Clara Jane (Freed) Thorpe was born on on Dec. 20, 1876 in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA, the eldest daughter of Christian Stoner and Esther Resler (Barnhouse) Freed.
At the age of 18, on Jan. 14, 1895, she was joined in holy wedlock with 20-year-old Edwin Thomas Thorpe (Aug. 22, 1874- ? ), son of John Swayze and Phoebe Ann (Mitchell) Thorpe of Liberty, Fayette County. The nuptials were officiated by Rev. E.R. Johnson
The couple's 10 children were Eva Rebecca "Evaree" Bell, Phoebe Naomi Workman, John "Swayze" Thorpe II, Esther Elizabeth Patterson, Mary Vanieta Thorpe, Tilghman Isaiah "Tim" Thorpe, Joseph "Franklin" Thorpe, Edwin Thomas Thorpe Jr., Roy Freed Thorpe and Ruth Lavonne Woodward.
They lost their young son Joseph "Franklin" Thorpe in 1912 at the age of two years, nine months and 28 days, caused by "infant's summer disease," (cholera infantum) and internal hemorrhaging.
Edwin was a longtime railroader, and the family dwelled over the years in the vicinity of Perryopolis, Fayette County.
Clara Jane inherited a set of five iron spoons which were a wedding present in 1849 to her grandmother, Catherine (Minerd) Barnhouse. She later bequeathed the heirlooms to her daughter Mary.
The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January 1945.
At the advanced age of 89, Edwin died on Jan. 3, 1964. Clara Jane survived for another nine years and passed into eternity at age 97 on Oct. 21, 1973.
Read a more detailed memoir of their life by their granddaughter Lt. Col. Betty Jo (Workman) Wilson Canter, entitled "History of Clara Jane Freed and Edwin Thomas Thorpe," prepared for the 1982 Thorpe Family Reunion.
~ Daughter Eva Rebecca "Evaree" (Thorpe) Bell ~
Daughter Eva Rebecca "Evaree" Thorpe (1895-1968) was born on Sept. 1, 1895, the eldest daughter of Edwin Thomas and Clara Jane (Freed) Thorpe Sr.
She was united in holy matrimony with Harry C. Bell (May 8, 1889-1984).
The couple bore an only daughter, Lois Ruth Bell.
The Bells made a home in Perryopolis, Fayette County.
Sadly, Evaree is said to have died on Oct. 23, 1968.
Harry outlived his wife by 16 years and remained in Perryopolis. He succumbed to death in October 1984.
Daughter Lois Ruth Bell (1931-1997) was born on Sept. 20, 1931. She never married. She received her bachelor of science degree in 1954 from what today is California University of Pennsylvania. She went on to teach elementary education for 28 years at Everson and Dunbar in the Connellsville (PA) Area School District. Lois Ruth made her home in retirement in Perryopolis. She was gathered in by the angels on Feb. 6, 1997.
~ Daughter Phoebe Naomi (Thorpe) Workman ~
Daughter Phoebe Naomi Thorpe (1897-1980) was born on Dec. 27, 1897.
On Jan. 18, 1922, at the age of 24, she was joined in wedlock with Howard Alva Workman (Aug. 22, 1888-1971).
Seven children were born to this union -- Lt. Col. Betty Jo Wilson Canter, Howard Alva Workman Jr., Ethel Mae Miller, Mary Jane "Jerry" Budenz, Edwin David Workman, Donald Lawrence Workman and Esther Ruth "Mickey" Cavanaugh.
For a detailed memoir about her life, authored by her eldest daughter Betty Jo, see "A Four Generation Saga: The Story of Phoebe (Thorpe) Workman."
Howard passed into eternity on Sept. 4, 1971.
Phoebe survived as a widow for nine years. She was gathered away by death on May 17, 1980.
