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Charles H. Rose


Normalville Cemetery

Charles H. Rose was born on April 11, 1876 (or in February 1878) at Normalville, Fayette County, PA, the son of Andrew Jackson and Susanna (Minerd) Rose Sr. Sources differ on his birthdate.

As an adult, Charley was tall and slender, with grey eyes. 

On Christmas Day 1897, at the age of 21, Charley married 16-year-old Alcestia Pearl Ritenour (1881-1948), daughter of "Senator" Joseph G. Ritenour, who was "a well known auctioneer of the Indian Creek Valley," said a local newspaper. The ceremony was held at the bride's home near Normalville, officiated by justice of the peace A.G.C. Sherbondy.

The Roses had 12 children -- Percy Rose, Milford Rose, Chester Rose, Virgil Melvin Rose, Colona Porterfield, Viola Ellen Donaldson, Elvarene Johnson, Zola Swope, Nettie Bell Durstine, Charles J. Rose, Zella Durstine and Vera Elander Rose.

Sadly, the Roses lost five of their children at ages far too young.  Son Chester died of diphtheria at age four on March 10, 1911. Virgil passed away at age 22 months, on Jan. 28, 1921, of peritonitis and intestinal obstruction. Vera Elander died at only four days of age, as a "blue baby" on April 17, 1924, after her mother's protracted labor. Adding to the heartache, son Milford passed away at age 28, and daughter Colona died at age 31.


One of Charles' portraits 
under his imprint
- enlarge

Charley was active in the community, and ran for Judge of Elections in Springfield Township in 1901. He also helped organize a basket picnic in 1897 which featured bands from Saltlick and Normalville. The Connellsville Courier said "Much credit is due to the earnest efforts" that he and others played in the effort. 

At one point in time, likely in the 1890s or early 1900s, Charley either purchased or started his own photography studio in Normalville. Seen here is the only evidence of this short-lived entrepreneurial business venture -- a portrait of a baby, seated in a chair. The image is mounted on heavy cardboard, with Charley's name stamped on the front at the bottom. This is a very rare imprint. (An enlarged version was our "Photo of the Month" in November 2006.)

A year after marriage, in February 1900, Charley and Alcestia moved to Broad Ford, near Connellsville, likely to obtain employment as a laborer at the booming coke ovens of the H.C. Frick Coke Co. The Roses did not stay long, and by May had moved back home and purchased a farm from Daniel Porterfield.

A year later, in 1901, Charley had a telephone installed in his home, one of only 53 local residents to subscribe to the Klondike Telephone Company. The entrepreneurial company had completed a line to near Indian Head, and had further growth plans.


Ruins of old Fayette Furnace 
near Rogers Mill

In 1906, the Roses were living in Vanderbilt, Fayette County, but by 1913 had moved again to Rogers Mills, Fayette County. There, they were members of the Rogers Mills Community Church. They lived not far from the ruins of the old Fayette Furnace, seen here. The furnace was built in 1825 by Joseph and George Rogers to produce pig iron, and ceased operations after 12 years, in 1837. The structure was still in "an excellent state of preservation" in about 1910, when this colorized photo was taken, and still stands today. 

When the federal census was taken of Fayette County in 1910, Charles was employed as a "miner" in a "coal bank." He and Alcestia had been married for 13 years, and had six children.

Charley registered for the military draft during World War I. He told the registration agent that he was a coal miner and operator, working on his own behalf, and that Alcestia was his nearest relative.

Interested in family ties, Charley attended the second annual McDowell-Miner-Ritenour reunion in 1929, held at Hillcrest Park near Connellsville. His cousins Grant, William and John R. Miner were organizers of the event.


Daily Courier, 1951

Sadly, at age 67, Alcestia passed away on June 4, 1948. 

Charley outlived her by three years.

In 1951, said the Courier, Charley and a son in law and daughter "were en route to Niagara Falls, N.Y., for a vacation at the time the elder man was stricken … suffering a cerebral hemorrhage…"  He was rushed to Maple Avenue Hospital in Dubois, PA, where he died on July 2, 1951. His remains were returned to Normalville for burial beside his wife at Normalville Cemetery.


~ Son Percy Rose ~

Son Percy Rose (1898-1938) was born on Feb. 11, 1898 near Normalville. As an adult, he was of medium height and stout build, with blue eyes and brown hair.

He married Edith Reich (1900-1992), daughter of August Reich of Springfield Pike, and lived in Normalville. They were members of the Normalville United Brethren Church.

They had two children -- Gladys "Elva" Ritenour and LaVerne Fabian. 

