Bisonalities, Again

FLBHS                                    WHS

A quarterly Newsletter dedicated to the Alumni of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools
April 2011------------------------------------------ Spring Issue ------------------------ Volume 12 - Number 3
                     INSIDE THIS ISSUE
     Cat's Corner
     Death of Ruth Steen Dove
     Death of Shane Michael Burke
     Death of William Ray Andrus
     Death of Arthur Leo Maisner
     Death of Charles David Cowley, Sr.
     Death of Kreg Allen Albert
     Death of Carol Davis Stubbe
     Death of Lloyd "Nink" Hovis
     Death of Lynda Ann Wittenburg
     Death of Myra Lynn Kress
     Death of William Rohde
     Tribute to a friend by Bob Catlin
     A celebration of marriage by Ruth Ann Allen Leech
     Lake LeBoeuf Part I of II by Anita Breitweiser Palmer

Welcome to the Bisonalities, Again, a newsletter dedicated to the alumni (students, teachers, and administrators) of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools. This newsletter will be issued quarterly. New issues will be posted for viewing on the Web site on, or about January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

The Bisonalities, Again Web site may be viewed by going to:

The success of this newsletter will depend on you. I need contributors. Do you have an interesting article, a nostalgia item, a real life story, or a picture you would like to share with other alumni? Do you have a snail-mail or an e-mail address of one of your former classmates? If you do, please send it to me at the following e-mail address:
or at my snail-mail address:
Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062
Tel: (301) 283-6549
Fax: (301) 375-9250

Please, NO handwritten submissions.

The Bisonalities, Again Newsletter is available to any and all alumni, teachers, and administrators of Waterford or Fort LeBoeuf High Schools on the Web site, free.

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Bob Catlin - Class of 1956

Cat's Corner

Finally, spring has started to raise its beautiful head. Many of the flowering trees and bushes are in full bloom here in Southern Maryland and the weather is starting to warm up. I love this time of the year. The trees are turning back to green; the weather is warming up; the fish are getting hungry; and I am coming out of my winter hibernation. The only bad part of all this, I had to mow the yard already.

I have started preparing my boat and motor for the first outing. Last season I was able to get out 180 times between April 3 and December 3. I hope to exceed that this year. During those 180 outings I caught 350 large mouth bass, 48 perch, 104 crappie, 154 blue gill, and 60 other fish. I experienced a great summer of fishing and hope to do so again this year.

We had a bad winter this year. We did not get a lot of snow - 9 inches from six snow storms - but we did see a lot of cold days and nights. We averaged 10-12 degrees below our normal temperatures for the months of December, January, and February. Several nights we went into single digits. Then along came March. During March we received 4 inches of rain above our normal rain fall. Just a bad winter overall. I have not experienced temperatures as low as we had this winter in the 50 years I have lived here in the Washington, D.C. area.

In January I discovered something I hate worse then winter (and you all know how much I hate winter) and that is the loss of long-time friends. Again, in this issue, I pay tribute to a dear friend, Chuck Cowley, who I will miss in body but who will remain in my memory for an eternity.

Nancy and I decided to celebrate our 50th Anniversary by taking a cruise. Since our Anniversary was in August, and that is hurricane season in the Caribbean, we decided to take the cruise in February. As an added bonus we would also have a chance to get away from the cold winter weather for a couple weeks.

Our first stop on the vacation was to visit my brother Leslie (Class of 1956) in Holiday, Florida. Holiday is a small town on the western coast of Florida. Its main drag is U.S. 19 --- the same U.S. 19 that starts or ends (depending on your point of view) in Erie.

During the visit with Leslie we took time out for a dinner with Buck (class of 1959) and Bonnie Davis and Harry (class of 1959) and Susan Thomas. We dined with them at Hellas a Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, FL.

The next day we attended a “Gathering of the Thundering Herd” at the home of Steve (class of 1956) and Susan Graham.

When Steve first learned of our pending trip to Florida, in an exchange of e-mail messages several weeks before the trip, he proposed a gathering at his home on Lake Ellis in Land O'Lakes, Florida.

Nancy Dorman Swanson (class of 1955) assisted me in inviting alumni and their spouses to attend the “Gathering.” The attendees included alumni from the classes of 1953 through 1959 who either live in Florida year around or spend part of the winter there.

Steve and Susan have a beautiful home on Lake Ellis and were very gracious hosts. Susan cooked all the food and what a spread they put on. It didn't hurt that Susan is a great cook. I put on seven pounds during the period we were on vacation and I believe that five of it was from Susan's cooking. This event alone made the trip to Florida well worth it.

