The Oravetz, Rebar, Prusak, Kuzio, Herpak, and Kovachik Families of Pennsylvania
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 2009  August 1, 2009

Welcome to the 28th annual family reunion of descendants of the Oravetz (Oravec), Rebar, Kovachik, Lelak, and Kozak families. Normally, Dot and Jim never run photos of themselves in the newsletter, but since it is rare for them to be in the same photo together, we thought we'd make an exception this year. Shown here are Dorothy (Rebar) Polenik, Ed, Dave, Jim and Frank, the remaining children of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar. Ironically, Ed rarely ever touches alcohol, but he's the one with a beer!

The newsletter this year is going to combine some things from a shortened newsletter that was published the year before last with events from the last two years to bring everyone up to date.

As of press time, the youngest member of our extended family this year is Jackson Robert Kirsch, son of Jesse and Amy (Hahn) Kirsch. Jackson was born on May 5, 2009.

From time to time, we are contacted out of the blue by a long-lost relative. This year we were very happy to have made contact with a descendant of the Barnesboro Kozaks, Beth Miklos Essenberg. Beth lives in Washington state. Her parents, George and Mary Miklos, live in Kansas. Information she sent us appears later in this newsletter. In brief, Beth is descended from John Andrew Kozak who was a half-nephew to Mary Kozak Valko, Kathrine Kozak Rebar, and Anna Kozak Herpak. These three women are ancestors to all the Prusaks, Valkos and Rebars who come to the reunion.



Teresa Rebar (daughter of John and Vicky Rebar) and Douglas Evans were married September 22, 2006 at Evangel Christian Church, Roseville, Michigan.

Chris Kus, son of Pat Kus-Curson, and Nicky Larkin were married on June 6, 2006, in a civil ceremony, and renewed their vows at Good Shepherd Church, Lake Orion Michigan, on June 16, 2007. Chris, a 2003 graduate of the University of Michigan at Flint, is employed at Faurecia Automative in Troy, Michigan. Chris is the grandson of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar.

Valerie (Semik) Colosimo and husband John Colosimo celebrated Reaffirmation of Wedding Vows on August 18, 2007.

Cynthia Catherine Kus and Justin Thomas Gillam were married on October 11, 2008. A reception was held in Metamora, Michigan. Cynthia is the daughter of Pat (Rebar) and Phil Kus, granddaughter of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar and great-granddaughter of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar.

Nicole ("Niki") Anastasia Kus and Brian James Peltier were married August 8, 2008, in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Niki is the daughter of Pat (Rebar) and Phil Kus, granddaughter of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar and great-granddaughter of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar.


Kylie KusKylie Kus was born January 22, 2007, to Christopher and Nicky (Larkin) Kus. Kylie is first grandchild of Pat Kus-Curson and is the great-granddaughter of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar and great-great-granddaughter of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar. Seth Rebar

Seth Isaac Rebar (right) was born March 13, 2007, to Wayne and Monica (Mulcahy) Rebar. Seth is the first grandchild of David and Elsie (Williams) Rebar, and great-grandson of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar

Jackson Robert Kirsch was born May 5, 2009, to Jesse and Amy (Hahn) Kirsch. Jackson is the grandson of Pat (Oravetz) and Tom Kirsch and great-grandson of Rudolph and Verna (Keblesh) Oravetz.

Lillian Rose Kirsch was born February 27, 2009, to Tom and Heidi (Wessel) Kirsch. Lillian is also the granddaughter of Pat (Oravetz) and Tom Kirsch and great-grandson of Rudolph and Verna (Keblesh) Oravetz.

Olivia Helen Egnor was born on October 27, 2008. She is the daughter of Cathy and Greg Egnor and granddaughter of Donna (Linsenbigler) Megy and great- granddaughter of the late Helen (Oravec) Linsenbigler.


Kristy Rebar, daughter of Joe and Heidi (Doran) Rebar, graduated in June 2006 from East Detroit High School. Kristy is the granddaughter of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar.

Kristy Kilgallen, daughter of Debbie (Pasquale) Wright and Mike Kilgallen, graduated on June 15th, 2009, from Chantilly High School, Chantilly, Virginia. Kristy is the granddaughter of Ben and Nancy (Rebar) Pasquale and great-granddaughter of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar.

Leah Semik

Leah Semik (left), daughter of Richard and Karen (Rebar) Semik, graduated with honors June 8, 2008, from Memphis High School, Memphis, Michigan. Leah is the granddaughter of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar and great-granddaughter of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar.



Jeff Curson, son of Pat (Rebar) Kus-Curson of Lake Orion, Michigan, graduated from high school on June, 2009. Jeff is the grandson of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar and great-grandson of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar.