Percy was a coal miner near Normalville circa 1918-1920, employed by the Bell & Rose Coal Company. In September 1918, he registered for the military draft during World War I, and claimed his father as his next of kin.

Circa 1927, Percy was employed as a coal truck driver. That year, on Dec. 1, 1927, he and a brother were riding together when the truck went out of control, striking a pole. Percy's knee was injured slightly, but the brother (not yet identified) was "thrown against the windshield" and cut by the broken glass, reported the Connellsville Daily Courier


Trouble arose in the summer of 1930 when Percy, his brother Charles and their father were accused of stealing copper wire and steel rails in Springfield Township. A grand jury found that they should stand trial, and their names were published in a related article in the Uniontown Morning Herald.

In the summer of 1937, he took out a classified advertisement in the Courier, offering to trade an electric washing machine for a gasoline-powered one.

Tragically, Percy contracted an incurable case of scarlet fever in April 1938. He declined quickly and, at the age of 39, died on April 13, 1938, at home. The Uniontown Morning Herald said he "was widely known through Springfield township... A private funeral service was held" in the Normalville Cemetery.

Afterward, Edith published a "card of thanks" in the Courier, saying "We wish to take this means of thanking our many friends and neighbors for the kindness and sympathy extended us during our recent sad bereavement, the sudden death of our beloved husband and father, Percy Rose. Especially do we wish to thank the minister, the singers, the pallbearers, those who sent flowers, those who so kindly furnished cars and all who assisted us in any way."

Edith later remarried to Samuel Basinger ( ? -1968) and resided in Dunbar, Fayette County in her later years. She was employed at Connellsville State General Hospital, and a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses of Connellsville. 

She died at age 92 on Dec. 10, 1992, and left behind 16 grandchildren and 16 Grandchildren. 

Daughter Laverne Rose (1924-1980) was born on Feb. 28, 1924, and was just 14 when her father died. At the age of 20, she married Frank J. Fabian ( ? - ? ) on March 15, 1944 in Uniontown. The Fabians had two sons, Frank R. Fabian and David Fabian. Sadly, Laverne died in 1980 at the age of 56. Frank married again, to Louise (Taxacher) Cable (1926-2015), daughter of Edward H. and Mary (Baker) Taxacher of Connellsville. Louise was employed at Anchor Hocking Corporation in South Connellsville and for more than two decades at the Wonder Bar Restaurant. Frank's fate is not yet known. Louise died at the age of 88, on Feb. 22, 2015, at South Connellsville Personal Care Home. Burial was in Green Ridge Memorial Park, with an obituary printed in the Daily Courier.

  • Grandson David Fabian (1948-1971) was born on May 6, 1948. He made tragic news on Jan. 1, 1971 when he drowned at age 22 during "a three-year New Year's ritual swim of the Youghiogheny River" near Connellsville, said the Courier.
  • Grandson Frank R. Fabian married Gladys J. Wilson in about 1967. Circa 2015, they resided in Pennsville.

Daughter Gladys "Elva" Rose (1928-2017) was born on Jan. 19, 1928 in Normalville. She wed James R. Ritenour (1927-1997), and they were married for 52 years. "He was employed by the Connellsville Municipal Water Authority for 17 years as an operator," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. "He also worked for various coal mines throughout the area for several years. He was a World War II U.S. Army veteran." The couple produced eight children -- Gary Franklin Ritenour, Sylvia E. Burkett, Karen Joy Wilson, Geraldine Ritenour, Gloria Richter, Harry Robert Ritenour, James A. Ritenour and Wayne Ritenour. Sadly, their daughter Geraldine died in infancy). James passed away at age 69 on Valentine's Day 1997, and was buried in the Normalville Cemetery. At the time of James' death, he and Elva had produced 17 grandchildren and 12 grandchildren. Elva survived her husband by more than two decades. She was a member of the Ace Bowling League and attended Pechin Chapel in Dunbar, Fayette County, where she spent her final years. She passed into eternal peace at the age of 89 on Dec. 11, 2017, while surrounded by her family at home. Following funeral services led by distant cousin Rev. Lee Maley (of the family of Martha Ellen [Mayle]) Mayle), her remains were lowered into repose in Normalville Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Daily Courier.