In attendance at the “Gathering” were the following alumni and their spouses: Steve and Susan Graham (host and hostess extraordinaire), Buck and Bonnie Davis, Bob and Nancy Catlin, Rollin Kibbe, Marlene (Myers) and Clarence Kibbe, Dell and Bobby (Spiller) Shields, Harry and Susan Thomas, Dave and Peggy (Osborn) Pfifer, Leslie Catlin, Bill and Marjorie (Sharpe) Gibson, Jim and Ida (Crocker) Hirst, John And Fern (Peters) Carr; Joe and Ruth Ann (Allen) Leech, Clyde and Ellen Maxon, Roger and Judy Stafford, Nancy (Dorman) Swanson, Tom and Marilyn Sharpe, Richard and Carol (McMahon) Kircher; Fran (Graham) Desbrow, and Richard and Marjorie (Warner) Wilkins.

I cannot thank Steve and Susan enough for their hospitality. Everyone had a great time.

After several days in the Holiday area, we motored over to Disney World, where we met up with my sister Barbara, class of 1952, and our daughter, Jackie and her husband Brendan and their six-year old twin daughters, Annabelle and Emily.

On the 13th of February we left Disney World and travelled to Port Canaveral, where we boarded the Disney Cruise ship “Dream” for a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. We spent one day in Nassau and then spent the next day at a 1,000 acre island, Castaway Cay, owned by Disney.

The Dream is the newest cruise ship in the Disney Cruise Line. We were only the second group to sail on the ship. The ship is a 130,000-ton vessel with 14 decks and 1,250 staterooms. It is 40 percent bigger than the other Disney cruise ships. The ship has six restaurants, two theaters, two snack bars, and two adult only bars.

The meals in four of the restaurants were included as part of the fare. The meals in the Palo, a restaurant with Italian fare cost $20 per person. The meals in the Remy, a restaurant with French fare cost $75 per person and an additional $99 for a bottle of wine. The Remy dining room required formal attire.

Because it was a Disney ship, a good portion of the activities were geared toward children, but not all.

Surprisingly, there were areas of the ship that were adults only. The adult only areas included two swimming pools, two areas on decks 13 and 14, two large hot tubs, both the French restaurant and the Italian restaurant and two bars.

The two hot tubs stuck out over the side of the ship and had glass bottoms. When you sat in them and looked down you saw nothing but the ocean underneath you.

It also had a large, fully enclosed, water slide that was made of clear plastic that ran about 350 foot. It circled the middle of the boat on the 14th deck. In several areas it extended out past the sides of the ship so when you looked down you saw nothing but the ocean.

We departed Port Canaveral about 4:30 that first night and arrived in Nassau the following morning about 6:30 a.m. We were scheduled to begin on-shore activities at 7:30, but a major fire in a warehouse on the dock near customs delayed our disembarking until about 10:30. The fire had started just before we arrived and was at its peak when we were scheduled to go ashore. Bahamian Customs and Port Authority feared the smoke was toxic and requested the Captain to not allow us to depart until they could get the fire under control or determine the smoke was not toxic. Luckily the wind was blowing away from the ship so we were not in any danger, as long as we were aboard.

After getting clearance from the Port Authority we were able to disembark the ship about 10:30. Nancy and I and my sister took a four-hour bus tour of the city that included a visit to the Nassau Zoo.

That evening we returned to the ship and by 7 were back out to sea.

The next morning we arrived at about 6 a.m. at Castaway Cay. Castaway Cay has several beaches, numerous activities (glass bottom boats, personal water craft, parasailing, swimming with dolphins, etc.) as well as several beaches, including an adult only beach, and several places to get food and drinks.

That night, at about 7, we depart the island and headed, the long way around, back to Port Canaveral. We spent the next 36 hours at sea.

If you are interested in taking a short cruise of 3 to 5 days, you might want to consider a Disney Cruise. The service was outstanding, the activities many, and the food great!

In this issue is the first part of a two part series about Lake LeBoeuf written by Anita Breitweiser Palmer, FLBHS class of 1962.

Ham and eggs…A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.
Death of Ruth Steen Dove
WHS Class of 1950 and Wife of Lewis Dove

Ruth Steen Dove, a resident of Waterford, died at her home on Monday, December 20, 2010. Born October 13, 1932 in Waterford, she was the daughter of the late Urnah and Rosemary Hull Steen. Survivors include her husband Lewis Dove; four children: Otto (Barbara) Dove of Alexandria, Va., Allen (Shirley) Dove of Richland, Wis., Helen (Richard) Cameron of Dyer, Ind., and Anne (David) Shields of San Jose, Calif.; also, six grandchildren: Russel, Adam, Eric, and Katherine Dove, and Kristen and Gregory Cameron; and her siblings: Dorothy (Donald) Kozy, Jane (David) Rockwood, Wayne Steen, May (Donald) Kraus, Samuel (Audrey) Steen, Martha (Drew) Rockwood, and Robert Steen (deceased). No funeral services are being planned.