Heather Rebar, daughter of John Rebar, granddaughter of John and Stella (Nazarek) Rebar, and great-granddaughter of John and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar, graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, with a Master's degree in Training and Development. Her focus was Organizational Leadership. (See photo at end of newsletter)


Jim and Carolyn Rebar celebrated their 25th anniversary on July 24, 2007.

Mark and Terry Rebar will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary on July 24th, 2010.


Mary White(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 17, 2006) Mary V. (Oravetz) White, 87, of Shaler, died Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006. Born May 12, 1919, in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania, Mary enjoyed sewing and gardening. Wife of the late George White. Mother of V. Karen (Gerald) Morgan, of New Jersey; George (Sharon) White, of Michigan, and Bob (Cindy) White, of Glenshaw. Grandmother of Scott and Matthew White, Christopher Morgan and Shawn Cordell. Sister of the late Rudolph Oravetz, Margaret Rebar and Verna Kuzio. Friends received from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the BOCK FUNERAL HOME LTD., 1500 Mt. Royal Blvd., Shaler. Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Bonaventure Church, Shaler.

Mary Molnarko Rebar(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2007) Mary M. Rebar, 73, of Greensburg, died Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg. Born Dec. 20, 1933, in Johnstown, she was a daughter of the late Frank and Elizabeth (Kollar) Molnarko. She was a member of St. Vincent Basilica, Latrobe. Prior to retirement, she was employed as a legal secretary in Washington, D.C., for 37 years. She liked opera music, reading and watching classic movies. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Frank Molnarko Jr. and Andrew Molnarko. She is survived by her husband, Edward V. Rebar, of Greensburg; a son, Alan E. Rebar, of Baltimore, Md.; a daughter, Natalie M. Rebar, of Crofton, Md.; two brothers, Michael Molnarko and wife, Fran, of Johnstown, and Stephen Molnarko, of Johnstown; two sisters, Elizabeth Danyluk, of Greencastle, and Teresa Molnarko; and a number of nieces and nephews. Family and friends will be received from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday in the JOHN J. LOPATICH FUNERAL HOME INC., 601 Weldon St., Latrobe. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Vincent Basilica. Interment in St. Vincent Cemetery, Latrobe.

(The Star (Northern Cambria)) ELMER VALCO - Elmer Joseph Valco died on May 19, 2007 in Elyria, OH. He was born on Jun 6, 1924 in Barnesboro, the son of Helen (Osif) and Thomas Valco. Elmer lived in Barnesboro until he joined the Navy in 1943. After the war he found work as a machinist in Cleveland at the Warner-Swayze Company, from which he retired. Preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Ruth Brosnan and Evelyn Janssen, he is survived by a brother, Norman Valco of Texas, a sister, Betty Raymond, of Michigan and 12 nieces & nephews.

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 22, 2007) Ethel "Toots" (Linsenbigler) HALLIGAN of Penn Hills, age 71, died on Thursday, July 19, 2007. Beloved wife of the late Daniel F. Halligan; mother of Edward Aldrich, Sharon Halligan and Daniel F. Halligan, Jr. (Renee), all of Penn Hills, and the late Charles Aldrich; sister of Mary Montedoro of Turtle Creek, Frank Linsenbigler of Forest Hills, Ed Linsenbigler of North Versailles, Donna Megy of WA and the late Joseph and Thomas Linsenbigler; grandmother of Nicole, Amanda, Brittany, Carly, Autumn, Angela and Kimberly; stepgrandmother of Jarred and Darrah; great-grandmother of Anthony, Deklan and Alison; also numerous nieces and nephews. No Visitation. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Colman Church on Monday at 10 am. Arrangements by PATRICK T. LANIGAN FUNERAL HOME, TURTLE CREEK/ MONROEVILLE CHAPEL, Turtle Creek. 412-823-9350. Send condolences at

Nancy Rebar(The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown), August 30, 2007) REBAR – Nancy Leona, 66, of Clymer, died Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007, in Latrobe. Friends will be received from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at the Bence Funeral Home, 655 Franklin St., Clymer. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church of the Resurrection – Heilwood site. Interment will follow in the church cemetery in Camerons Bottom.