Lt. Col. Betty Jo Workman (1922-2016) was born on April 18, 1922. She was twice married. Her first husband was John T. Wilson. The couple did not reproduce. She wedded a second time to Marshall Rust Canter ( ? -2014). In 1961, she prepared "Ham the Astrochimp" for a historic space mission -- the first hominid to be launched into outer space. Having been trained for the rigors of space flight, Ham completed his mission in a Project Mercury capsule, launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, and lasting just under 17 minutes. The success and results from this mission led directly to Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 mission into space in May 1961, becoming the first man to orbit the Earth. Then in 1962, she helped astronaut John Glenn debrief at Grant Turk Island following the completion of his first space flight. When Betty Jo eventually retired, the Connellsville Daily Courier published a feature article, reporting that: "A World War II veteran, she was assigned in Italy from 1945 to 1947, and also has served in Saudi Arabia and Germany... [She was] one of the first Air Force nurses assigned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration manned space flight program [and] has retired after 22 years of continuous active duty... She was honored at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, upon her retirement. She had been nursing supervisor for operating room and anesthesiology services at the 1,100 bed Wilford Hall Hospital there, the Air Force's largest medical facility." She was stationed in 1974 in Lompoc, CA. Upon retirement, her longtime home was near Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. Fascinated by family history, Betty Jo worked tirelessly to preserve old family photographs and to write her memoirs. See her stories "A 21 Gun Salute" and her memoirs of her mother and grandmother. Sadly, Betty Jo was rendered a widow when Marshall died on March 15, 2014. She lived for another two years and passed in San Antonio on March 4, 2016. She was featured as the Minerd.com "Photo of the Month" in May 2008. Betty Jo graciously donated many vintage family photographs to the founder of this website, with these treasures preserved in the Minerd.com Archives.
Son Howard Alva Workman Jr. (1924-1990) was born on Feb. 7, 1924 in Bullskin Township near Connellsville, Fayette County. He stood 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighed 142 lbs. in early adulthood. Circa 1942, when he was 18 years of age, he was enrolled as a student at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. He also worked to support himself through employment at Armstrong Cork Company in Beaver Falls. But as World War II raged overseas, he left school and on Nov. 10, 1942 in Pittsburgh joined the U.S. Army. He served with the 3660th SU until May 1944, when he was honorably discharged at Percy Jones General Hospital in Battle Creek, MI. At the age of 32, on June 30, 1956, he was united in matrimony with 22-year-old Twila Faye Hart (Jan. 20, 1934- ? ), daughter of John H. Hart of Juniata, Fayette County. At the time of marriage, Twila was a cashier with the Beneficial Finance Company of Connellsville. Their three children were Marla Workman, Mark Alan Workman and Gail Ann Cover. Sadly, their daughter Marla was stillborn on Aug. 6, 1958. After returning from the Army, Howard enrolled in Carnegie Institute of Technology (today's Carnegie Mellon University) and obtained a degree in 1947. He went on to a professional career as a metallurgist with United States Steel Corporation in Vandergrift, PA. The family's address in the early 1980s was 224 Leventry Road in Johnstown, Cambria County, PA. Howard succumbed to the angel of death at the age of 66 on Aug. 6, 1990. He is believed to rest for all time in Bowman-Flatwoods Cemetery in the Connellsville vicinity.
Daughter Ethel Mae Workman (1925- ? ) was born on Dec. 8, 1925. Upon her high school graduation, she attended Westminister College for two years. She was joined in wedlock with William G. Miller (Feb. 11, 1924- ? ). The couple produced two daughters -- Katheryn I. Hadam and Kerry Ann Miller. William was employed with Remington Rand Univac as a patent agent at its facility in Blue Bell, PA. When her daughters were ages 13 and 8, respectively, she received a bachelor of arts degree in political science in June 1962 from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. She and the girls were pictured in a related story in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Her home in 1974 was in Lansdale, PA.
Daughter Mary Jane "Jerry" Workman (1929-2006) was born on July 25, 1929. Upon her graduation from high school, Mary Jane attended Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. She then relocated to Philadelphia where she was employed by S.S. Fretz Company as a secretary. At the age of about 30, in 1959, she was united in the bonds of matrimony with widower David F. Budenz Sr. (July 18, 1919-2009). He had been married previously to Vivian Turner (Nov. 29, 1922-1953), who had died of breast cancer at the age of 31 on Dec. 16, 1953. He thus brought two children into the second union -- David F. Budenz Jr. and Karen Pelino. Mary Jane and David bore one son of their own, Dr. Donald Lyle Budenz. For years, the Budenz family resided in New Britain, Bucks County, PA. David had spent his childhood in East Falls, a small community to the northwest of Philadelphia. After the outbreak of World War II, he joined the U.S. Army and was deployed to Europe, where he was part of a supply unit in Germany and France. In the years after the world war, he earned a living in a family printing business until its closure in the 1960s. From there he obtained employment as a clerk with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. A talented athlete, he was a baseball player and coach with a semi-professional team in the area, and later served as an officer with the East Falls Athletic Association. He is known to have coached his son David's little league baseball team to the 1965 Pennsylvania State Sandlot Championship. He was an avid fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and enjoyed visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Remarkably, he worked up to the age of 78 and retired in 1997. Their residence in later years was in Ridley Park, Delaware County, PA. Mary Jane died on July 6, 2006, believed to have been from the effects of leukemia. Interment of the remains was in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd. David outlived his second wife by two-and-a-half years. At the end, he went to live in the Masonic Village in Lafayette Hill. He succumbed to death at the age of 89 on Jan. 22, 2009. Both of their obituaries were published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Son Edwin David Workman (1932-1988) was born on Oct. 10, 1932. Circa 1950-1951, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces and was stationed in Greenland and then was transferred to Scott Air Field in Illinois. He graduated from Penn State University and in 1960 was employed as a parole officer in Butler, Butler County, PA. In about 1960, he was bonded in matrimony with Christina "Chris" Winterhalter ( ? - ? ), daughter of Wilhelm Winterhalter of Butler. Christina earned a living as a dental technician at the time of marriage. The couple's two known children were Joseph Curtis Workman and Jana Renee Rogers. Edwin resided in Belle Glade, FL in 1974.