  • Grandson Gary Franklin Ritenour (1949-2016) was born on Nov. 7, 1949 in Connellsville. Following high school graduation in 1968, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, achieving the rank of lance corporal. He was wounded in action and received the Purple Heart. In about 1971, when he would have been 22 years of age, he married Ruth "Jane" Wiltrout ( ? - ? ). They had three children -- Jane Omatick, Gary Ritenour and Tiffany Clark. Gary was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Connellsville Christian Missionary & Alliance Church. "He was an avid sports fan and loved watching the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. They made their home in South Connellsville. Sadly, while undergoing medical treatment at the V.A. hospital in Pittsburgh, Gary died in 2016 at the age of 66. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Sylvia E. Ritenour wed Dennis R. Burkett in about 1971. Their residence in 2016 was in St. Marys, PA.
  • Granddaughter Karen Joy Ritenour married Albert Lee Wilson in about 1974. Their home in 2016 as in Dunbar.
  • Granddaughter Geraldine Ritenour ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 2016.
  • Granddaughter Gloria Ritenour married Anthony "Tony" Richter. In 2016, they lived in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Harry Robert "Bob" Ritenour was married twice -- to Mary J. Echard and to Lynne White. Circa 2016, he and Lynne made their home in Dunbar, Fayette County.
  • Grandson James A. Ritenour may have married Carol (?) and Michele (?). He and Michele resided in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Wayne Ritenour wed Melissa Bower. They live in Dunbar.


~ Son Milford Rose ~

Son Milford Rose (1900-1928) was born in 1900. 

He married Inez Lowery ( ? - ? ), the ward of the family of Alonzo and Carrie (Lowry) Ritenour of Indian Head, Fayette County. The foster father opposed the marriage. In July 1926, he and Milford made headlines in the Daily Courier when they were arrested after aiming firearms on each other during a heated dispute at the Rose residence, and after Ritenour claimed Milford had shot him through the shirt.

Milford and Inez went on to have two children -- Milford Rose Jr. and Verda Elender Kent. 

Milford was a coal miner and timber cutter, residing in Rogers Mill, Fayette County.

Tragically, Milford died at age 28 on Aug. 13, 1928, "of typhoid fever, believed to have been contracted by drinking water from a spring," said the Daily Courier. "He was taken ill three weeks ago." His funeral was well attended -- said the Courier, "Six girls, who are at the Pittsburg First Presbyterian Church camp, near the Rose home, sang at the house. One of the girls accompanied them on the flute. Members of the church choir rendered selections" at the United Brethren Church of Normalville. Pallbearers were Russell Porterfield, Martin Porterfield, Alvin Johnson, Earl Ritenour, Robert Hensel and Frank Basinger. 

Inez later married to (?) Grant. She may have had one more daughter (or step-daughter), Kathleen Fogle.


H.J. Heinz Co. plant in Pittsburgh

In 1939, daughter Verda became a child bride at age 13 when she married James Kent, age 25. The nuptials, with the blessing of her mother, generated controversy and newspaper stories. Fayette County authorities investigated and "found the couple living in a one-room shack at Clinton near Connellsville," said the Courier

In 1945, Inez made her home in Normalville. By 1973, she moved to Lodi, OH. 

Daughter Verda Rose resided in 1947 in a boarding house on Pittsburgh's North Side, where James worked at H.J. Heinz Co. Tragically, the Kents again made headlines in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when James died on July 17, 1947 of a self-inflicted shooting after threatening his wife. His remains were returned to Fayette County for burial in Normalville Cemetery.


~ Daughter Colona (Rose) Porterfield ~

Daughter Colona May Rose (1902-1933) was born on June 1, 1902 near Normalville.

She wed Roy Porterfield (1904-1975). 

They resided near Rogers Mill and had five children -- Alice "Allie" Mae Ritenour, Marshall Porterfield, Roy Sturgis Porterfield, Elera Johnson and Melvin V. Porterfield. 


Connellsville Courier, 1933

Tragically, Colona suffered from chronic heart disease and came down with a deadly case of bronchial pneumonia in the summer of 1933. Unable to rally, she succumbed on Aug. 6, 1933 at Connellsville State Hospital at the age of 31. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery.

Roy later married again to Leona E. Baxter (1913-2001) and had several more children. They were members of the Otterbein United Methodist Church of Connellsville. 

They suffered also endured the specter of deaths with the passing of sons Marshall in 1966 and Sturgis (a self-employed lumberman residing in Carmichaels, Greene County) in 1967. 

Roy passed away at age 71 on Aug. 21, 1975, with burial in the Normalville Cemetery. At the time of his passing, he and his wives had offspring including 39 grandchildren and 29 Grandchildren. Leona died at age 87 on Feb. 21, 2001, and is buried in Normalville Cemetery.

