Victoria "Belle" (Martin) Falkenstine Miller was born on June 15, 1866 in Preston County, WV, the daughter of James K. and Margaret (Minerd) Martin.
She appears to have been named in honor of the Union Army's "victory" over the Confederacy the year before, and her father's safe return home from military service.
On April 7, 1887, the 21-year-old Belle married her first husband, 35-year-old widower Jerome Lewis Falkenstine (Jan. 1, 1852-1898), a native of Preston County. The wedding occurred at the parsonage of G.W. Risinger. Their marriage license is still on file today at the Preston County Courthouse in Kingwood, WV.
Jerome had been married once before, to Belle's cousin Mary E. Martin (1853-1886), daughter of Jesse and Elizabeth Ann (Hartzell) Martin, and granddaughter of Jacob and Margaret (Smith) Hartzell. The first bride had died from "muscular rheumatism" on May 9, 1886 at the age of 33 years, 21 days. He thus brought five young children to the second union -- Marshall Jacob Falkenstine, William "Harvey" Falkenstine, Martha Magdalena "Mattie" Davis, Jesse Orval Falkenstine and Stanley W. Falkenstine.
Belle and Jerome went on to produce three more children of their own -- Blanche Nixon, Russell Earl Falkenstine and Alva "Gay" Falkenstine.
The Preston County Journal once said that Belle "was converted and joined the M.E. church at Mt. Moriah in her young girlhood days and remained a faithful member of the same until her death."
After about five years as a widow, the 35-year-old Belle wed again on June 28, 1903 to 31-year-old Samuel Miller ( ? -1938). The ceremony was performed by W.M. Shultz at the residence of John Liston.
They resided for decades by themselves on a farm at Valley Point. In 1935, she was mentioned in the Clarksburg Exponent obituary of her sister Kate Skinner.
As she aged, Belle begun to suffer from "senility" and myocarditis. For treatment, she was admitted to the Spencer State Hospital in Spencer, Roane County, WV, a distance of some 170 miles from their home. She died at the hospital at the age of 70 on Jan. 13, 1937. Her remains were returned to Valley Point for burial. She was laid to rest at the Miller Cemetery, about one mile east of Valley Point, following funeral services conducted at her beloved Mt. Moriah Church by Rev. S.E. Ryan, assisted by Rev. Howard Wriston. Her obituary was published in the Preston County Journal.
(Note -- Belle is not to be confused with Victoria Blanche Martin [1867-1947], daughter of Edgar C. and Mary Elizabeth [Gross] Martin, who at the age of 18 married 29-year-old Isaac E. Sypolt [1857- ? ]. The wedding took place on March 29, 1885, at the home of E.C. Martin, and was performed by S.J. Caton. Their marriage license also is on file at the courthouse in Kingwood.)
Samuel outlived Belle by only one year. He died in 1938, and was laid to rest beside her at Miller Cemetery .
~ Stepson Marshall Jacob Falkenstine ~
He was age four when his mother died, and age five when his widowed father married Victoria "Belle" Martin. As an adult, Marshall resided in Albright, Preston County.
On Aug. 30, 1900, when he was the age of 18, Marshall married 20-year-old Sarah Viola "Sadie" Frankhouser (1880- ? ), daughter of Martin and Julia (Forman) Frankhouser of Albright. The marriage listing was published in the 1933 book, Genealogy of Some Early Families in Grant and Pleasant Districts, Preston County, West Virginia, authored by Edward Thorp King, of Marshalltown, Iowa.
They bore one son, Benjamin "Ray" Falkenstine.
The federal census enumeration of 1910 shows Marshall and Sadie and son making their home with her parents on a farm in the Pleasant District of Preston County. In 1920, the lived in their own farm residence on a farm in Pleasant.
The Falkenstines were farmers of Kingwood. In March 1914, Sadie was diagnosed with appendicitis and underwent surgery at Cook Hospital. A story in the Fairmont West Virginian said she was "improving rapidly" and that Marshall, who had accompanied her, was "still in the city. He is a brother of Jesse Falkenstein."
