Bisonalities Again

Bisonalities Again

A Web site dedicated to the alumni, teachers, and administrators,
past, present, and future of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools

Bisonalities Again Blog
December 02, 2021 - Present
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Thursday, December 02, 2021 - 10:55 a.m.


Effective today, I have taken back responsibility for the updating of this web site. If you have any change of contact information, stories, or notices of alumni passing please address the information to me at

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Saturday, January 22, 2022

I received the following from Colleen Devore:

Mark on your calendar that the FLBHS class of 1972 will hold their 50th Class Reunion on August 20, 2022 at Picnicana. Updates and further information may be found on the FLB Class of 1972 Facebook page!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Shortly after the Fort LeBoeuf High class of 1956 had their 65th reunion in the red room at the Sugar 'n Spice Restaurant, Vera McWilliams Powell sent me pictures of the event. I have finally got up enough ambition to post the pictures. They may be found as picture86.html.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Death of Denise Suroviec

Denise Suroviec

FLBHS Class of 1974

I received word from Laura Suroviec FLB Class of 1973, that her sister, Denise had passed away back in 2018.

Denise L. Suroviec, 61, of West Springfield, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2018 at UPMC Hamot. She was born on November 12, 1956 in Erie, daughter of the late Henry J. and Virginia M. (Yaple) Suroviec.

Denise was a graduate of Edinboro University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. She was employed as a special education teacher in Coal Mountain, West Virginia for a few years, also worked at the after-school program at the Book T. Washington Center and presently for the Ashtabula City School District for the past 23 years. She loved being a teacher with her heart and soul and loved children. She enjoyed organizing events with a flair, had a feel for artistic design...was an accomplished seamstress and loved to entertain. Denise enjoyed having a party. Denise will be missed at the 4 Sister card parties.

Besides her parents she was preceded in death by her sister, Paula Jo Suroviec.

She is survived by her spouse, Kathleen M. Lyle; sisters, Beverly Hammons (Thomas) of Fairfield, Conn, Laura Suroviec of Erie and Judith Marquis (Randall) of Erie; brothers, Gary Suroviec of Waterford and Stephen Suroviec (Sherry) of Mechanicsburg, PA; nieces and nephews, Jay, David and Veronica Marquis, Thomas Hammoms V, Kelly Melter, Shelly Smith, Jamie Fisher, David Grove, great nieces and nephew and had a special love for her great nephew, Lucas.

Burial took place at Laurel Hill Cemetery.

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Death of Gary Pillar

Gary Pillar

FLBHS Class of 1969

Gary N. Pillar, age 70, of Summit Township, passed away Monday December 27, 2021, at St. Vincent Hospital. He was born in Erie, April 11, 1951, a son of the late Nicholas J. and Cecilia K. (Mitchell) Pillar.

Gary graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School.

Gary had been a machinist at Autoclave Engineers retiring in 2016. He liked hunting, motorcycle riding, gun collecting, classic movies, NASCAR racing, his cat, the Steelers and eating sweets, but most especially he loved his family and going to his camp in Pittsfield.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his infant brother Charles Pillar.

Survivors include his two daughters; Jennifer Lance of Beaver, PA., and Casandra Pillar of Waterford, two grandchildren; Vita Lance and Hollis Lance of Beaver, PA., one brother, Michael Pillar and his wife (Ruthan) of Summit Twp. and his sister, Robin Barthelson and her husband (Eric) of Millcreek. Many nieces and nephews also survive.

Private calling hours and services will be held at the convenience of the family.

A celebration of Gary's life will be held on Saturday January 8, 2022, at the Waterford American Legion,

120 West 4th Street, Waterford PA., from 1pm until 5 p.m. Memorials may be made to the Perry Highway Hose Company, 8281 Oliver Rd.,

Erie, PA. 16509. Brugger Funeral Homes and Crematory, 1595 West 38th St. is handling arrangements.

Thanks to Bill Kuhn for furnishing the above obituary!

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Death of Frances "Fran" Graham Disbrow

Fran Graham Disbrow

FLBHS Class of 1958

Frances M. “Fran” (Graham) Disbrow, age 81, passed away Thursday, August 26, 2021 at UPMC Hamot. She was born in Union City, PA on June 19, 1940, a daughter of the late Vern and Frances M. (Harris) Graham.