Daughter Alice "Allie" Mae Porterfield (1921-1991) was born on Feb. 22, 1921. She married James Russell Ritenour (1904-1975). They had 16 children, including Hazel May Geary, Dorothy Louise Ament, Patsy Arlene Shawley, Mary Ellen Thomas, Thomas Richard Ritenour, William Glenn Ritenour, James Lee Ritenour, Bonnie Lou Riley, Joseph Michael Ritenour, Debra Sue Ritenour, Richard Dean Ritenour, Sally Jo Evans, Arlene Luketich, Marlene Fereza, Dennis Ritenour and Danny Ritenour. Allie died on Aug. 27, 1991 with burial in Normalville Cemetery. James outlived her by almost seven years. His passing occurred on Aug. 18, 1998.

  • Granddaughter Hazel May Ritenour (1939-1991) was born on June 28, 1939. She married Lloyd Eugene Geary and had six children -- Leah Jane Pritts, Vickie Jo Geary, Douglas Eugene Geary, Jody Lynn Geary, Rodney Lee Geary and Heather Sue Geary. Sadly, Hazel died on Aug. 4, 1991 -- just 23 days before her mother passed away. Hazel was buried in Green Ridge Memorial Park near Connellsville.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy Louise Ritenour married Robert Merle Ament. Their six children were Peggy Sue Shawley, Robert Merle Ament Jr., Donald Ray Ament, Judy Louise Pospisil, Beth Ann Umbaugh and Jason Russell Ament.
  • Granddaughter Patsy Arlene Ritenour married Richard Dale Shawley. Their three children were Richard Lain Shawley, Kelly Sue Shawley and Stephen Ray Shawley.
  • Granddaughter Mary Ellen Ritenour married John Thomas. They had three children -- Gregory John Thomas, Amy Lynn Farkosh and Robin Lee Thomas.
  • Grandson Thomas Richard Ritenour marred Peggy Ann Wilson. Their only known offspring was son Thomas Henry Ritenour.
  • Grandson William Glenn Ritenour married Margaret Ann Ross. Their three children were: William Paul Ritenour, Karie Ann Shearer and Dana Marie Ritenour.
  • Grandson James Lee Ritenour married Mary Margaret Kearns. Their two children were Lisa Lynn Ritenour and Jimmy Lee Ritenour.
  • Granddaughter Bonnie Lou Ritenour married William Riley. They had four children: Shannon Lou Riley, Karli Mae Riley, Windy Riley and Jamie Lynn Riley.
  • Grandson Joseph Michael Ritenour married Jacqueline McAvoy and had two sons, Joseph Ritenour and Jared Ritenour.
  • Granddaughter Debra Sue Ritenour married Thomas Edward Jenkins. Their daughter is Tammy Sue Jenkins.
  • Grandson Richard Dean Ritenour married Rosemary Smalley. They had three children: Rick Ritenour, Kristen Ritenour and Ryan Ritenour.
  • Granddaughter Sally Jo Ritenour wed George Jacob Evans. Their children are George Jacob Evans Jr. and Samantha Jo Evans.
  • Granddaughter Arlene Ritenour married George Luketich. They had four children:  Shawn Anthony Luketich, Brian Lee Luketich, Michael Luketich and Melissa Lynn Luketich.
  • Granddaughter Marlene Ritenour wed Frank Fereza. Their children were Michelle Fereza, Frank Fereza and Eric Fereza.
  • Grandson Dennis Ritenour
  • Grandson Danny Ritenour.

Son Roy Sturgis Porterfield (1923?-1967) was born in about 1923. He married Jessie Howard (1923- ? ) on Sept. 27, 1944, in Connellsville. they had four children: Roy Sturgis Porterfield Jr., Ronnie L. Porterfield, John E. Porterfield and Darla Jean Porterfield. Tragically, Roy died at the age of 44 on March 15, 1967. He was laid to rest in Laurel Point Cemetery in Carmichaels, Greene County, PA.

Maple Grove Park swimming pool, a landmark in Champion, PA

Son Melvin V. Porterfield (1925-2009) married Eva Jean Nicholson ( ? - ? ). They made their home in Champion, Fayette County, and had seven children -- Richard Porterfield, Judy Mansberry, Penny Zylka, Robin Porterfield, Randy Porterfield, Roger Porterfield and Jill Wagner. Said the Somerset Daily American, Melvin was "employed as a caretaker at the Gale Crest Farm in Somerset County." Melvin died at the age of 84 on Nov. 2, 2009, with burial in Normalville Cemetery. At the time he and Eva Jean had produced 17 grandchildren, one step grandson, 14 Grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren.