Marshall suffered from hypertension and partial paralysis on one side. After contracting pneumonia, he died in nearby Morgantown at the age of 63 on Jan. 8, 1946. He was laid to rest near his parents at Mt. Moriah Cemetery. The Morgantown Post noted that he "was a lifelong resident of Preston County and a member of the Methodist Church." He is not to be confused with Marshall C. Falkenstine (1881-1963), a cousin and the son of Ezra and Lydia (Frankhouser) Falkenstine, of Reedsville, Preston County.
The widowed Sadie spent her final years rsiding on the farm of her son in Albright. She died from the effects of a heart attack at the age of 87, in Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood, on June 26, 1967. Her remains were laid to rest in Sugar Valley Cemetery.
Son Benjamin "Ray" Falkenstine (1905-1988) was born on May 20, 1905 at Valley Point, Preston County. He resided in adulthood in Albright. When he was 21 years of age, circa 1926, Ray entered into marriage with 16-year-old Alice "Ruth" Everly (June 16, 1910-2007), daughter of James Spencer and Mary Ann (McNair) Everly of Bruceton Mills. They became the parents of Freda June Bennett. When the federal census enumerations were made in 1930 and 1940, the young family resided in the household of Ray's parents, with him working as a farm laborer. They held a membership for decades in the Sugar Valley United Methodist Church. In 1967, he is known to have been the informant for his mother's official West Virginia certificate of death. Said the Morgantown Dominion Post, Ruth "enjoyed gardening and raising chickens, and was excellent at quilting and crocheting." He died in Bruceton Mills at the age of 83 on Nov. 18, 1988. Ruth lived for another nearly two decades.At the age of 97, as a patient in Kingwood's Preston Memorial Hospital, she passed away on Dec. 18, 2007. Rev. Vicki D. Sheppard and Rev. Craig Falkenstine jointly officiated the service, followed by burial under the sod of Mount Moriah Cemetery in Albright.
~ Stepson William "Harvey" Falkenstine ~
Stepson William "Harvey" Falkenstine (1885- ? ) -- also spelled "Falkenstein" -- was born on March 25, 1885 at Valley Point, Preston County, WV.
He was only about a year old when his mother died.
When he was age 15, circa 1900, he went to live with his married sister Mattie Davis in Mount Pleasant, PA, and worked as a blower in a glass factory, likely Bryce Brothers Glass Company.
He married Minnie E. Smith (1890-1939), the daughter of Hadley and Malissa (Street) Smith of Preston County.
The couple produced six sons -- Gerald Falkenstine, Harry R. Falkenstine, Jess "Willard" "Skip" Falkenstine, Jerome Falkenstine, Wilbur "Lawrence" Falkenstine and Milford Harvey Falkenstine. Their son Jerome is said to have been raised in Maryland from infancy to adulthood, but other records show him making his longtime residence in Morgantown.
Son Harry, born with birth defects, sadly died at the age of 15, on April 1, 1929, having suffered from epileptic fits and pneumonia.
The Falkenstines put down roots in Morgantown, WV, at 458 Morgan Street, where in the late 1920s and into 1939 Harvey served as a Councilman of the Fourth Ward of the city. His primarily living was earned in the glass industry. He was an organizer of a glass workers organized labor, and he held a membership in the American Flint Glass Workers Union.
In her mid-40s, Minnie suffered from cancer of the uterus. She died of its effects at the age of 48 on Feb. 17, 1939. She was buried beside her son at Mount Union Cemetery in Morgantown, and her obituary was printed in the Morgantown Post.
Harvey lived to the age of 88, with his home on Morgan Street. The spirit of death swept him away in Morgantown on June 29, 1973. Burial was in Mount Union Cemetery, with an obituary published in the Post.