Death of Shane Michael Burek
FLBHS Class of 2007

Shane Michael Burek, age 21, died Saturday, January 1, 2011 in an automobile accident on Shreve Ridge Road, Bloomfield Township, Crawford County. Born in Union City on June 3, 1989, he is the son of Michael Paul and Lori Lee Beeman Burek of Union City. Shane graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School in 2007 and attended Penn College in Williamsport, Pa. studying Construction and Design. He previously worked for C.R. Construction in Pittsburgh and was currently employed at Molded Fiberglass Company in Union City. He was a member of the Sons of the American Legion, Post 285 of Waterford, and he enjoyed hunting, playing basketball and spending time with his many friends. In addition to his parents, Shane is survived by his sister, Cora Lee Burek; his paternal grandmother, Dorothy E. Burek of Union City and his maternal grandparents, Jim and Sandy Beeman of Lincolnville; his two great-grandmothers, Elsie Beeman of Union City and Mary Jackson of Lincolnville; his aunts and uncles: John and Michelle Burek, Randy and Dorothy Fish, all of Union City, Corey and Tiffany Williams of Girard, and Trent and Jamie Moraski of Cambridge Springs; and many other aunts, uncles, and cousins. Shane was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, John Paul Burek.

Death of William Ray Andrus
FLBHS Class of 1978

William Ray Andrus, age 50 of Summit Township, died Monday, January 3, 2011, at his residence. Born on August 20, 1960 in Erie, he was a son of Mary Green Andrus and the late Ray Andrus. He graduated from Ft. LeBoeuf High School and attended Thiel College. William worked at the family business, Andrus Lumber and Supply Company, and Waterford Motor Company. He was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church and Tyrian-Commonwealth Lodge No. 362, F. &A.M., Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Erie. William was a gentle giant, devoted to family and community. He served on the board of the Summit Township Sewer Authority and was an officer of West End Community Center. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a great-nephew, Connor J. Malick. Survivors include his mother; a brother, James Andrus and his wife, Cindy, of Erie; nieces, Karen Malick and her husband, Rob, of Erie, Jennifer Andrus of Culpeper, Va.; and a great-nephew, Nathan of Erie.

Death of Arthur Leo Maisner, II
FLBHS Class of 1965

Arthur Leo Maisner, II, 63, of Edinboro died Sunday, January 2, 2011 at his home. He was born in Erie on April 11, 1947; son of the late Arthur L. and Iona Laskowski Maisner. Arthur proudly served in the United States Air Force. He worked at Xerox Corporation as a service technician for almost 40 years. He was an avid golfer and bowler. He enjoyed traveling and visiting with his children and was the life of the party wherever he went. He was preceded in death by his sister, Estelle Minnis. Survivors include his five sons, Arthur Leo Maisner, III and his wife, Kim of Meadville; Adam Maisner and his wife, Shawna of Erie; Zachary Maisner and his wife, Breanna of Pittsburgh; Joshua Maisner of New York; Dylan Maisner and his fiancé, Doreen of Alaska; his daughter, Adriane Pitt and her husband, Brian of Florida; his two brothers, Timothy Maisner and his wife, Julie of Waterford; and Michael Maisner and his wife, Marcia of Millcreek; his sister, Tina Maisner of Erie and four grandchildren: Jonas, Avigaile, Lilia and Hank. He was also survived by his loyal companion Daisy.

Death of Charles David Cowley, Sr.
FLBHS Class of 1956

Charles David Cowley Sr., age 73, of Waterford, passed away on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at Hamot Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. Born in Erie on December 12, 1937, he was a son of the late Bernard Cowley Sr. and Helen Lair Cowley.

In 1956, Chuck was a member of the first graduating class of Fort LeBoeuf High School in Waterford. He served in the United States Army and for a time worked at Marx Toys. He retired in 2000 after 34 years of employment at Calsicat Chemical Company and Englehard Corporation, formerly Mallinkrodt Corporation, in Erie. He worked there as a maintenance electrician and was a member of their Quarter Century Club.