(Newspaper unknown) Nancy Rebar. Nancy Leona Rebar, 66, of Clymer, died Wednesday, Aug. 29, in Latrobe. A daughter of John S. and Margaret (Oravetz) Rebar, she was born on Jan. 7, 1941, in Twin Rocks. Ms. Rebar was a member of the Church of the Rusurrection-Heilwood site. She was a homemaker who had also been employed at one time as a secretary for the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C., and the Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, in Reston, Va. She is survived by her son, Anthony Pasquale, of Centreville, Va.; her daughter, Debra A. (Pasquale) Wright and husband Kenneth, of Chantilly, Va.; two grandchildren, Kristy Kilgallen and Kyle Wright; a sister, Dorothy Polenik, of Clymer; four brothers: Frank Rebar and wife Barbara, Ormond Beach, Fla.; Edward Rebar, Greensburg; David Rebar and wife Elsie, Latrobe; and James Rebar and wife Carolyn, Napoleon, Ohio. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, John Rebar, Jr. Friends will be received from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Bence Funeral Home, Clymer. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church of the Resurrection, Heilwood site. Interment will follow in the church cemetery in Camerons Bottom.


Kathy Fleshman(Baltimore Sun, December 6, 2007) Fleshman, Kathrine J. On December 5, 2007. Kathrine J. Fleshman (nee Rebar), beloved wife for 41 years of Allen Duane Fleshmen, loving mother of Jean Fleshman and Karen Stebner, devoted grandmother of Elizabeth and Amanda Stebner, dear sister of Gerogia Medford. Friends may call at Gonce Funeral Service, P.A., 4001 Ritchie Highway on Saturday and Sunday from 3-5 and 7-9 P.M. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home on Monday at 11 A.M. Interment will be in Glen Haven Memorial Gardens.


(Boerne Star (Texas) , January 26, 2009 - Norman Thomas Valco - Norman died Jan 25th due to complications from a broken hip. He was born Jun 4, 1919 in Barnesboro, PA to Thomas Joseph Valco & Helen (Oszif) Valco. He married to Lois Virginia McIntyre on Jun 26, 1943 in Detroit, MI. He graduated from Barnesboro HS in 1936 & moved to Detroit where he got a job with Kelvinator & enrolled in night school at Lawrence Tech. He joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1940, first learning to fly, then teaching others. He went into the Navy as a pilot in 1944, ending up at Corpus Christi NAS. He remained in the Navy Reserves, rising to the rank of Lt. Cmdr. He became a private pilot for a Corpus Christi businessman. He & Lois raised their family in Corpus Christi, living there for 22 yrs before moving to the Boerne area in 1968. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Ruth (Jim) Brosnan & Evelyn (Edward) Janssen & a brother, Elmer Valco. He is survived by his wife of 65 yrs, Lois; daughter, Norann Lustfield of TX; 2 sons: Larry of MO & Tommy (Carolyn) of MS; 5 grandchildren & 3 greats & one sister, Betty Raymond of MI.

John Amen(The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), May 3, 2009) John H. Amen, age 60. Beloved husband for 35 years to Patty (nee Prusak), loving son of Harold and Laura Amen, awesome father of David (Kelly) Amen and Laura Kline (Chris), cherished grandpa of Lily, devoted brother of Jeanne Shepherd (Barry). John retired after 34 years of service from Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Cleveland. He was a man of integrity, unique humor, kindness, and generosity. He was looked up to by many. Visitation Monday, May 4, 5-9 PM, Busch Funeral Home, Parma. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests for those who wish, may make contributions to the Kidney Cancer Association or Seasons of Life Hospice.

Betty M. (Oravec) Fiedor passed away on June 30, 2009. She was born October 25, 1913 to Alex and Elizabeth Oravec. No further information is know at this time.

General News

Natalie Rebar, daughter of Ed and the late Mary Molnarko Rebar sent this information along: I still work in the same place, EJAL Health Services; it will be 11 years in September, as Addictions Counselor. I have two dogs, Stripe (beagle) and Shelly (jack russell terrier mix), both 5 years old and fiestier than ever. My boyfriend David Baldwin and I have just celebrated 3 years together. David has been playing guitar for over 40 years, and has released two CDs of his music. He's had a commercial driver's license (CDL), but has sold his truck and gotten out of the commercial moving business. He now has a job with PMI (Patuxent Materials Inc, a construction materials company) as a Commercial Driver.

Tony Pasquale, son of Ben Pasquale and the late Nancy Rebar, gave us these tidbits: I received an MS in chemistry from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in May 2007. My father, Ben, got re-married January 18, 2008. Dad's wife is a pianist, and Dad plays trumpet.

Here's the latest from the Stan Rebar Family (grandson of Joseph and Elizabeth Rebar, son of Elmer and Mary Jane Rebar). Stan's son Andrew joined the Army Reserves, graduated from boot camp and will graduate from advance military police training on September 24, 2009, 6 days before his 22nd birthday. Stan's wife Lauri graduated with a Master's in Library Science from University of South Florida (Tampa) in August 2008 and is currently an Assistant Librarian at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton (her alma mater and in the town where they have lived for 32 years).