Son Donald Lawrence Workman (1934-1974) was born on Nov. 29, 1934 in Bullskin Township near Connellsville. He never married but made his home in Connellsville. Sadly, at the age of 39, he was admitted to Connellsville State General Hospital and passed into eternity there on Jan. 14, 1974. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Daughter Esther Ruth "Mickey" Workman (1939-living) was born in about 1939. She was joined in wedlock with Kenneth Cavanaugh (1936- ? ). They have resided in Aliquippa, Beaver County, PA. The couple's children are Craig Charles Cavanaugh, Eric A. Cavanaugh and Coleen Ann Cavanaugh.
~ Son John "Swayze" Thorpe II ~
Son John "Swayze" Thorpe II (1900-1976) was born on Jan. 19, 1900 and named for his paternal grandfather.
He wedded Ethel Mary Davis (1897-1966), daughter of David Davis.
Three children were born in this family -- John Swayzee "Jack" Thorpe III, Ralph Thomas Thorpe and Leah Catherine Page.
Swayze was employed for many years as manager for the A&P grocery store in Perryopolis, Fayette County. As Ethel's mother declined in health, she came to live in their Perryopolis home, and passed away there in June 1952.
Ethel was a teacher in the Connellsville Junior-Senior High School in the early 1960s. She also was active with the Women's Association of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church.
Swayze served as a trustee of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church in the 1950s and influential in the construction of a new Christian education building. He also enjoyed fishing and is known to have gone on outings to Canada with his son Jack. He was an active sponsor and contributor to the Connellsville Little League. Ethel was a charter member of the Perryopolis Fine Arts Club.
Sadly, while in Petersboro, Ontario, Canada, Ethel became ill and was admitted to Civic Hospital. There, at the age of 53, she passed away on July 21, 1966. Her remains were transported back to Perryopolis to rest for all time in Mt. Wasington Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Uniontown Evening Standard. She was survived by 13 grandchildren.
Swayzee outlived his wife by a decade. He died in 1976.
Son John Swayze "Jack" Thorpe III (1924-2009) was born on Aug. 11, 1924. He married Elaine Hewlett (Nov. 5, 1922- ? ). They bore two daughters -- Margaret Ann Breiner and Linda Kathryn McCormick. Jack served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Korean War. He went on to spend four decades as a teacher and dean of high school age students at Pittsburgh's prestigious Shady Side Academy, from 1947 to 1990. Durig his time at Shady Side, he served in the roles of House Master, Dean of Students, Director of Testing, Registrar, baseball coach, rifle coach and teacher of mathematics, science and English. In a feature obituary, headlined "Beloved Shady Side Academy Teacher," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said: "To his kids, [he] was Big Daddy, the Voice of Shady Side and Jungle Jim... [A] brilliant mathematics teacher who ... loved surrounding himself with students and tutoring them. [He] was committed to the school in other ways, such as purchasing the school's first computer with his own money and starting a backpacking club that went on trips to the Appalachian Mountains." Many of Jack's students went on to careers in law, medicine, business and the arts. Among them was two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough (Class of 1951), author of John Adams and Truman, and narrator of PBS-TV specials such as The American Experience and Ken Burns' The Civil War. Other students were future astronaut Jerome "Jay" Apt (1967), "Talking Heads" drummer Chris Frantz (1970), Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Paul Martha (1960) and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (1968) of the Obama Administration. The Thorpes in retirement relocated to North Carolina. Circa 1997, he was a tutor-trainer with Nantahala Regional Literacy Council in Andrews, NC. John died there on May 19, 2009. His cremains were placed into eternal sleep in Arlington National Cemetery. He was featured as the Minerd.com "Photo of the Month" in July 2009.
