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Blanche (Minerd) McCabe
(1889-1966)

 

 

Blanche McCabe

Blanche (Minerd) McCabe was born on June 24, 1889 in Fayette County, PA, the daughter of James C. and Suvina (Yauger) Minerd Sr. One of her sons went on to play a pioneering role in the development of our nation's space exploration program.

Blanche married Homer Oswald McCabe (1883-1956), son of John P. and Elizabeth (Ruthford) McCabe. He was of medium height, and slender build, and had blue eyes and brown hair. He is seen here in a comic pose as a cowboy.

 

Homer in a playful pose

They had six children -- Albert Philip McCabe, Homer L. McCabe, Donald F. McCabe, Laura Belle Atkinson, Jennifer Margaret Shaffer and Mary Lou Zack. 

When Homer was required to register for the military draft during World War I, he declared that he was employed as a steamfitter for the Robinson Walters Company of 30 Morgantown Street, and that Blanche was his next of kin.

Homer worked as a "plumber and steamfitter and [was] employed in Uniontown for ... fifty-four years," said the Uniontown Morning Herald. He was a member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 174.

The McCabes resided at House No. 28 in Little Brownfield for many years and later at 26 West Place in Uniontown. They enjoyed attending family gatherings and social events. Among these were several in which the family's name was printed, including in July 1927 when they went to a 57th birthday party for Mrs. J.W. Conn of Fairchance; in July 1934 when they went to a birthday party for Blanche's sister Jennie Darby; and in March 1948 when they took part in a surprise birthday party for Blanche's sister Mary Ellen Rodeheaver in Keisterville. In May 1939, they drove to Washington DC for a 10-day vacation to visit their son Albert, who was working there.

Sadly, they endured the deaths of adult daughters Laura Belle Atkinson (at age 29, in 1943) and Mary Lou Zack.

Homer was stricken with a heart attack and died within 15 minutes at the age of 73 on Nov. 12, 1956. His remains were placed into eternal repose in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Pennsville, north of Connellsville, PA.

 

Blanche and son Albert McCabe

Blanche moved to 14 West Craig Street in Uniontown, and died on May 27, 1966. At the time, she had 18 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. She rests for eternity beside her husband.

Son Albert, seen here with his mother, was an engineer who, during World War II, worked with early warning radar systems at the Naval Research Laboratory. After the war, Albert lived in California, where he specialized in the emerging field of guidance and control of spacecraft and missiles. He is said to have invented a missile error scorer, now known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). He also was a top engineer for NASA's Apollo spacecraft program, and received a letter of commendation signed by all the astronauts. Said his daughter, "He was a physicist and a mathematician. He had a great mind." There are several memoirs about him on Minerd.com authored by his daughter Aimee McCabe-Walker and grandson Erin S. Cleary.

 

Uniontown obituary

For more information, visit Aimee's excellent website. She has graciously served as a technical advisor in the development of Minerd.com, and hosted our 1998 and 1999 Minerd-Miner-Minor Reunion webpages. 

~ Daughter Laura Belle (McCabe) Atkinson ~

Daughter Laura Belle McCabe (1914-1943) was born on May 25, 1914 in Connellsville, Fayette County.

She wed Robert Atkinson. They had two children -- Robert Atkinson and Arlene Atkinson. The Atkinsons were members of Christ's Methodist Church of Uniontown. 

During World War II, Robert served in the U.S. Army with training in Tennessee. At the time, Laura Belle lived at R.D. 2, Box 280E in Uniontown, and may have worked as a laborer to support the war effort.

Heartache rocked this family on Aug. 24, 1943 when Laura Belle died in McKeesport Hospital near Pittsburgh. She was only age 29. A physician wrote that the cause of death was "acute alcoholic - gastro enteritis."

Funeral services were held in her parents' home in Little Brownfield, followed by burial in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Connellsville. Funeral arrangements were handled by the Edward E. Minerd Funeral Home of Uniontown.

 

Homer L. McCabe

~ Son Homer L. McCabe ~

Son Homer Lloyd McCabe served with the US Army in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. 

After the war, he resided in Hopwood, Fayette County. 

He was married and had at least two sons, Homer Lloyd McCabe Jr. and Jeffrey McCabe.

 

Margaret Shaffer

~ Daughter Jennifer "Margaret" (McCabe) Shafer ~

Daughter Jennifer "Margaret" McCabe married David A. Shaffer Sr.

They had four known children -- David A. Shaffer Jr., Bonnie L. Wilson, Jack P. Shaffer Sr. and Patricia E. Osborne. 

The Shafers lived in Uniontown circa 1938-1965.

Son Jack P. Shaffer Sr. (1942-2008) resided in Hopwood, and was the owner of Creative Touch Florist and the Village Upholstery Shoppe in Hopwood. In June 1960, he was pictured in the Uniontown Morning Herald for having been home on a furlough from the Army, where he was assigned for basic training at Fort Knox. Married with five children, he was a member of the Central Christian Church, AMVETS Post 103, and the Wharton Hunting and Fishing Club.

Son David A. Shaffer, Jr. (1938-2016) was born on Jan. 3, 1938 in Uniontown. He died in Uniontown at the age of 78 on May 16, 2016 in the Uniontown Hospital.

 

Mary Lou Zack

~ Daughter Mary Lou (McCabe) Zack ~

Daughter Mary Lou McCabe( ? -1965) married Charles Zack Jr., son of Charles A. Zack of Oakland Avenue in Uniontown. 

They had five children -- William Earl Zack, Tony Ray Zack, Robert Charles Zack, Albert Philip Zack and Gina Maria Zack. 

During the Vietnam War, Charles was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone with the U.S. Armed Forces.

Mary Lou became ill in 1962 and underwent surgery in Uniontown Hospital, and recovered. She and the children traveled to Panama in April 1963 to visit Charles, and they made the decision to remain there to live.

Tragically, Mary Lou died while in their home in Panama on May 18, 1965. She was only 35 years old. Her remains were returned to Uniontown for burial. 

Charles' fate is not yet known.

 

The Zacks

 

Read a touching memoir by granddaughter Aimee McCabe-Walker

Copyright 2001-2002, 2008, 2013 Mark A. Miner