Son Gerald Eugene Falkenstine (1915-1969) was born on March 13, 1915 in Bruceton Mills. He married Clarice McGee (1919-1982). Two sons of this union were Brett E. Falkenstine and Craig L. Falkenstine. Their residence was at 539 Louise Avenue, Morgantown. Gerald joined the U.S. Navy during World War II. Later, he earned a living with the U.S. Postal Service, serving as superintendent of the Westover branch of the post office. Sadly, as a patient in St. Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Gerald was enveloped in death at the age of 54, in Morgantown, on Nov. 3, 1969. The remains lie in eternal repose in Kingwood's Maplewood Cemetery. Clarice endured as a widow for a baker's dozen years. She died in 1982.
Son Jess "Willard" "Skip" Falkenstine (1916- ? ) was born on Nov. 28, 1916. He appears to have been named for the heavyweight boxer who won the championship title a year earlier. Jess in young manhood served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. He relocated to Michigan. There, in 1945, at the age of about 29, Jess wed Helen Hebblewhite (1920-1993), daughter of G.W. Hebblewhite of Evansville, IN and later Lansing. Helen was a 1942 graduate of Michigan State College and, at the time of marriage, had been employed by the University of Michigan as a dietician before serving during the war as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Women's Reserves (known as WAVES). Together, they produced a brood of three -- JoAnne "Sue" Beers, Nancy Ann Falkenstine and Robert J. Falkenstine. Their son Robert is known to have been born in Troy, NY in 1947. Willard went on to receive a doctorate in education in 1957 from Michigan State University. The couple made their home in Gambier, Knox County, OH. His professional career included a role as athletics director at Kenyon College of Gambier, while from 1964 to 1985 she was an assistant to the college's food service director. The family held a membership in Harcourt Parish of Gambier. He was burdened with advanced heart disease and hardening of the arteries. The family was plunged into grief when, during a visit to his father in Morgantown, Jess suffered acute bleeding of the pancreas, with his cardiovascular system collapsing. He was admitted to St. Vincent Pallotti Hospital. He died there at the age of 47 on May 29, 1964. Burial was in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing, MI. Helen spent the next nearly three decades as a widow and remained in Mount Vernon, Knox County. At the age of 72, she passed away in Mansfield General Hospital on April 12, 1993. An obituary in the Lansing State Journal said "she had lived the last 41 years in Gambier and Mt. Vernon."
Son Jerome H.P. Falkenstine (1919-2006) was born on Jan. 24, 1919 in Morgantown. As a baby he is said to have relocated to Maryland and never left. But the 1930 and 1940 censuses show him in Morgantown with his parents and in 1940 working there as a construction laborer. He was united in wedlock with Lucille W. Davis (Jan. 12, 1918-2003). Their union held fast over a remarkable 50-plus years. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II and held the rank of first sergeant. He then joined AllState Insurance and earned a living as an agent. Circa 1969-2003, they lived in Glen Burnie, MD. Said an obituary, Jerome "was a member of the Glen Burnie Civitan International for some time [and] the Glen Burnie Masonic Lodge and Pasadena UMC... He loved golfing and playing poker [and] was also an avid Baltimore sports fan." Lucille passed away on Dec. 30, 2003. Her funeral service was held in the Pasadena United Methodist Church. In her obituary in the Baltimore Sun, the family requested that any memorial donations be made to the Civitan International Alzheimer's Research Center of Glen Burnie. Jerome lived for another three years. Death carried him into eternity two days after Christmas 2006, at the age of 87. Burial of the cremains was in the Maryland Veterans Cemetery of Crownsville, MD. An obituary appeared in the Sun.