Chuck was a member of the American Legion Post #285 of Waterford, and he was co-owner with his two sons of Hillview Ostrich Ranch, also in Waterford. He loved to go fishing with his dog, Patches, and he was a dedicated Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Alice Shaffer Cowley; a brother, Bernard (Christine) Cowley Jr. of Cocoa, FL; two sisters, Phyllis (Richard) Belcher of Erie and Donna (Jerry) Edwards of Maryville, TN; his sister-in-law, Norma Cowley of Erie; two sons and a daughter, Charles Cowley Jr. and James (Cathy) Cowley, all of Waterford, and Susan (Michael) McNelis of Erie. Also, four step-children, Scott (Trish) Stull and Samuel (Sara) Stull, all of Union City, Russell (Areatha) Stull and Cindy (Troy) Trace, all of Waterford; 15 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, an aunt and uncle in Rock Creek, OH, and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Chuck was preceded in death by two brothers, Dennis and William Cowley, and a daughter-in-law, Karen Cowley.

Death of Kreg Allen Albert
Fort LeBoeuf High class of 1981

Kreg Allen Albert "Charlie Brown", 48, of Meadville and Waterford, passed away January 28th in Meadville. He was born December 13, 1962 in Corry, the son of Ralph Albert and Beth Ward Albert. He attended Fort LeBoeuf High School and Farm Ranch Management in Independence, Kan. He is survived by one daughter Allison Albert and her fiance Gary Atkinson of Corry; one son, Jakeb Albert of Corry; one step-daughter Bobbie Joe Ohl of Corry; one step-son Joshua Ohl of Corry. Three grandchildren, Trysten Atkinson, Kolton Auer, and Payge Auer. Four sisters, Debra Bowersox and her husband Jack of Union City; Shelly Briggs and her husband Larry; Pamela McAraw and her husband Tom of Erie; Renea Campbell and her husband Brian of Mill Village; one brother, Ralph Albert of Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Death of Carol Stubbe
Teacher and wife of Dr. Earl Stubbe

Carol Lucille (Davis) Stubbe of Waterford, age 87, passed away at the St. Vincent Health Center on Friday, February 4, 2011. She was born in Erie on March 11, 1923, the daughter of the late Clyde M. and Alice Harris Davis. Carol was educated in the Erie Public Schools. She attended Wayne Elementary School, Wilson Junior High School, and Academy High School. After graduating from Academy in 1941, she enrolled at the Edinboro State College and graduated in 1944 with a Bachelor's degree in Art Education. She later returned to Edinboro to earn a Master's degree in Elementary Education. Carol taught Art in several west county schools and then Kindergarten in the Fort LeBoeuf School District, mostly in Mill Village, for 23 years. Carol married U.S. Army Air Corps Lieutenant Earl C. Stubbe on November 7, 1944 and they remained happily married until her death.

Carol is survived by her husband of over 66 years, Dr. Earl C. Stubbe; son, Gordon Stubbe, of Bodega, Calif.; daughter, Marilyn Stubbe, of Waterford; brother, Stanley Davis and his wife, Lauri, of Arnold, Maryland; and granddaughter, Tanya Stubbe, of California. Her parents preceded her as did two brothers, Clyde Russell Davis and Roger Lee Davis; and one sister, Phyllis (Mrs. Raymond) Hevner.

Carol was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Waterford, Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary educational sorority, the Fort LeBoeuf Historical Society and worked with the WYNGS released time for Christian Education program. Carol will be remembered as a loving wife, a dedicated teacher, a tireless co-worker and a true friend. She loved her family, her children, animals, music, and art. One of the parents wrote after her nine children had attended Carol's kindergarten class: "The children will remember you fondly; my husband and I will remember you with gratitude".

Death of Lloyd "Nink" Hovis

Lloyd S. "Nink" Hovis, age 84 of Waterford, died unexpectedly at his home on Saturday, February 19, 2011. A lifelong resident of Waterford, Lloyd was born April 20, 1926 the son of the late William and Emma Schlosser Hovis. He married Flora McGahen on June 20, 1949 and she survives. Lloyd was a veteran of World War II serving in the Rhineland Campaign on the front lines with the 69th Division of the United States Army. He later enlisted with the US Naval Reserves for two more years. Lloyd worked for General Electric as an electrician for 42 years, retiring in 1986 as Leader in the Building and Maintenance Department. His memberships included the First Presbyterian Church of Waterford where he had served on the Board of Trustees and the Stancliff Hose Company for over 20 years. He was a 32nd Degree Mason in the Erie Consistory, and a past member of the American Legion Post #285. Lloyd was preceded in death by an infant sister Emma Lou, a sister Helena Marsh, a brother Ernest Hovis, and two stillborn daughters, Cynthia Lou and Brenda Lee. Family members that survive include his wife of almost 62 years, Flora McGahen Hovis; two daughters, Dianne Cross of Arizona, and Linda Hull and her husband Milo of Waterford; and four grandchildren, Jeri and Dan Cross, and Brent and Eric Hull.