Daughter Elera Della "Ellery" Porterfield (1928-2015) was born on May 6, 1928 in Normalville. In about 1945, when she was 17 years of age, she married 19-year-old Lorenzo "Renzie" Johnson (1926-2003), son of  Alvin R. and Effie (Schmuck) Johnson of Mill Run. They lived near Connellsville. At the age of 19 in November 1945, Lorenzo was employed by the Beacon Fuel Company. While at work, a piece of timber fell on him, injuring his left foot, right elbow and right ear. Elera was hurt in October 1956, at age 28, when her automobile was involved in an accident in Indian Head, Fayette County. They produced one son, Earl Johnson. Elera worked as a seamstress over the years at Connellsville Sportswear, a position from which she eventually retired. Lorenzo was employed for two decades as a truck driver for Mastowski-Fullem Lumber Co. Reported the Connellsville Daily  Courier, "He enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He loved to attend auctions and flea markets with his wife." He also was a member of the Eagles lodge. Sadly, Lorenzo died on Nov. 26, 2003, terminating their marriage of 58 years. Elera survived him by a dozen years. She joined him in eternity on Oct. 14, 2015. Her remains were placed into repose in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Grandson Earl Brooks Johnson married Karen and dwelled in Connellsville in 2015.Their two daughters were Tina Savage and Paula Cline. 


~ Daughter Elvarene (Rose) Johnson ~

Daughter Elvarene Rose (1905-1956) was born on May 25, 1905 in Normalville.

She married Gilbert Van Johnson (Feb. 9, 1909-1959) on Oct. 28, 1929, when she was age 24 and he 20. He was the son of Wade and Mary (Diehle) Johnson of Mill Run, Fayette County.

They resided in rural Normalville and produced eight children -- Darrell Van Johnson, Laura Whipkey Lanning, Marvin Johnson, Beatrice Shroyer, Norma Jean Swope, Alfred D. Johnson, Dorothy Bowers West and Dolly Whipkey.

The Johnsons reputedly were a professed warlock and witch couple, practicing in the occult arts over the years. It's been said that curses were placed on one or more of their baby grandchildren.

Sadly, Elvarene suffered with heart disease for a 15-year duration and also with hypertension and asthma. She died from their effects at age 50, on Jan. 4, 1956. She was buried at the Normalville Cemetery. 

Gilbert survived her by just three years. Tragically, while driving along Route 381 in Mill Run in the afternoon of Nov. 5, 1959, his vehicle overturned when it struck an abutment, resulting in a fracture of his cervical vertebrae. He was rushed to Connellsville State Hospital, where the Daily Courier newspaper reported that the accident was "minor" and that he was treated for "small abrasions" of both ears. But the injuries were deceiving, and in fact his cervical vertebrae were fractured. The injuries could not be fixed, leading to death three days at the age of 50, on Nov. 8, 1959. Interment was in Normalville Cemetery.

Son Darrell Van Johnson (1928-2000) was born on May 3, 1928. On Jan. 4, 1950, he was age 21, he married a distant cousin, 14-year-old Evelyn Marie Miner, daughter of Edward and Gertrude (Bowers) Miner. The couple divorced. See the Miner bio for more on this family.

Daughter Laura Rene Johnson married John Whipkey and Leland Dale Lanning. In 1959, her home was in Normalville.

Daughter Beatrice Johnson wed Ronald Shroyer. They dwelled in Normalville and Connellsville.

Daughter Norma Jean Johnson (1939-2015) was born on April 8, 1939 in Normalville. At the age of 17, she wed James Russell Swope in 1956 in Connellsville. Their children were Wanda Sue McCormick, Barbara E. Lewis, Wendy C. Cline Fogle, Terry R. Swope, Dale M. Swope, James Thomas Swope and Barron Scott Swope. The family made their home in Scottdale, Fayette County. Norma Jean passed away at the age of 76 on Aug. 16, 2015 in the Country Haven Personal Care Home. She was placed into eternal repose in Normalville Cemetery following a funeral service led by Pastor Warren Upton. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Son Alfred Johnson lived at home with his widowed father in 1959. he is thought to have married Edna (?) and later JoAnn Legas. He was deceased by 2015.

Daughter Dorothy A. Johnson married Richard G. Bowers in 1962 in Connellsville. They had one known daughter, Sharon Renee Miller. Dorothy later married Charles William West in 1990. Her home later was in Stahlstown.

Daughter Dolly Johnson married (?) Whipkey and lived in New York.


~ Daughter Nettie Bell (Rose) Durstine ~

Daughter Nettie Bell Rose (1908-2007) was born in 1908. 