Son Ralph Thomas Thorpe (1929-2013) was born on Nov. 6, 1929. In nuptials held in Lima, OH, on Aug. 15, 1953, he was joined in matrimony with Rosalyn Daley (Sept. 11, 1929- ? ). Their marriage endured for an extraordinary six decades. The couple's seven children were John Louis Thorpe, Margaret Rose Thorpe, David Mark Thorpe, James Joseph Thorpe, Paul Thomas Thorpe, Robert Scott Thorpe and Anthony Richard Thorpe. Ralph received his education at the University of Findlay in Ohio, where he starred in basketball and lettered in four sports. He was inducted into the university's sports hall of fame in 1990. Ralph became an educator in his career. He taught English, science, biology, anatomy, government and physical education/health at Mt. Blanchard (1952-1953), Archbold (1953-1955), Bettsville (1955-1956), Paulding (1956-1957) and Beaverdam (1957-1959). He left teaching and went into the food brokerage business. This meant transfers to different cities. When his mother died in Canada in 1966, Ralph and family were residing in Fort Wayne, IN. They moved again to Bismarck, ND; Sussex, WI; Coldwater, MI and in about 1978 to Traverse City, MI. At one point he owned and operated his own food brokerage firm. Ralph was an accomplished piano player who played at thousands of weddings, funerals and masses in Northern Michigan. He also helped found "Our Lady's Prayer Group" in 1989 after he and Rosalyn visited a shrine to the Virgin Mary in Medjugore, Bosnia-Herzegovina and experienced a spiritual transformation. Ralph met the founder of this website at the Thorpe Reunion in Harrisburg, PA in 2001 and traded jabs about each's receeding hairline. He passed away on Dec. 12, 2013. An obituary said he was survived by 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Daughter Leah Catherine Thorpe (1932- ? ) was born in 1932. In 1954, when she was age 21, she married Fred H. Page (April 9, 1926-2010). Their offspring were Sandra Lee Billman, Stevan Edwin Page, Carol Ann O'Day and Bradley Alan Page. Leah obtained her bachelor of science in 1954 from Lebanon Valley College. She taught elementary education in Peekskill, NY (1954-1957) and Conewago Elementary School, Northeastern School District, York County, PA (1961-1996). The Pages resided in York, PA in the 1960s and later in Dover, PA. For Fred's 80th birthday in 2006, their daughter Sandra crafted and presented him with a quilt, which included his monogrammed initials in the upper left hand and lower right hand corners. Sadly, Fred passed away on Nov. 28, 2010.
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~ Daughter Esther Elizabeth (Thorpe) Patterson ~
Daughter Esther Elizabeth Thorpe (1902-2002) was born on Jan. 6, 1902.
Esther attended California University of Pennsylvania in 1923 to become qualified to teach. She then became an educator at the fourth grade level for one year and art and vocal music for two years in Clairton, PA.
She was united in the bonds of marriage with Dr. William J. Lawrence Patterson (Dec. 28, 1899-1961), son of William and Amanda (Stephenson) Patterson of Belle Center, OH.
The couple bore an only daughter, Patricia Ann Buran.
William was a dentist and established a practice in Beaver Falls, Beaver County, PA. Their home address was 3227 Fourth Avenue.
Sadly, William was burdened with heart disease and stricken with a heart attack. He was admitted to Beaver Valley General Hospital in New Brighton and died there a day later at the age of 61 on Dec. 11, 1961. Interment of the remains was in Beaver Falls Cemetery.
Esther outlived her spouse by many decades. She relocated to Florida and in 2000 lived in Orlando. She marked her 100th birthday in January 2002.
Five months later, the Angel of Death swept her away on May 27, 2002.
Daughter Patricia "Ann" Patterson (1932- ? ) was born on Oct. 17, 1932. She attended Carleton College, where she met her future husband, Dr. John "David" Buran ( ? -2014). He was the son of congregational pastor Rev. John Buran and his wife Dorothy. The couple's union endured for an extraordinary 60 years. Their two daughters were Constance Elizabeth "Connie" Schreck and Virginia Ann "Ginny" Simich. David was an alumnus of Carleton College and the George Washington University School of Medicine. He served in the U.S. Army for two years and began his career at Hildebrand Clinic in Neenah/Menasha, WI. He then joined the University of Minnesota where he practiced in otolaryngology and headed the ear, nose and throat specialty at Park Nicollet Clinic in St. Louis Park. He was widely known for his work to provide care for local and international singers and actors. He served on Park Nicollet's board of governors for a time. The couple raised their family in what has been called a sprawling, century-old house on Kenwood Parkway. The couple was pictured in an April 1999 Minneapolis Star Tribune story about the construction of their retirement home along the south shore of Cedar Lake. Ann was a talented pianist and organist who performed flute and piano recitals with Carol Gilkey at at worship services in the Plymouth Congregational Church. David, a baritone, sang in the church choir. Ann also served as vice chair of the board of counsellors for the MacPhail Center for the Arts. They endured grief at the deepest depths when their married daughter was shot and killed by her husband before then shooting himself. Ann and David somehow endured. She is known to have published letters to the editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune during the 1990s-2010s. Sadly, David died at the age of 82 on Oct. 10, 2014. A feature obituary in the Star Tribune was headlined "He treated patients' voices, souls."