Son Wilbur "Lawrence" Falkenstine (1921-2011) was born on Oct. 8, 1921 in Morgantown, WV. During World War II, Lawrence served in the U.S. Army. While stationed in Holland, he met and tied the knot with Madelaine "Maddy" Jacobs (May 30, 1928-2008), born in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Their union endured for an extraordinary 62 years until the separation of death. The five children of the couple were Cecile McKnight, John Falkenstine, Harvey Falkenstine, Mark Falkenstine and Patrick Falkenstine. During the war, from 1939 to 1944, Madelaine's hometown was occupied by the German army until finally liberated by the Allies. She is said to have arrived in the United States on a "war bride ship." The pair spent their honeymoon in New York City, "attending many Broadway shows courtesy of a friend." Their first home was in West Virginia, but the tug of home called them back to her parents and Western Europe. Lawrence found employment in Holland with the Battle Monuments Commission at the American Military Cemetery in Margraten. In a fascinating twist, Lawrence's distant double cousin Louis E. Younkin, of the family of Levi Grant and Alice (Pritts) Younkin, who was shot down over Germany during the war, is buried in the Margraten cemetery. Lawrence later joined the U.S. Civil Service in Europe. Over the years, the Falkenstines also resided in Kaiserslautern, Frankfurt, Bad Nauheim and Munich in Germany; and in Paris, France. Upon their relocation back to the States, they first lived in Albany, GA before settling in 1994 in Tucson, AZ. Said an obituary in the Arizona Daily Star, "Nobody knows how many times Mom packed and unpacked. But, her favorite trip of all was to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jordan in 1978." The Star added that "Her birthplace has its own dialect (Maastreechs') which gave her many unique and colorful sayings. All of us that knew her will always hear her colloquial expressions. Blijf mar Mom!" Madelaine passed away on June 30, 2008. Her funeral mass was held at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, with interment following in Holy Hope Cemetery. Lawrence lived for another three years as a widower. He died at the age of 89 on May 5, 2011. His services were conducted in Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Son Milford Harvey Falkenstine (1929-2010) was born on March 18, 1929 in Morgantown, Monongalia County, WV. He was joined in matrimony with Barbara Ann Wilmoth (Oct. 2, 1943-2018), a native of Clarksburg, WV and the daughter of Glen and Maxine (Lefkowitz) Wilmoth. The only child of this marriage was Valerie Mazza Hollis. Barbara's arm had been broken at birth, and the bones never healed properly, "leaving her without a working elbow," said an obituary. But she lived a long, full, active life, and the family once said "While she never learned to swim, ride a bike or play any sports she didn’t let it stop her from holding a book (or a credit card)." She was a 1961 graduate of Washington Irving High School and studied for a year at West Virginia University. She left WVU and spent a summer working at a jewelry store at the Jersey shore before enrolling in secretarial school. It was after she went to work for the federal government that she met her future husband. They settled in Alexandria, VA, with both employed at the Pentagon. In time they relocated to Sterling, VA and thence to Leesburg, VA. Among Barbara's accomplishments was founding a daycare cooperative in a former barn, and working in various medical offices, including for a pediatrician where she stayed for years. She joined the Loudoun Medical Group where she spent the final 15 years of her career. Said an obituary, Barbara "spent copious amounts of time on her two great passions… reading and shopping. She found a way to combine them (and her volunteering) by joining the board of the Loudoun Library Foundation. While at their annual sale, buying books of course, she criticized how some of the books were being displayed. The gal managing the table told her that if she thought she could do a better job, she was welcome to it." A people-person, she is said to have always been laughing and smiling and finding the good in everyone she encountered. At the age of 81, Milford passed away in Leesburg on Nov. 11, 2010. Burial was in Leesburg's Union Cemetery. Barbara outlived her spouse by eight years and was afflicted with cancer of the colon, uterus and pancreas. Death carried her away on Dec. 29, 2018, at the age of 75. In her obituary, the family requested that any memorial donations be made to the Loudoun Library Foundation, Inc.
~ Stepdaughter Martha Magdalena "Mattie" (Falkenstine) Davis ~
Stepdaughter Martha Magdalena "Mattie" Falkenstine (1877-1947) was born on Aug. 18, 1877 in Preston County, WV.
She was 10 years old when her father remarried to Victoria Belle Martin.
In 1895, she wed Edward Albert Davis (Feb. 21, 1871-1929), a native of Champaign County, IL and the son of John L. and Mary (Barmaster) Davis, who originally were West Virginians.
The couple together bore a large family of offspring -- Mary Millicent "Millie" Gordon, Earl Dewey Davis, Charles Albert Davis, Blanche Kastner, William Edward Davis, Edna Mabel Frey, Jesse Alva Davis, Dorothy Gertrude Davis, Raymond Lawrence Davis, Ernest Merit Davis, Martha Jean Cesario and Gladys Fern Gunder.