Fran enjoyed spending time with family and friends and going camping. She bowled for many years with her husband George. She enjoyed shopping and going to lunch with her friends Ceal and Carol, and an occasional trip to the casino. She belonged to the Siebenbuerger Club, Woman of the Moose Lodge #593 and Fraternal Order of the Eagles.

In addition to her parents, Fran was preceded in death by her husband, George Disbrow; an infant great granddaughter, Mikayla Johnson and four sisters, June, Midge, Beverly, and Dorothy.

Survivors include three children, Timothy Johnson (Paula), Laurie Ernst, and Shawn Disbrow (Jennifer); a brother, Vern “Steve” Graham (Susan); grandchildren, Tiffany Tobin (Nick), Lacey Hensley (Jennifer), Caitlyn Johnson, Joshua Ernst, Jarrid and Kolby Disbrow; four great grandchildren, Kaden Johnson, Marlo and Oscar Hensley, and Nicholas Tobin; several nieces and nephews also survive.

Services were held on Tuesday at 10 a.m. with Rev. Shawn Clerkin officiating. Burialfollowed in Mary Queen of Peace Mausoleum.

Thanks for Shirley Robertson Sackett for furnishing this obituary for s VERY SPECIAL lady and friend!

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Death of Richard W. Sackett

Richard Sackett

FLBHS Class of 1987

Richard W. Sackett, 52, of Waterford Township passed away Saturday, November 13, 2021 at his residence. He was born in Erie, PA on May 26, 1969 to Shirley (Robertson) and Judson Sackett.

Richard graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School in 1987 and was employed by Union Electric Steel for many years. He enjoyed being outdoors and spending time with his family.

Richard will be greatly missed by his parents; his brothers Neil and Gary Sackett; his son, Dennis McCarthy; his daughters, Kyrsten Sackett-Fox and Madalyn Patton; and his grandchildren Marley and Dexter McCarthy.

Thanks to Shirley Robertson Sackett for furnishing this obitiary for her son! May he Rest In Peace!

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Monday, December 06, 2021

Death of Patricia Ann “Patty” Schuschu

Patty Schuschu

FLBHS Class of 1973

Patricia Ann “Patty” Schuschu, age 66, of Erie, passed away Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at UPMC Hamot. She was born November 5, 1955 in Erie, a daughter of the late Raymond H. Schuschu and Patricia Panetta Schuschu.

Patty was a graduate of Fort LeBoeuf High School. She was employed at Saint Vincent Hospital for 26 years in their housekeeping department until her retirement.

Patty enjoyed reading, cooking, baking, knitting, and crocheting. She had numerous cherished cats throughout her lifetime which she took great pride in caring for.

She loved to keep up with her friends whether through letters or talking on the phone. She was adored by her family and friends and will be missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by her three brothers, Raymond, Robert, and Richard Schuschu; one sister, Barbara McIntire (Dan); and nieces and nephews, Bridget Pellow (John), Heather Garcia (Rafael), Jason Schuschu, and Megan Schuschu (Scott Campbell). She is also survived by several great-nieces and great-nephews and many dear friends.

Family and friends are invited to call at the John R. Orlando Funeral Home, Inc., 2122 Raspberry Street, on Monday from 4:00 p.m. until the time of the Funeral Service there at 7:00 p.m. It is requested that attendees wear masks. Memorials may be made to the Erie Humane Society, 2407 Zimmerly Rd., Erie, PA 16506.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Death of Randolph L. "Randy" Swartzfager

Randy Swartzfager

FLBHS Class of 1971

Randolph L. "Randy" Swartzfager, age 68, of Fairview, passed away Sunday, November 28, 2021 at his residence following a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born in Erie on April 3, 1953, a son of the late Leroy Swartzfager and Marylyn "Marty" Ferry Swartzfager Simpson.

Randy graduated from Ft. LeBoeuf High School in 1971; he worked in various roles for National Fuel for over 35 years.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing; and loved spending time with his family. He taught many eternal lessons through his legacy of loving the outdoors.