Death of Lynda Anne Albert Wittenburg
FLBHS Class of 1962

In loving memory of Lynda Anne Wittenburg, age 66, of Erie, who went to be with the Lord on Monday, February 28, 2011, at St. Vincent Health Center. She was born in Erie on November 4, 1944, the daughter of the late Gerald and Lina Siefert Albert. She was a graduate of Fort LeBoeuf High School. Lynda loved faith and fellowship, family, and friends. Her interests were birds, especially bluebirds, and talking to and hearing her grandson, Zane, on the telephone. She also enjoyed the company of her friends who helped her through her illness with comfort and companionship. She spent much of her time as a caregiver to her son, Fred, due to illness. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends who are looking forward to being with her again. She was employed at the Millcreek Bus Garage, Dunn Valley Cemetery, and as a caregiver. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frederick Wittenburg and her daughter, Nicole W. Lynda; is survived by her daughter, Jill Wittenburg, of Casper, Wyo.; one son, Fred Wittenburg of Erie; one brother, Douglas Albert of Idaho; one son-in-law, Muhammad Ammar Hussieno; and one grandson, Zane Ali Hussieno.

Death of Myra Lynn Gross Kress
FLBHS Class of 1980

Myra Lynn Gross Kress, 49, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at Hamot Medical Center in Erie with her husband Gary by her side. After a month battling an illness, she slipped away peacefully. She was born on September 27, 1961 to parents LeRoy and Luetta Morris Gross and started school in Iowa. The family moved to Waterford, Pa., in 1968, and settled in the countryside west of town. As a teenager Myra was active in her church youth group and choir and played the flute and piano. She was part of the middle school band and also belonged to the Fort LeBoeuf High School marching and concert bands. She loved people, and helping others, and was a "Candy Striper" volunteer at the Millcreek Community Hospital. Myra graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School in 1980, and attended Mercyhurst College. Later she was employed at the Erie Insurance Exchange. Myra married Gary J. Kress on September 22, 1984, and five years later their twin sons, Nicholas and Kristopher, were born. She became a devoted mother and homemaker for their family, pouring her life and love into her children, husband, and home. She was always on the side lines, cheering them on, in sports or any of their endeavors in life. Myra became involved as a volunteer parent at Clark Elementary while her sons attended there and later became a part time employee. She then became the full time administrative assistant working there until June 2010 at which time she moved to Harbor Creek High School as a full time administrative assistant. Everyone she worked with found her a joy to work with, pleasant to be around, dedicated, and a good problem solver. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed. She loved to golf with her husband and spend time boating and with family at "Kamp Kress" at Findlay Lake. She was a member of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Myron and Lillian Morris of Davenport, Iowa; paternal grandparents, David and Evelyn Gross of Waterford, Pa.; and her father-in-law; Richard T. Kress. In addition to her parents survivors include her husband of 27 years, Gary J. Kress; two sons Nicholas and Kristopher Kress; two brothers, Andrew L. (Jennifer) Gross and Jawn D. Gross, all of Millcreek; mother-in-law, Margaret Kress of Erie; two brothers-in-law, Richard (Cheryl) Kress, Daniel (Monica) Kress all of Erie; one sister-in-law, Karen (Paul) Bowers, of Erie and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

Death of William Fritz Rohde
FLBHS Teacher

William Fritz Rohde, age 82, resident of Edinboro, Pa. since 1972, died Saturday, February 26, 2011, at Sarah Reed Retirement Center in Erie, Pa. Born on March 21, 1928 in Erie, Pa. Bill was the son of the late Fritz and Helena Rohde. He was raised on the family farm in Wattsburg, Pa., was a graduate of Wattsburg High School, and was a Korean War veteran. He attended Columbia Bible College and then Edinboro Normal School where he received his teaching certificate. He began his long career in education as a science teacher at Union City High School, later becoming the school's guidance counselor. After pursuing two master's degrees in education, one from University of Buffalo and one from Edinboro State College, he received his Principal's license. He continued his educational work becoming the Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies at Edinboro University. During his tenure at the University, he was instrumental in developing and running the successful Elder Hostel program. His personal mission was to help others expand their knowledge and enrich their lives through learning. Bill was a member of the Edinboro Kiwanis Club which he founded and supported throughout his life, receiving its highest honor - the Hick son Medal. He was a member and Past Master of Eureka Masonic Lodge of Edinboro, a member of the Edinboro United Methodist Church, and the Commodore Perry Chorus. He was an avid golfer, fisherman, and a gardener with a love of roses. Above all else, he was a family man, a devoted husband, and a good friend. Bill is survived by his wife of 54 years, MaryLou Bideaux Rohde; and their two children - Eric Bideaux Rohde and his fiancee, Amy Seely and Lisa Bideaux Ganz and her husband, Kevin of Erie; four grandchildren - Ryan William Rohde, Rachel Lynn Rohde, Tyler Roman Mello, and Morgan Leigh Mello.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends! Life is too short and good friends are too few!
Tribute to a friend
By Bob Catlin