The Davises resided in Mount Pleasant and later in rural Hammondville, Fayette County, PA, considered part of Mount Pleasant. Edward earned income as a coal miner and laborer.
The federal census enumeration of 1900 shows the family on Main Street in Mount Pleasant, with Edward laboring in a local coal mine, and his mother Mary E.H. Smith and teenage brother-in-law William "Harvey" Falkenstine living under their roof. In 1910, still in Mount Pleasant, Edward continued his work as a miner, and Mattie's married half-sister Blanche Nixon and family dwelled next door.
Celebration turned to horror at home on Sept. 15, 1929. While playing a violin during some sort of gathering of family and friends, he is said to have tripped over his youngest daughter Agnes, who then began screaming. "Davis ran from the room," said the Somerset Daily American. "A few minutes later a shot was heard and Davis was found lying on the cellar floor. Father and child were removed to hospital, where it was found the child was suffering only from a bruse." Another report in the Latrobe Bulletin said that "Leaving a surprise party held in his honor, [he] went out into the yard and fatally wounded himself with a shotgun... The shot had entered his head. No motive for his act is known."
His remains were placed into the sleep of the ages in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Mattie outlived her husband by 15 years and remained in rural Hammondville.
During her last six years, Mattie endured hypertension. A day after her 70th birthday, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died a day later on Aug. 20, 1947. Eldest son Earl Davis, of rural Mount Pleasant, found her dead in bed, and signed the death certificate. Burial was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. An obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier said that she was survived by a dozen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Daughter Mary Millicent "Millie" Davis (1896- ? ) was born in about 1896. She was united in matrimony with Raymond (or "Roy") Gordon ( ? - ? ). Circa 1947, the Gordons' dwelling-place was in Struthers, OH and in 1962 in Canfield, OH.
Son Earl Dewey Davis (1897-1962) was born on Nov. 13, 1897 in Mount Pleasant. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War I, assigned to Company M. of the 50th Infantry. Earl entered into the rite of marriage with Cleora Roth (Nov. 10, 1903-1991). One son borne of this union was James J. Davis. Their residence was in the borough of Mount Pleasant. As with his brothers William and Jesse, Earl earned a living through his work for Bryce Brothers Glass Company. He held a membership in the Flint Glass Workers union. He also was a member of the Mount Pleasant post of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the local Moose lodge With his health failing, Earl was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Pittsburgh. There, he passed away from a heart attack on Aug. 4, 1962, at the age of 64. The remains sleep for all time in the sacred soil of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, with Rev. Gerald Pardoe having led the services. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Cleora lived for another nearly three decades. Death swept her away at the age of 87 on April 20, 1991.
Son Charles Albert Davis (1900-1973) was born on Feb. 5, 1900 in Mount Pleasant. Charles married Ohio native Edith E. Wardlow (June 12, 1905-1972). The pair did not reproduce. For decades, from the 1920s to the end of their lives, they made a residence in Lebanon, Warren County, OH. In 1930, he was a steelworker with a bridge company and she a waitress in a restaurant. Charles earned a living in 1940 as a restaurant cook and Edith as a laundress in the Lebanon Laundry. As of 1950, when the United States Census was taken, Charles was employed as a taper operator with a stove manifold factory. Their address in the early 1970s was 40 Sage Street. Sadly, she passed away at the age of 66, in Middletown, Butler County, OH, on March 6, 1972. The Dayton Daily News printed a short notice of her passing. He surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 73, in Lebanon, on Oct. 10, 1973. Burial was in Lebanon Cemetery, with a fairly brief obituary appearing in the Cincinnati Post.