Randy attended Fairview Bible Church and had been a coach with the EYSA soccer program for many years.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Geraldine "Gerry" Rood Platz Swartzfager; his children, Dean Platz of Fairview, Cheryl Platz of McKean, Jeremy (Ellen) Swartzfager of Gibbon Glade, Pa, Lee (Melissa) Swartzfager of Corry, and Jonathan (Amy) Swartzfager of Fairview. He is further survived by his sister, Karen (Kenneth) Williamson of Texas; as well as 13 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Private funeral arrangements entrusted to Burton Funeral Home, Girard.

Memorials may be made to WLD Ranch, 7351 Woolsey Rd., Girard, PA 16417.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Death of Alice Shaffer Cowley

Alice Cowley

FLBHS Class of 1965

Alice Adaline Cowley, age 73, of Waterford, died suddenly at her home on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

She was born December 12, 1947 in Bradford, PA, the daughter of Paul Devere and Alice Adaline (Geer) Shaffer.

Alice made many friends throughout her full and active life, and will be sadly missed by her family and all who knew her. She will be remembered for her friendliness and her kindness, as she was always doing for others. Those who loved and knew her dubbed her with affectionate nicknames, among them “Dolly”, “Sis” and “Nana”. Alice loved bluegrass and country music, cooking, and hummingbirds, and she set aside time every day for reading her Bible. A longtime member of Draketown Christian Church, she devoted many hours working in the church kitchen, serving on the funeral committee, volunteering through Ladies Aid, and supporting several missionaries. In addition, Alice kept busy working various jobs throughout her lifetime – she and her husband were longtime owners of Hillview Ostrich Ranch, she worked at Diane’s Deli and the bakery of Super Duper in Waterford, and was a former manager of the Salvation Army store.

In addition to her parents, Alice was preceded in death by her husband Charles D. Cowley Sr. and her brother Gary Shaffer.

She will be mourned by her four children – Scott Stull of Union City, Samuel Stull of Canadohta Lake, Cindy Trace and her husband Troy of Waterford, and Russell Stull of Union City; her three stepchildren – Susan McNelis and her husband Michael, Charles D. Cowley Jr. and his wife Cathy, and James Cowley; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and six siblings – Robert “Butch” Shaffer, William “John” Shaffer and his wife Jeanne, Paul Shaffer and his wife Linda, Joseph Shaffer, Frank Shaffer and his wife Natalie, and Connie Stull.

Viewing and funeral services were at Van Matre Funeral Home of Waterford. A Christian funeral was held on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. officiated by Pastor Daryl Myer of Draketown Christian Church. Interment was at the Waterford Cemetery.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Death of Earl Leslie "Buck" Brace

Buck Brace

Waterford High Class of 1955

E. Leslie (Buck) Brace, 84, died peacefully on Friday, November 26th after a short illness. Born on April 30, 1937, in Erie, PA. Buck was the son of Earl L. and Anna Brace. He was one of three children.

Buck attended Waterford Academy, graduating in 1955. Following graduation Buck attended Penn State University for one year, but then returned home to work on the family farm. Buck married his wife Martha on January 7, 1961. After their marriage, Buck and Martha worked together on the farm for many years. In fact, Buck continued to farm right up until his death.

Buck enjoyed camping, NASCAR, and BJ, his faithful dog, who could always be seen riding along with him. Anyone who knew Buck knew him as a kind and generous person who was willing to help anyone. He was also known for his zeal for always being on the go and his passion for hard work, and he instilled that passion to his children and grandchildren. But more than anything, Buck had a strong love for his wife Martha, and when she died, a piece of him died too.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Martha, his brother Fredrick, his sisters-in-law Elsie Brace and Barbara Rindfuss, his niece Myra Kress and his great-nephew Cory Rindfuss.

Buck is survived by his daughter Debra Brace, son Douglas Brace (Lynette), four grandchildren, Logan Englert (Nicole), Haley Majewski (Tyler), Ashley Frank (Steve) and Justin Brace (Dawn), and his great-grandson Wade Frank. Buck is also survived by his brother Bill Brace (Rose), brother-in-law LeRoy Gross (Luetta), sister-in-law Carole Carne, brother-in-law Robert Rindfuss, and several nieces and nephews.

Van Matre Funeral Home in Waterford coordinated private services for the family and burial at Waterford Cemetery.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held for everyone at a later date.