She married Rev. Boyd Emerson Durstine (1908-1977) on Aug. 21, 1939. He was the son of Arthur and Daisy Pearl (Williams) Durstine and a native of Scottdale, Westmoreland County, PA. At the time of marriage, Nettie and Boyd both were age 21, and he was employed as a laborer in Champion, Fayette County. The couple requested that the news not be published in a newspaper.

They resided in the Normalville area, and had eight children, including Marjorie Bell "Margie" Dumbauld, Ivy Christman, Althea "Kay" Pletcher, and an infant daughter and son, and infant triplets. 

Nettie "was a loving homemaker, mother, grandmother, Grandmother and sister to her family," said the Daily Courier. "She liked to bake, garden, pick berries, make quilts, and canning fruits and vegetables." They resided on a 25-acre home farm property. A housefire claimed their home, but the foundation remains today, and is co-owned by their daughters.

Sadly, the Durstines' marriage fell apart, and they divorced. 


Boyd's grave, Jersey Church Cemetery

Boyd remarried to Audrey (Lanning) Eutsey (1936-2001), and they made their home in Confluence, Somerset County. She had been married before and brought two sons to the marriage -- Edward Eutsey and John Eutsey. They went on to have the following children of their own -- Robert Lee Durstine, William Boyd Durstine, Eunice Sue Durstine and Lywanna Lynn Durstine. 

Boyd served for a dozen years as pastor of the Greenbrier Full Gospel Church. He died on May 21, 1977, at the age of 56. Burial was in Jersey Church Cemetery in nearby Ursina, Somerset County, PA. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Nettie passed away at the age of 85 on April 21, 2007, at Highlands Hospital, with burial at Normalville Cemetery.

Daughter Marjorie Belle "Margie" Durstine ( ? - ? ) wed Robert Dumbauld ( ? - ? ) . In 1977, they dwelled in Normalville. They had one son, Robert William Dumbauld. 


Donald's grave, Normalville Cemetery

Daughter Ivy Della Durstine (1940- ? ) was born on Aug. 14, 1940. At the age of 18, she married 19-year-old Donald Clifford Christman (1940-2001), a resident of White, Fayette County. The couple was wed in Cumberland, MD in July 1959. They had one daughter, Tracy Lynn Ritenour. Donald passed away on Dec. 10, 2001, with burial in Normalville Cemetery. When photographed in 2013, the Christman grave marker was highly decorated with pink, white and light blue flowers and small. American flags.

Daughter Althea " Kay" Durstine (1955-2012) was born on Dec. 8, 1955 in Connellsville. She was raised by her uncle and aunt, Dewey and Zolla (Rose) Swope. At the age of 23, Kay married Dean E. Pletcher in about 1978. They had one daughter, Kristin Nicole Pletcher. Kay was employed as a secretary with Anchor Hocking Company in Connellsville. She also was an instructor in adult computer classes at Connellsville Vo-Tech School. The Greensburg Tribune Review reported that she "helped out with Vacation Bible School and always enjoyed sharing the love of God and her faith in Jesus. Kay enjoyed flea marketing, yard sales and especially getting bargains for her family. When Kay wasn't enjoying her favorite stores, she spent most of her time with her family, planting flowers and being outside playing with her favorite dog, Doodle." When she came down with cancer, she was supported in prayer by the Normalville United Methodist Church and drew support from the Nicholson Cancer Fund. Kay passed away at the age of 56 on July 26, 2012. Her obituary in the Tribune-Review said she had "a joyous, kind and loving presence and enjoyed helping others. Kay had such a kind soul that many times she put others' needs ahead of her own." She was laid to rest in the Normalville Cemetery, joining four earlier generations of her ancestors, dating to 1865 and the death of her great-great grandmother, Sarah (Ansell) Minerd.


~ Son Charles J. Rose ~

Son Charles J. Rose (1909-1989) was born on Oct. 17, 1909. 

He married Margaret Lancaster (1917-1954), a distant cousin who was the daughter of Matilda Elizabeth (Miner) Grim Lancaster and granddaughter of Enoch Miner Sr

They resided in both Connellsville and Normalville during their marriage, and had 12 children -- Percy B. Rose, Joseph Rose, Charles Rose, Elender "Eleanor" Pirl, Alverta Mae Swope Porterfield, Dornella Pirl, Margaret Tressler Kingan, Christine Porterfield Victor, Elma Jean Ritenour, Melvin Rose and two sons who died in infancy. 

Charles was a longtime coal miner for the Beacon Fuel and Coal Co. of the Normalville area. 