Daughter Blanche Davis (1902-1987) was born on March 9, 1902. At the age of 18, she tied the knot with 19-year-old Ivan H. Kastner (July 4, 1900-1991), son of McClelland and Rachel (Metzler) Kastner of Buckeye. Their one known son was Wilford "Billy" Kastner. The pair was in Bridgeport near Mount Pleasant in the 1920s, with the newspaper gossip columns often carrying stories of visits with family. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1930, the family dwelled in Bridgeport and Ivan earned a living as a laborer in a local glass factory, most likely Bryce Glass Company. They resided in the late 1930s on East Main Street, Mount Pleasant, with Ivan employed as a coal miner at the Osborne Mine of the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company, located at Wyno near West Newton. On Sept. 22, 1939, Ivan disappeared after entering the mine, and was missing for a week. The Connellsville Daily Courier reported that "A continuous search has been made through the workings of the mine." A mid-October 1939 Associated Press story carried by newspapeers throughout the state said that "Inspectors J.J. McDonald, John Burlas and George McDonald searched the mine thoroughly without finding a sign of Kastner, who was last seen preparing cartridges for a blast deep in the shaft while working on the night shift." The Monongahela Daily Republican added that "There was no evidence that Kastner was the victim of an accident or trapped beneath rock or coal in his workings." Ivan survived the ordeal, but no news stories about a rescue are known. He and Blanche made news in late September 1941 when she "jumped from a second-story window to escape a fire which destroyed the two-story business block of E.N. Harman on East Main Street...," reported the Associated Press. "Mrs. Kastner said she was awakened by an explosion in her fruit market under her apartment. She suffered leg and back injuries in jumping to the ground." At the time, Ivan had been washing the front windows and she was asleep, and when awakened realized her path was blocked by smoke and flames. Said the Latrobe Bulletin, "Firemen fastened a grappling hook on the roof with a rope fastened to it that dangled past the Kastneer apartment. They told the woman to grab the rope and slide down but she jumped instead, landing on her feet. She was taken to the Frick Memorial Hospital..." The couple relocated to College Avenue in Mount Pleasant and then in April 1943 migrated to Struthers, Mahoning County, OH. Their move to Ohio generated front-page news in the Daily Courier. At some point, Ivan is believed to have painted a scene of the old Buckeye company town and coke ovens and in June 1968 gave it to his brother, Rev. Wilfred Kastner. The work of art later was donated to the West Overton Village and Museums. Blanche passed away in Aug. 1987. Ivan is thought to have died on Aug. 13, 1991.
Son William Edward Davis (1904-1962) was born in 1904. He lived in Hammondville and appears not to have married. He worked for Bryce Brothers Glass Company in Mount Pleasant and was a member of the Flint Glass Workers of America. He also belonged to the Kosciuszko Club, Sons of Columbus, Firemen's Club of Mount Pleasant and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Just eight days after the death of his brother Earl, William was found dead at home in Bullskin Township at the age of 57 on or about Aug. 12, 1962. Rev. Gerald Pardoe presided at the funeral service, with burial next to the brother in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The Connellsville Daily Courier published an obituary.
Daughter Edna "Mabel" Davis (1907-1983) was born in 1907. She married Charles Alexander Frey (1900-1983). Two offspring in this family were Charles Alexander Frey Jr. and Mabel "June" Frey. They moved to Ohio and in 1947 dwelled in Berlin Center, OH. In time they relocated to Kensington, OH and once again in 1951to Texas. Circa 1961, they dwelled on a farm about five miles west of Calallen, TX. The Freys are known to have lived in Robstown, TX in 1962 and Corpus Christi in 1974. Their address in 1983 was 9416 Morrow. With great sadness, the Freys outlived both of their adult children. Charles Jr. survived several maritime accidents only to be killed while working an an automobile in 1965, and daughter Mabel in February 1983. Edna only outlived her daughter by a few months. She passed away in a Corpus Christi hospital at the age of 75 on April 1, 1983. An obituary in the Corpus Christi Times noted that funeral services were led by Rev. John Whitton of Ebony Acres Baptist Church. Funeral services were conducted in Corpus Christi.
