

Virginia: Beverly Rebar and Mark Covington; and Tony Pasquale.


You thought there would be more pictures, right? Not if you don't send them.

   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

Jim Rebar will have a scanner at the 2006 reunion, so please bring your old pictures. We want to share them with everyone.

Random Pictures

Donna Rebar Breyer, Rose Butz, and Pat Rebar Kus-Curson

John Rebar, sitting where Jim remembers him best.

More >>

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