Those of you who have been regular, longtime readers of the Bisonalities Again Newsletter know that my number one hate throughout the years has been cold, winter weather. Well, I just moved that down to my number two hate. Losing my friends has replaced it as my number one hate.

Good and true friends are hard to come by and on January 12, I lost another, Charles David Cowley, Sr., “Chuck”!

It is sad to say that as we grow older losing friends becomes part of our lives. I know it is better for me than the alternative, but it still stinks and hurts.

The last few years I have discovered that I have more doctors' telephone numbers listed in my cell phone than I do friends and today I have even one less. Today, I finally removed Herb Walden's telephone number. I won't remove Chuck's number from my cell phone because I will stay in touch with his widow, Alice, who is also a good friend.

Chuck and I go back nearly 65 years. I first met him when I was in third grade and my family moved to the small farm (O'Brien Turkey Farm) on the corner of Trask and Greenlee Roads in the spring of 1946. (Lorraine Faulhaber Fox lives there now.) For the first two weeks of October of that school year I attended Bagdad School, where I met Chuck and his brother Bill for the first time.

I started the school year at Strong School and then attended Bagdad when we moved to the farm. Then the school board, in their infinite wisdom, decided I should be going to the Depot School. Finally, after two weeks there, I was transferred back to Strong School.

The next time I met Chuck was when they closed Bagdad and transferred the students to Strong. I am sorry to say I do not remember exactly what year that was.

From that point on we became close friends.

We hunted raccoons together. Running through the fields and woods after a braying hound that was chasing down and treeing the animal. We killed a lot of raccoons and wasted a LOT of .22 bullets. Chuck, on one of our hunting trips, found a baby raccoon. He took it home and made a pet out of it. He had it for a couple years until it matured and got mean. He then turned it loose.

We double dated together on many occasions. We even learned to square dance together at Nancy Ostryniec's house, the summer before our senior year, with our then girl friends.

We spent a lot of time, during the summers, just enjoying each others company and life in general.

At the final assembly for the seniors in high school, Chuck, Clinton Daley, and I dressed up (skirts, wigs, and all) as the McGuire Sisters and did a pantomime to one of their songs. (I bet Chuck never told his family about that.)

Dr. Stubbe told a story at our 50th class reunion dinner of his first year as principal at Fort LeBoeuf High School. He said he was driving down a country road near the school and two guys jumped off a bank, out of a corn field, in front of his car. He stopped and put them in the car and took them back to school. Those two guys were Chuck and Duz Weilacher, skipping school on a beautiful fall day. I don't remember why Leslie and I weren't with them that day. We did that occasionally. {grin}

Our school bus was driven by “Fritz” Bliley. We would get on the bus at our regular stops and half way to the school we would ask Fritz to let us off and away we would go. We would be back at that same spot that night when the bus came back through and he would pick us up. I guess Fritz remembered when he was a kid who didn't necessarily love going to school on a beautiful fall or spring day because he never questioned our actions.

After graduation from high school in 1956 my family moved to Erie and I went into the Army, but we still kept in touch.

In 1960, after getting out of the Army, I married the girl next door, Nancy Karol Tregaskis. Chuck was a member of our wedding party.

In 1969, our only daughter, Jacqueline Renee, was born. Nancy and I chose Chuck and his ex-wife Ruth Ann as her God parents.

Over the years since, we have kept in touch and visited each other often. Just this past August, Chuck and Alice came down to help Nancy and me celebrate our 50th Anniversary. They spent several days with us. We had a great time just sitting around reliving old memories and visiting the national monuments in Washington, DC. We also took an all day trip to the Luray Caverns in Virginia.

Then the call from Alice came early on the 25th of December. Chuck had a heart attack at 1:00 a.m. and had been rushed to the Hamot Medical Center, now UPMC Hamot.

The next day Alice called and said on Monday Chuck would be having bypass surgery. She said when they did the cardiac catheterization they found one artery 100 percent blocked and two almost 95 percent blocked.