Son Jesse Alva "Duck" Davis (1910-1962) was born on Dec. 4, 1910 in Bridgeport near Mount Pleasant. He wed Mildred Melvina "Nook" Whitehair (Dec. 13, 1911-1959), daughter of Perry and Lillian (Shaffer) Whitehair. They resided for 40 years in Mount Pleasant Township and were the parents of four -- Bonnie Clausner, Joan Aneta Carleton, Terry E. Davis and two infant brothers. Jesse was employed by Bryce Brothers Glass Company of Mount Pleasant, where his brother William also worked. They attended the Bridgeport Evangelical United Brethren Church. He held memberships in the Kosciusko Club and Mount Pleasant Veterans Club. Mildred contracted rheumatic fever at the age of 12 and never fully recovered. For years, she suffered from "aortic stenosis" -- a narrowing of the heart valves restricting blood flow. Sadly, Mildred suffered a heart attack at the age of 47 and passed away suddenly in Hammondville on July 5, 1959. Jesse outlived her by just three-plus years. After contracting diabetes, followed by hardening of the arteries and kidney failure, he suffered a blood clot in the brain and was taken to Frick Community Hospital in Mount Pleasant. There, at the age of 51, he died on Nov. 29, 1962. Interment was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, following rites conducted by Rev. Gerald Pardoe. An obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
Daughter Dorothy Gertrude "Dorsie" Davis (1913-2003) was born on June 18, 1913 in Bridgeport near Mount Pleasant. She planted herself in Missouri as of 1947 and then in Phoenix, AZ as of 1962-1974. By 1983, she was back in West Virginia, living in Bruceton Mills. She died in Kingwood at the age of 90 on Dec. 28, 2003. Her burial was conducted in Sugar Valley Cemetery in Bruceton Mills.
Son Raymond Lawrence "Ray" Davis (1915-1995) was born on Nov. 18, 1915 in Bridgeport near Mount Pleasant. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army. Raymond was joined in the bonds of holy matrimony with Sara Daphane Boyer (1918-1988), daughter of Charles Wilbur and Lillian Gertude (Hebenthal) Boyer. The pair of offspring borne of this union were Florence Jean Davis and Raymond Lawrence "Buzzy" Davis Jr. Their home in 1946-1974 was in Mount Pleasant, with an address of 321 Smithfield Street in the mid-1940s. Tragedy struck on the fateful day of Aug. 30, 1946, when their two-year-old son Raymond Jr. received a fractured skull and went into shock when struck by a moving vehicle. The Connellsville Daily Courier reported that "The child is said to have run out into the path of the machine, hitting the fender, in front of the home in Smithfield street." He was rushed to Frick Memorial Hospital where he died later that day. Adding to the heartache, Raymond Sr. was still in the Army at the time, awaiting formal discharge in Michigan. Funeral services were held in the Davis home, by the hand of Rev. E.G. Sawyer of the United Brethren Church. Inscribed on the boy's grave marker in Mount Pleasant Cemetery is the prayer "I pray the Lord my soul to take." By 1983, the couple moved to Phoenix, AZ. Sara passed away in 1988. Raymond died in Donegal, Westmoreland County at the age of 79 on Aug. 10, 1995. The remains were lowered under the sod of Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In a twist, Sara's sister Florence M. Boyer wed later in life to Raymond's distant cousin Harold Daniel Minerd II of the family of William Alfred and Effie (Cooley) Minerd.
Son Earnest Merit Davis (1919-2006) was born on Jan. 20, 1919 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. He wed Nancy Allen (July 15, 1924-2014), daughter of L.L. and Mamie L. Allen of Enfield, Halifax County, NC. Their union endured for an extraordinary 61 years. They became the parents of a son, Earnest Allen Davis. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Force and attained the rank of first lieutenant. Assigned to the 8th Air Force, he piloted B-17 bombers and is known to have flown 33 missions over Europe. He earned a Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and a Presidential Unit Citation as well as receiving a Purple Heart. After the war, the couple settled in Nancy's hometown and stayed for the remainder of their years. Earnest attended Elon College and went on to a professional banking career. For 33 years, he was employed with the Enfield branch of Peoples Bank, retiring as vice president. They were members of Enfield Baptist Church. Said the Rocky Mount Telegram, Nancy "was a housewife and homemaker and enjoyed taking care of her beloved husband and son... She instilled a passion for academics and learning in her son Allen and considered this her legacy.. Death swept him away at the age of 87, in Enfield, on May 15, 2006. Interment was in Elmwood Cemetery, with Rev. Marc Sanders presiding. Nancy outlived her husband by eight years. She died on April 4, 2014. Rev. Kerry Peeler and Rev. Shawn Mitchell co-officiated the graveside burial service at Elmwood Cemetery.