~ Daughter Mary Vanieta Thorpe ~
Daughter Mary Vanieta Thorpe (1904-2007) was born on Aug. 19, 1904.
She did not marry but pursued an independent lifestyle and dedicated her professional years to educating children.
Mary attended Westminster College, where she received her bachelor's degree in liberal arts in 1927. She eventually obtained her master's degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Her working career began when she taught French and history at New Wilmington (PA) High School. She relocated to New Jersey, and instructed French language classes in Audobon, NJ until the outbreak of World War II.
Mary returned to southwestern Pennsylvania and taught English and other subjects for a year-and-a-half at Forest Hills, PA, and then moved to Mt. Lebanon High School near Pittsburgh where from 1945 to 1965 she was a Spanish teacher.
Circa 1997, when the Minerd Reunion research project was underway to document the number of educators in the family, Mary graciously shared her work information. She wrote:
I think our zeal for more learning of many kinds comes from our mother [Clara Jane (Freed) Thorpe] who, though not formally educated past the sixth grade, was consistently asking and learning as her children developed and studied. She was always willing to try new things and continued to be interested in the business of living and using her time and talents wisely.
Mary was held in awe by her nieces and nephews.
Mary inherited from her mother a set of five iron spoons which had been a wedding present in 1849 to her great-grandmother, Catherine (Minerd) Barnhouse.
She reached her 100th birthday in 2004. She lived for another three years and was carried into eternity at the age of 203 on Aug. 24, 2007. A death notice was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
~ Son Tilghman Isaiah "Tim" Thorpe Sr. ~
Son Tilghman Isaiah "Tim" Thorpe Sr. (1906-2001) was born on Nov. 19, 1906. He is believed to have been named for a maternal uncle, Tilghman Mitchell.
He was twice married. His first bride, and the mother of his chidlren, was Nellie Thrasher (June 28, 1911-1975). She was a native of Star Junction, Fayette County and the daughter of Charles M. and Isabel (Smith) Thrasher. She was an alumna of Muskingum College.
They were the parents of Tilghman Isaiah Thorpe Jr., Marilyn "Jean" Horne and Mary Anne Smith.
The Thorpes made a longtime home in Smithton, Westmoreland County. Federal census enumeration records for the year 1940 show that Tilghman was employed a manager of a retail grocery.
The family belonged to the United Methodist Church in Smithton. Nellie was a member of the Elizabeth Bower Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.
Sadly, Nellie passed away at home on April 1, 1975. An obituary was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier and the Uniontown Evening Standard. Rev. Herbert A. Peterson officiated at the funeral service, with interment of the remains in Mount Washington Cemetery in Perryopolis.
Tilghman spent eight years as a widower before marrying again on May 1, 1983 to Ruth Farmer (Feb. 12, 1914- ? ).
The couple dwelled in West Newton, PA. In the 1990s, they hosted a visit from the founder of this website and led a driving tour to Vanderbilt to see his grandparents' house. He and Ruth and attended the Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunion in 1993 to pay honor to his grandmother, Esther Resler (Barnhouse) Freed, who had served 90 years earlier as the original treasurer of the Minerd Reunion. He and daughter Mary Anne returned to the reunion in 1998.
The Grim Reaper cut away Tilghman in Washington, PA on March 21, 2001.
Son Tilghman Isaiah Thorpe Jr. (1933-2001) was born on July 25, 1933. He was first wed to Barbara Mullin (April 1, 1936- ? ). Their family of two sons were William John Thorpe and Richard Bruce Thorpe. Later, Tilghman married Dorothy McNeill ( ? - ? ). Following the family's interest in education, he taught for eight years at Allegheny Technical Institute near Pittsburgh, PA. Tilghman and Dorothy divorced in Indianapolis in 1968. Circa 1975, he remained in Indianapolis. He eventually migrated to Los Angeles and succumbed to death there on July 15, 2001.