I couldn't leave for Erie on Monday, December 27, because I had a doctor's appointment with my own cardiologist. Tuesday morning I got up bright and early and made the eight hour drive to Erie. During the next week I went to the hospital 2-3 times a day and prayed with Alice and their families that Chuck would come out of the coma he had been in since the by-pass surgery.

Each day brought a more optimistic prognosis from the doctor and the ICU staff assuring Alice that Chuck would pull through. It was just a matter of time they said.

On Monday, January 3, I had to return back to Southern Maryland. My youngest son, Timothy, was scheduled to have his right knee cap replaced on January 5. I would be home for that surgery.

After returning home I kept in touch with Alice. She gave me daily reports on Chuck's progress, or lack thereof.

On Monday, January 10 when she called she reported that they were going to put a pacemaker in his chest and his kidneys were not doing their job so he was getting dialysis. As much as I prayed for a full recovery, when I heard that news from Alice I was apprehensive about his recovery, for the first time.

I was awakened by the ringing of the telephone early Wednesday morning, January 12, I looked at the caller ID and saw “Charles Cowley” displayed. I was half expecting the news that he had passed, but I was still shocked.

I will say it again, I hate losing another friend . . . even more than I hate winter.

I am going to miss Chuck in body, but will have his memory with me forever!

At Chuck's two visitations at Van Matre's Family Funeral Home nearly 400 people came and paid their respects. This showed me that Chuck was not only my friend, but a friend to a lot of people, and respected in his community.

At the funeral service Chuck's step son, Sammy Stull, read a poem that he wrote in remembrance, a tribute to one of the really good guys.

May your voice echo

Heaven now holds those
Who were taken too soon
Now our darker days and darker night
Let your spirit light up that beautiful moon

May your voice Echo
In the wind when it blows
Why God needed you now
Nobody seems to know

Your love and legacy
Will be held close to our hearts
Loving thoughts and endearing memories
Will never let us drift apart

We will need you to strengthen us
From time to time
You hold a special place in our hearts
You will always have mine

Never to be forgotten
And always to be loved
I pray that God takes care of you now
Up above us with love

In Remembrance of Charles Cowley Sr.
Written by Samuel J. Stull
A Celebration of Marriage
By Ruth Ann Allen Leech
FLBHS Class of 1957

Did you notice, perhaps even wonder about the increased traffic from five states, all headed south to Viera, Florida the first week of January?
Here is why!

Seems Joe and I were about to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary! Rumor had it that the champagne would be flowing and the food was free. Our families, at least most of them, arrived on the scene. You just might have recognized former Waterfordites in the list of attendees.

Of course our three children made the trip with their families; that would be son Joe with wife Gayle, their son Chris with finance Nicole, all from AZ; daughter Cheryl, her husband Bob and their four children, Brittany, Tiffany, Jon, and Joshua, from Pittsburgh, PA; and daughter Stacey and her husband Enro from south Florida.

Attending from Evans, GA was Dorothy Barton, my sister, and her husband Jim. Jim is the music director at a Lutheran Church in Evans. For the last year they have been adjusting to being away from their six daughters, all of whom live in or near Cincinnati, Ohio. We were fortunate to have two of the girls make the trip from Ohio, oldest daughter Lisa and younger sister Kari with her daughter 2 1/2 year old Savannah.

Joe's younger brother John and his wife Barbara made the short trip from Winter Garden, Florida.

Mike Casey and his daughter Megan drove in from Gulf Port, MS. Mike is the oldest son of my sister Sharon, now deceased.

Many friends and neighbors also attended the bash.

Some of the hi-lights of the seven day celebration were the formal dinner where many stories and tributes were shared, a photo shoot to commemorate the occasion, a tour of The Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida, where the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany can be enjoyed, and, of course, the sunshine and warmer temps were appreciated by those from up north.

Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.
Lake LeBoeuf
Part I of II
By Anita Breitweiser Palmer
FLBHS Class of 1962

In 1947 my Mother and Father bought the two cottages across the bridge at the lake. The small one, still standing, was named the “Happy Hour.” It was just newly built. The owners finished and furnished it in 1947. The large four bedroom older one was named the “Sunrise.”

They were bought from people by the name of Deutsch who ran the American Legion in town. (Years later my father tore down the Sunrise and built showers and restrooms for the camping area he put in the year before.)

The grounds were kept clean and neat, freshly painted and mowed, flowers were planted. It was a very pretty area.

The boat and concession business, and the cottage we always referred to as “the shack.” Dad bought it the next year in 1948, (I was 4 years old). It was bought from an elderly couple that lived in town, Chet and Maude Comer. We leased the care of the park and concession rights from the borough for $1.00 a year.