From Mike and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio: Everyone enjoying relatively good health. Jean and I enjoying 8 grandchildren. Plenty of soccer, baseball and basketball games to attend. Not to forget recitals (four dancers in the family). Jean and Mike sing in St. Rose of Lima Church choir. Mike does Barbershop singing plus Harmony Safari Quartet. Lots of practices and performances to keep us busy. Built a fish pond last year (with 3 fish). Lots of little ones this year to help Jean keep up math skills.

From Jim and Carolyn (Young) Rebar: Jim is still a photographer and graphics designer for the local newspaper and Carolyn teaches about 25 piano students. She has taught piano for 35 years. After retiring from the Dept. of Defense, they enjoy their life in a small town in NW Ohio and live in a house built about 1850. Their little schnoodle dog Gretchen is 4 years old and is treated like a princess. Their children are David, Daniel, Amanda and Mary. David lives in Reno, NV and works as a chef and a homeland security officer at the Reno Airport. He has one daughter, Ruby. Dan lives in Florida and works as a long-haul trucker on the East coast. He and Mindy have two sons, Jacob and Zachary. Amanda lives in MA and is a scholarship student working on a teaching degree at Smith College. She was on the Dean's list and has a son, Jonah Jack. Mary and Joel live in Bowling Green, OH. He teaches at the University and is a glass artist. She is working on a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy. They have two children, Natalia and Gabriel.

News of a Kozak family branch

John and Amelia (Kapusta) KozakWe were recently contacted by a descendant who provided information on the John Andrew Kozak family. This John Kozak is the (half) nephew of the 3 Kozak girls – Mary Kozak Valko, Katalin Kozak Rebar and Anna Kozak Herpak. John Kozak and his brother George Kozak are the sons of Janos Kozak and Anna Oberle who remained in Also Mislye, Slovakia and are the grandsons of Joannes Kozak and his first wife, Elizabeth Scziranka. The 3 girls are daughters of Janos Kozak and his second wife, Maria Hricz.

(Photo at left: John and Amelia (Kapusta) Kozak)

The 1900 census shows John Kozak, wife Amelia and brother, George all living in Susquanna Township, Cambria County, PA. John arrived in 1896 and George in 1897. John Kozak’s wife is Amelia Kapusta who he married earlier in 1900 in Clearfield County, PA. They had evidently just moved from Clearfield County to Cambria County. Both men were working as Coal Miners.

In 1910, John and Amelia were renting a house from Barney and Mary Valko (Valco) in Barnesboro and hade 5 children. George had married Annie Pelshaw and they were also renting a house owned by Barney Valko and had 3 children.

In 1920 John and Amelia were not in Barnesboro – from Beth Miklos (granddaughter of the oldest daughter) we learned that they had moved to Benld, Macoupin County, IL. It is a coal mining area similar to Barnesboro and Ramey with lots of Slovaks living there. They had 6 more children, a total of 12 children, all of whom survived. One of them is still alive as of August 2009. Both John and Amelia died and are buried in Benld. Many of their descendants continue to live in the area.

John’s brother, George, and his wife Annie stayed in Barnesboro until after the 1920 census and then moved to Binghamton, NY. George died before the 1930 census, so we don’t know if he made the move with the family or if the widow and children moved after he died. This Kozak branch we knew about but have little information on.

Now we know what happened to John and Amelia and their children. Also, it is known that these two families kept in touch to some extent. We hope that someday we will be able to get more information on both these families. Both should have Kozak descendants alive today. One day, possibly, descendants will see the Kozaks on-line at (WorldConnect project) or at the Kozak web page that Jim Rebar has created, and get in touch to tell us more.

2006 Reunion

At the 2006 reunion there were about 35 attendees from 6 states.

2007 Reunion

There were about 75 people at the 2007 reunion.

2008 Reunion

We counted about 70 people at the 2008 reunion.

Here are some photos from past reunions.

Dave and Sarah Rebar
Dave and Sarah (Bernier) Rebar - 2008
Heather Rebar
Heather Rebar - 2008
Marlene (Rebar) Kohut, Dot (Rebar) Polenik, Bob Rebar - 2008
Dave Rebar and Denny Stoops - 2008
John Kuzio
John Kuzio talking with his sister, Betty (Kuzio) Lechene - 2008
Pat (Prusak) Amen and Bill Prusak
Pat (Amen) Prusak and her brother, Bill Prusak - 2007
Denny Stoops, Paul Mohar and Sandy (Kohut) Harchak - 2007
Cindy White and Jean Kuzio
Cindy White and Jean (Parrish) Kuzio - 2007


   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 is always looking for old family pictures. We want to share them with everyone.

Random Pictures

Wayne Rebar and Justin Gillam

Scene from the 2007 Reunion.

More >>

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