Daughter Marilyn "Jean" Thorpe (1939-living) was born in about 1939. Pursuing a career in health care, she graduated from the Henry Ford Foundation Nursing Establishment in Detroit and in 1962 was employed by Charleroi-Monessen Hospital. On Nov. 10, 1962, she was united in matrimony with Lewis Sutton Horne Jr. (Oct. 9, 1933-2012), son of Lewis S. and Mae C. Horne Sr. The ceremony was held in the Smithton Methodist Church, presided over by Rev. Carl Glotting. Reported the Uniontown Evening Standard, the bride "wore a floor length gown of silk organza and embroidered Alecn lace fashioned with a portrait neckline. The skirt ended in a chapel train. Her fingertip veil of silk illusion fell from a matching silk organza pill box. She carried a cascade bouquet of white Fuji mums and imported white frosted grapes centered with a white hybrid orchid and lilies-of-the-valley." Their union endured for nearly 50 years. At the time of marriage, Lewis earned a living as manager of the Bentleyville Garage. They produced three offspring -- Lewis Sutton Horne III, Elizabeth Ann "Beth" Horne and Jenell Marie Horne. The Hornes first lived in Bentleyville and eventually made a home in Belle Vernon, PA in the 1970s. Lewis continued to work in the automotive industry and belonged to International Association of Machinists. At some point, he lost his left arm to amputation. After retirement, the couple relocated to Central Pennsylvania to be closer to their adult children, constructing a new home in the Harrisburg vicinity. Toward the end, Lewis suffered from Parkinson's Disease. He succumbed to the illness on Oct. 26, 2012, at the age of 79. His obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
Daughter Mary Anne Thorpe Smith (1940-2020) was born on July 6, 1940. She received a degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. On June 16, 1962, when she was 21 years of age, she was joined in holy wedlock with Thomas Alton Smith Jr. (June 17, 1936-living). The children born to this union were Sharon Ann Knipmeyer, Thomas Alton Smith III and Timothy Harlow Smith. The family was in Canonsburg circa 1962 and then put down roots in Eighty-Four, Washington County, PA. Mary Anne was a teacher and spent the bulk of her career at Wylandville Elementary School in the Canon-McMillan School District. In her free time, she served in leadership of the Order of Eastern Star and was active with the Chartiers Hill United Presbyterian Church, where she sang in the church choir, knitted shawls for a prayer shawl ministry and sang in the choir. Said the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter, "Filling out her busy schedule, was time spent with Beta Zeta, Alpha Phi, and DAR friends, to name a few. After retiring, Mary Anne enjoyed traveling with both family and friends. She enjoyed visiting France, England, Australia, the Caribbean, and Hawaii in particular." She and her father attended the 1993 Minerd Reunion to honor his grandmother, Esther Resler (Barnhouse) Freed, who had been the treasurer for the original Minerd Reunion in 1913. On Aug. 10, 1997, Mary Anne was quoted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, "North Strabane Woman Is One in 9,400 Minerds on the Family Tree." She passed into eternity at the age of 80 on Oct. 28, 2020.
~ Son Edwin Thomas Thorpe Jr. ~
Son Edwin Thomas Thorpe Jr. (1912-2005) was born on Sept. 29, 1912 in Perryopolis, Fayette County.
He studied at California State Teachers College and taught at the one-room Pleasant Grove School, Perry Township, Fayette County, PA (1934-1939).
Edwin attended Whitewater State Teachers College in 1932-1933 and California University of Pennsylvania in 1935.
The federal census enumeration of 1940 shows that Edwin had migrated to Boston, MA, where he attended college and was employed as a "physical director" in the field of social work. He received his bachelor of science degree in 1941 from Boston University and was hired as an associate secretary of the YMCA in Wakefield, MA.
In May 1942, with World War II aflame, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve as a chief specialist/physical instructor. His military service continued until 1946.
While in Wakefield, he met his future wife Barbara Twitchell (Aug. 5, 1921- ? ), daughter of Leslie Twitchell of Wakefield. At the time, she was employed at Wakefield Cooperative Bank. Their nuptials were held on Oct. 10, 1942, in the home of her parents. The marriage was announced in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Edwin went on to teach physical education at Jones Junior High School and Leeds Middle School, Philadelphia Public Schools (1967-1979). The family belonged to Roslyn Presbyterian Church, and Edwin was a member of the Lions Club of Glenside/Roslyn.
He outlived Barbara, and his final years were spent in Fort Washington, PA. He died in Fort Washington Estates at the age of 92 on Jan. 22, 2005. An obituary was printed in the Doylestown Intelligencer.