In January 1930, the Colborn Motor Company filed a civil law suit against Charles for an unpaid bill of $23.70 "for goods sold and delivered." The case was heard by cousin William Henry "Squire" Miner, a justice of the peace in Mill Run. Margaret died at age 37 on Dec. 20, 1954, leaving Charles a widower at age 45. 

Tragically, son Melvin -- an employee of Eastern Associated Coal Company at Hunker, Westmoreland County, PA -- was killed in a head-on automobile collision near Connellsville in June 1976, at the age of 31. Adding to the heartache, grandson Harold Douglas Pirl (1974-1977), drowned in Indian Creek at age three near his home; grandson Timothy Daniel Pirl (1961-1997) died at age 35 of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in 1997; and grandson Rev. Larry S. Rose was killed in a vehicular accident at age 36 near Kreager, Westmoreland County, in December 2002. 

Charles passed away at age 79 on April 18, 1989. At the time of his death, he and Margaret had produced 32 grandchildren and 30 Grandchildren. 

Daughter Elender Rose (1935-1992) was born in 1935. She married Harold D. Pirl (1928-2010), the son of William and Elsie (Porterfield) Pirl. They resided in Rogers Mill, where Harold "was a sawmill worker for various sawmills in the area," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. They had seven children -- Thomas Pirl, Timothy Daniel Pirl, Donald Pirl, William Pirl, Linda Bentz, Virginia Swope and Della Smith. Eleanor passed away first, on Aug. 4, 1992. Harold died in the Harmon House in Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, on Sept. 2, 2010, at the age of 81. He was laid to eternal rest in Normalville Cemetery, following a funeral led by Rev. Terry Upton. The Courier noted that he was survived by 13 grandchildren and 28 Grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Virginia Pirl married Arnold Hensel and Roy J. Swope (1935-1998). She had three children: Harold Douglas Pirl, Charles Pirl and Kimberly Pirl. Her second husband, Roy Swope, died on Aug. 15, 1998, with burial in Normalville Cemetery.
  • Grandson Timothy Daniel Pirl (1961-1997) was born on July 16, 1961. He died just five days before his 36th birthday on July 10, 1997.
  • Granddaughter Della Pirl married Ricky Smith.
  • Grandson Donald Pirl
  • Granddaughter Linda Pirl wed James Bentz.
  • Grandson Thomas Pirl married Tammy.
  • Grandson William Pirl married Jackie.

Son Percy B. Rose (1940 - ? ) was born on May 10, 1940. He lived in Irwin, Westmoreland County in 2012.


Normalville Cemetery

Daughter Alverta Mae Rose (1937-2012) was born on Aug. 26, 1937 in Normalville. Her first husband was Harry Dilford Swope ( ? - ? ), whom she married in 1955 in Connellsville. They produced three known children -- Bishop Robert Swope Sr., Cindy Knieriem and Hazel Boyd. Later, in about 1962, she wed Dan F. "Tucker" "Bones" Porterfield (1936-2012), the son of Ben and Leona (Ritenour) Porterfield. The couple produced a son of their own, Dan Porterfield Jr. They were members of the New Apostolic Tabernacle of Keisterville, Fayette County, and Dan belonged to the KFC Bowling League, Eagles 493 and Slovak Club. Dan was employed by a railroad company and later went to work for the Connellsville School District, a position from which he retired. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, he "enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling, softball, horseshoes and spending time with his family." The Porterfields passed away in the same year, ending a marriage which had lasted for half a century -- Dan first on June 12, 2012, at the age of 75, and Alverta on Sept. 30, 2012, at the age of 75, in the Harmon House in Mount Pleasant. An obituary in the Daily Courier said she was survived by 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Burial was in Normalville Cemetery.

  • Grandson Bishop Robert Swope Sr. married Anna Mae and dwelled in Connellsville. In 2012, he officiated at the funeral of his stepfather and mother.
  • Granddaughter Cindy Swope married Marvin Knieriem ( ? -2000), son of Eugene L. and Bettie (Evans) Knieriem. They had at least one son, Merv Knieriem. Tragically, Marvin was shot and killed in a home invasion on May 13, 2000, at the hands of a South Connellsville man. The killer was convicted of second degree murder and is serving a life sentence plus a second term of seven to 24 years at the SCI-Dallas Prison. She resided as a widow in Irwin, Westmoreland County.
  • Granddaughter Hazel Swope married Mike Boyd and dwelled in Connellsville.
  • Grandson Dan "Huck" Porterfield Jr. was wedded to Joanne and made their home in Connellsville.