The Comer's stayed the first year in the shack to show Mom and Dad how the business was run.

Since there were no borough police, Mayor Burdick swore my Father in as the police officer for the park. He was given a badge and gun and permission to use it, if need be (I still have the gun).

Mom pretty much ran the business; she wasn't much of a housekeeper or cook, but she had a real business sense. She hired the people that worked for us and did the ordering of the items we sold; fishing equipment, refreshments, and all kinds of bait (black suckers, shiners, red worms, and crawlers). For a few years we had the crawlers flown in from Canada. We also owned and rented all of the cottages but the four that were owned by people from Pittsburgh. (We had nine all together.)

Mrs. Powell on East 2nd Street did the laundry. Mom had a mangle and pressed all the sheets for the cottages. Different woman were hired over the years to clean the cottages. She hired boys from town to do the mowing through out the summers. I suppose some of you older “boys” out there remember mowing at the lake. Dad would hire a man to help him haul down, paint, and repair boats and canoes in the spring. Every fall we would then haul them back to Pete Pett's barn on West First Street where we stored them through the winter.

During the winter of the first full year that we had the lake, my Father built seven row boats out of plywood on the back porch of our 1st Street house (at that time the porch was open.) They were nice little boats (three seaters). He also made a bunch of anchors from gallon paint cans filled with cement.

Dad and his brother one spring built the walking bridge, a white fence that surrounded the park, and picnic tables. His plan was to build a restaurant on the right back side of the old concession stand. He poured cement footers and twelve-four foot high cement pillars in the fall of 1958/59, but by the next spring they were every which way because of the high water and sand. So, the plans for the restaurant were scratched and he used the pillars for the base of the diving dock. He then made and filled it with gravel from the gravel pit that was at the end of West First or Second Street (don't remember which one now).

What I remember most about this project was many years ago, back in the late 1700's and early 1800's Waterford's first burial ground was located in this area. Some of the unbroken headstones were removed and taken to the Third Street cemetery by the DAR, where they are today. I heard tell they also found Indians buried there, too. Any way, one time we were shoveling gravel into the truck and dad happened to look up on the bank and there was a human skull sitting there that someone had dug up. Being the rather off beat kid I was at that time, I wanted it but dad said no!

With the pit so close to the water, turtles would lay eggs there so when we took the gravel to fill the diving dock there were lots of tiny turtles crawling out of the dirt. I gathered up some to keep for a while. Being a lake kid I loved turtles.

Dad also built the boat dock which consisted of four wooden sections that held four boats on each side with lights overhead and used barrels as floats.

For a few years we had visitors at the end of that dock. When it grew dark and the dock lights were turned on three carp would come to the top and swim around. We would feed them bread and boiled potatoes. The three returned every summer for maybe 2/3 years. Speaking of feeding critters, we kids would chew bubble gum until it was soft, hold it up in the air and bats would swoop down and take it from our fingers. They apparently liked the smell of the bubble gum.

For many years Dad had pontoons to swim to. They were Army surplus from WWII. They were used to make bridges during the war. They were huge, black, and made with very thick rubber, similar to car tire material. They had eight inflatable sections. All but one corner was inflated so you could climb up on it. Sometimes it would get so hot we would have to splash water up on it to cool it down. There were times it was so full of kids there wasn't any room left. It was a lot of fun to soap it up and slide off it into the water.

It was so neat, everyone loved it. When the time came that he could no longer get the pontoons, Dad built a wood float with a high diving board. The low diving board was off the gravel diving dock.

I learned to swim in the creek when I was four or five. At that time the smaller kid's swam there because the bottom was real sandy and it was so shallow the water was usually just above our waists. The draw back to swimming there was all the leaches. (Put a little salt on them and they would curl up and drop off.)

I really don't remember not knowing how to swim. As I grew older, about ten or eleven, Dad and I would swim out to the island together. Mom would be mad at him for doing this. She was afraid one or both of us would drown. It was a yearly thing for us though. Sometimes we swam across the lake and back. That made her really furious!

I would go through 2-3 swim suits each summer because that's about all I wore, unless I went up town, which was very rare. Why go up town when most of the kids were down at the Lake?

In all the years we were at the lake with no paid life guard, there were only three drownings that I remember. I pulled a few near drownings out and so did Dad. I have had people come up to me years later and say, “You saved me from drowning.” Some I remembered, some I didn't.

When I was 12/13 I took the Junior and Senior life saving courses. I got my Life Guard badge and certificate. I also took Red Cross courses to teach swimming. I didn't want to teach but Mom made me take it anyway.

The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
See you all next issue!
Have a great spring!

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