The couple bore three offspring -- Edwin Thomas Thorpe III, Diane Leslie Milks and Mary Ellen Moon.
Son Edwin Thomas Thorpe III (1944- ? ) was born on Oct. 20, 1944. He was twice-wed. His first bride was Linda Albertson ( ? - ? ). His second wife was Gail Brown (Feb. 1950- ? ). Edwin was the father of Jeremy Thorpe, Kyle Thorpe and Kelly Thorpe.
Daughter Diane Leslie Thorpe (1947- ? ) was born on Aug. 23, 1947. She was united in marriage with David Milks (Feb. 18, 1948- ? ). Their only known son was Daniel Brett Milks.
Daughter Mary Ellen Thorpe (1955- ? ) was born on April 26, 1955. She was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Michael Moon (Sept. 28, 1957- ? ). She appears to have wed a second time to (?) Mcleod ( ? - ? ).
~ Son Roy Freed Thorpe ~
Son Roy Freed Thorpe (1915-2008) was born on May 9, 1915 in Perryopolis, Fayette County.
At the age of 22, in 1937, Roy resided in North Braddock near Pittsburgh and labored as a mill worker.
On June 18, 1937, when he was 22 years of age, Edwin was united in marriage with 22-year-old clerk Julia Anna Toth (Feb. 19, 1915-1998) of Whitsett, Fayette County and the daughter of Hungarian immigrants Stephen I. and Rosalina "Rose" (Halasi) Toth. Performing the ceremony in Connellsville was Rev. Ferdinand A. Szabo of the St. Emory Roman Catholic Church.
The couple's five children were Roy Steven Thorpe Sr., Arlene Marie Gelston, James Ronald Thorpe, David Robert Thorpe and Joseph Thorpe.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, the family made a residence in Turtle Creek, Allegheny County, PA.
At some point, the Thorpes divorced.
Roy married a second time to Sally (Snyder) Clark (Sept. 21, 1939-2002). Their address was 1217 Morelle Avenue in East McKeesport.
Roy was employed by United States Steel Corporation as a pit foreman in the basic oxygen process steelmaking shop at its Edgar Thomson works. He served under division superintendent R.J. Alberts. Roy once was pictured with co-workers in a newspaper story about "an outstanding performance record for pouring of steel into 1,862 ingot molds during January."
In January 1970, working as the turn foreman, Roy and four co-workers at Edgar Thomson were splashed with molten metal as it was being poured from a ladle into an ingot mold. He was hospitalized but recovered.
He eventually retired from U.S. Steel following four decades of service. The couple relocated to Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA.
Sally passed away on June 30, 2002.
Roy's final home was in Greensburg, Westmoreland County. He was admitted to Heartland Hospice House, where he died on March 4, 2008 at the age of 92. His remains were lowered into repose in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.
Former wife Julia maintained a home in East McKeesport. She died at the age of 83 on Aug. 10, 1998. Her funeral mass was sung at St. Robert Ballarmine Church. An obituary was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Son Roy Steven Thorpe Sr. (1938- ? ) was born on Feb. 10, 1938. He wedded Susan Cherrington (Sept. 15, 1942- ? ). Their offspring were Roy Steven Thorpe Jr. and Stephen A. Thorpe. His home in 1998-2008 was in East McKeesport.
Daughter Arlene Marie Thorpe (1939-living) was born on July 5, 1938 and grew up in Turtle Creek near Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA. She was united in wedlock with Robert Bickerton Gelston (Aug. 9, 1942-2005), son of Robert E. and Berenice (Bickerton) Gelston. The couple produced a family of four children -- Catherine B. Walsh, Loretta A. Rust, Robert J. Gelston and Rita J. Gelston. In 1982, they purchased a home in Murrysville in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. The couple eventually divorced after some tax difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service. Arlene then relocated to Newport News, VA where she lived in 1998 at the time of death of her mother. She eventually returned to the Pittsburgh area. Circa 2008, at the death of her father, she dwelled in Bridgeville, Allegheny County. Arlene has for decades been deeply interested in her family genealogy and graciously hosted a visit with the founder of this website and shared information for this biography. On Feb. 7, 1980, as a volunteer with the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, she was pictured and quoted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, headlined "Digging for Their Roots." She attended our family's national reunion in 2009 and shared with the group that she had amassed thousands of names in her database. Former husband Robert, a graphic designer for Cornerstone Ministries, married again and spent his final years in Springdale Township. He died at the age of 67 on Sept. 21, 2005. His remains were interred in Restland-Lincoln Memorial Park.