Normalville Cemetery

Son Melvin Carl Rose (1944-1976) was born on Sept. 12, 1944. He married his first wife, Caroline Jennings ( ? - ? ), and they had two children: Thelma Denise Darrell Meyers and Melvin Carl Rose Jr. He later wed Nancy Lee Basinger (1945-living). Melvin tragically was killed in an automobile accident on the Springfield Pike on June 15, 1976, at the age of 32. 

Son Joseph V. Rose  (1948-1999) was born on Dec. 29, 1948. He married Mary L. Knopsnider and later Linda L. Pahel Hoyman. He is said to have had eight children: Jenni Rose, Amanda Rose, Kayla Rose, Joseph V. Rose Jr., Jeffrey Rose, Tyler Rose, Preston Rose and Hayley Rose. Joseph Sr. died on June 16, 1999, at age 51, with burial in Normalville Cemetery. 

Daughter Christine Rose was married twice. One of her spouses was Holbert Victor. Another was George Porterfield. In 2012, the Porterfields resided in Connellsville.

Daughter Dornella Rose married Clyde Pirl. 

Daughter Elma Jean Rose married Harry Ritenour. They had one daughter, Sarah Kelly Spaugy. 

Son Charles Eugene Rose married Dolly Pirl. 

Daughter Margaret Rose wed Wesley O. Kingan (1934-2001). They had six children: Vicky Leonard, Nancy Hall, Wesley O. Kingan Jr., Sherry Taylor, Arthur Raymond Kingan and Michael Kingan. Sadly, Wesley Sr. died on March 11, 2001, with burial in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Dunbar, Fayette County. In 2012, Margaret lived in Connellsville.


~ Daughter Viola Ellen (Rose) Donaldson ~

Daughter Viola Ellen Rose (1912-1981) was born on March 5, 1912. 

She married widower George Scott Donaldson (1893-1978). He had been married once before, to Carrie Elizabeth Clayton, who had died in 1932. 

Said the Daily Courier, George "was a resident of Normalville for over 50 years. He was employed as a timberman. He also worked for the TV Railroad, Bethlehem Steel and Vang Construction Company." The Donaldsons attended the Assembly of God Church. 

They had seven children -- Howard Donaldson, Paul Donaldson Jeanette Nicholson, Alma Amy, Delphis Showman, Catherine Swarner and Virginia Rowells. 

George passed away at age 84 on May 4, 1978, and was buried in Normalville Cemetery. At the time of his death, they had produced 25 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. 

Viola died at age 59 on Dec. 7, 1981, and rests beside her husband. 

Daughter Jeanette Donaldson wed Robert E. Nicholson. They had one daughter, Shirley Valdora Knopsnider.


~ Daughter Zola (Rose) Swope ~

Daughter Zola Rose (1914-1991) was born on Sept. 16, 1914. 

She married Dewey W. Swope (1915-1967) on Sept. 4, 1937, when she was age 23 and he 22.

They were lifetime residents of Normalville, and were members of the Church of Jesus Christ at Clinton.

They no children of their own, but raised three of their Durstine nieces who were sisters -- Ivy Christman, Margie Dumbauld and Kay Pletcher. 

Dewey passed away at age 51 on March 29, 1967, and was buried at Normalville Cemetery. 

Zola outlived her husband by almost a quarter of a century. She died on Aug. 19, 1991, with  burial in Normalville Cemetery.


~ Daughter Zella (Rose) Durstine ~

Daughter Zella Rose (1916-2011) was born on New Year's Eve 1916 in Rogers Mills, Fayette County. 

She married Joseph P. Durstine (1915-1984), a coal miner, in August 1938.

The Durstines had no children. They resided in Normalville for many years, where Zella was employed in Uniontown Hospital as a licensed practical nurse and in about 1971 moved to Washington, D.C.  Later, they moved to Florida, where Zella continued her occupation as a licensed practical nurse. She also was the owner of Paradise Valley Restaurant, and in her spare time was an evangelist preaching the "ole time religion," said the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Joseph passed away in 1984. 

At some point Zella returned to Fayette County. In her later years, she focused on travel and Gospel preaching as "a statesman of the sermon and a scholar of the scriptures," said the Courier. Among her favorite hymns was "In the Sweet By and By." 

Suffering from Alzheimer's, Zella passed away at the age of 94, in Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, PA, on Dec. 2, 2011. Following a funeral led by Rev. Mark Shotis, she was laid to rest in the Normalville Cemetery. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family, and one of the last living grandchildren of a Civil War soldier in our expanded, massive clan.


Copyright © 2001, 2005-2008, 2010-2013, 2016, 2018 Mark A. Miner

Many thanks to Harry J. Ansell for so freely sharing his extensive research