Son James Ronald Thorpe (1942- ? ) was born on Dec. 16, 1942. He married Martha Keeney (Dec. 27, 1939- ? ). He resided in Beltsville, MD in 1998 and later in Hagerstown, MD.
Son David Robert Thorpe (1944- ? ) was born on April 8, 1944. He was twice wed. His first spouse was Laura Goss ( ? - ? ). His second wife was Kathryn Farkas ( ? - ? ). His home in 1998-2008 was in Elizabeth Township.
Son Joseph P. Thorpe (1952- ? ) was born on Nov. 10, 1952. He was married two times. He first was joined in matrimony with Bobbie Mauger ( ? - ? ). Later, In April 1984, he wedded Deborah Catone ( ? - ? ), daughter of Joseph A. Catone of Regent Square in Pittsburgh. The nuptials were held in Deborah's home, officiated by Charles Martoni. News of their marriage was published in the Pittsburgh Press. The newlyweds lived in North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County and remained there for many years. The second marriage bore a son, Joshua Catone Thorpe.
~ Daughter Ruth Lavonne (Thorpe) Woodward ~
Daughter Ruth Lavonne Thorpe (1918-living) was born on March 10, 1918 in Perryopolis, Fayette County.
On May 1, 1939, at the age of 21, she wedded 22-year-old clerk Chester Bennett Woodward (May 18, 1916- ? ), son of Bennett C. and Odessa (Thomas) Woodward. Their nuptials were held in Charleroi, Washington County, PA, performed by the hand of Rev. R. Parker Andrews. At the time of marriage, he earned a living as a clerk and lived at 7706 Cannon Street in Swissvale.
The Woodwards' longtime home was in North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County.
Three daughters were born in this family -- Joan Donna Marx, Patricia Lou Ullom and Joyce "Lynne" Gedraitis Serratore.
Chester passed into the gates of eternity on New Year's Eve 2001, bringing to a close their marriage which had endured for an extraordinary 62 years.
Ruth outlived her husband by many years. In 2003, she and her daughter and son-in-law Patricia and Oral Ullom attended our national family reunion to pay tribute to the 90th anniversary of the first Minerd Reunion, for which Ruth's grandmother Esther (Barnhouse) Freed served as treasurer.
She celebrated her 100th birthday in 2018.
Daughter Joan Donna Woodward (1939-2002) was born on Dec. 12, 1939. In about 1958, she wedded Fred Marx ( ? - ? ). Their marital union endured for 44 years. The couple bore four offspring -- Debra Zival Kraft, Terri Steadman, Diane Noonan and Daniel Marx. The Marxes first lived in North Huntingdon but in time relocated to Florida, establishing a home in Coconut Creek. Joan died on her 63rd birthday, on Dec. 12, 2002, in a hospice in Margate, FL. Her obituary was published in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.
Daughter Patricia Lou "Pat" Woodward (1941- ? ) was born on Aug. 5, 1941. She married Oral A. Ullom ( ? - ? ), son of Oral E. and Lillian (Lebreton) Ullom and a native of Centerville, Tyler County, WV. Their union endured for more than 50 years. The couple's two children were James Ullom and Suzanne Gabonay Brown. Oral's Ullom ancestors were grandparents Leonard and Lillie Ullom and great-grandparents A.C. and Permelia (Horner) Ullom of Greene County, PA. The Ulloms lived in North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County. Oral was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was employed in maintenance by PHW Inc. and Mellon Bank. Then, he went to work for United States Steel Corporation at its Homestead works and remained there for three decades. The family belonged to Calvin Presbyterian Church in North Huntingdon, and Oral belonged to the Circleville Volunteer Fire Department. The couple grieved in 1987 at the untimely death of their son James. Sadly, the 74-year-old Oral died two days before Christmas in 2012 as a patient in UPMC McKeesport. His funeral was held in the family church, with burial following in West Newton Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.
Daughter Joyce "Lynne" Woodward (1944- ? ) was born on Feb. 5, 1944. She was united in holy matrimony with (?) Gedraitis ( ? - ? ). They produced a family of four daughters -- Laura Gedraitis, Pamela Gedraitis, Sheryl Gedraitis and Judith Gedraitis. The family was plunged into grief at the death of infant daughter Pamela in March 1972. On Jan. 11, 1998, in Palm Beach County, FL, she married her second husband, Michael Angelo Serratore ( ? - ? ). In 2002, Lynne dwelled in West Palm Beach. She is believed to have been active with Harmony Travel Chorus.
Copyright © 2020 Mark A. Miner