Daughter Martha "Jean" Davis (1921-2010) was born on May 9, 1921 in Hammondville. In 1940, she was joined in wedlock with Domenick E. "Dom" Cesario (April 15, 1917-1998). Together, they produced a trio of sons -- Ronald W. Cesario, Robert E. Cesario and Larry "Butch" Cesario. The couple lived in Hammondville in 1947 and in Mount Pleasant in 1962-1983. Domenick served as safety director of the Bullskin Township Volunteer Fire Department in the 1970s, and their son Ronald as president. The family held a membership in the Paradise United Methodist Church, and Jean belonged to the Bullskin Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of Columbus. She earned a living as a supervisor for Westmoreland Manufacturing Company. Said the Greensburg Tribune-Review, "She loved crocheting and was an excellent baker, always anxious to share her baked goods with family and friends." Sadly, Domenick passed away on Jan. 31, 1998. Jean endured for another dozen years as a widow. The angel of death cut her away at the age of 88 on Feb. 20, 2010 as a patient in Excela Health Frick Hospital. Rev. Charles Prevot led funeral services in the Paradise United Methodist Church, followed by burial in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Inscribed on their red barre granite grave marker is the phrase "Our love goes with you and our souls wait to join you." She was survived by 10 grandchildren. An obituary in the Tribune-Review noted that she "was the last surviving member of her family."
~ Stepson Jesse Orval Falkenstine Sr. ~
Stepson Jesse Orval Falkenstine Sr. (1880-1944) was born on March 2. 1880 in Valley Point, Preston County, WV. Once, when a government official wrote the middle name as "Orvill," it was crossed out and "Orval" spelled above it.
Jesse was age six when his mother died and seven years old when his father married Belle Martin. He relocated in young manhood to Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. The federal census enumeration of 1900 shows him boarding there in the home of James and Maud Eicher and earning a living as a laborer.
On Nov. 4 1903, when he was 23 years of age, he married 20-year-old Essie L. Clayton (Oct 17, 1882-1958), daughter of Thomas Bolyn "Boe" and Joanna "Joan" (Maxwell) Clayton. Their nuptials were held in the bride's residence in Fairmont, presided over by Baptist minister Rev. W.J. Eddy.
The Falkenstines bore a brood of three sons, Paul Lewis Falkenstein, Jesse Orval Falkenstine Jr. and William K. Falkenstine.
Circa 1904-1906, when their two younger sons were born, the family dwelled on East Main Street in Mount Pleasant. Later, they moved to Fairmont, Marion County, WV and remained through the 1930s, if not longer. Over the years, they returned to Mount Pleasant for visit with Jesse's half-sister Blanche Nixon, as noted in newspaper gossip columns.
When Jesse was required to register for the military draft in 1918 during World War I, he disclosed that their dwelling was at 207 Pennsylvania Avenue in Fairmont. He earned a living at that time as a salesman for Stevenson Company, standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 165 lbs.
Jesse was employed as a salesman for a wholesale house in 1930. They was members of the First Baptist Church, and he a a charter member and grand counsellor of the United Commercial Travelers Association and the local lodge of the Masons.
Jesse was burdened with kidney disease and died at age 64 at the Hall Rest Home in Fairmont, on March 17, 1944. His remains were returned to his old home region for burial at Mt. Moriah Cemetery.
Essie spent her widowed years in Wallace near Fairmont. She married again at the age of 68 on March 13, 1952 to 82-year-old David Ai Flanagan (July 5, 1869-1952), son of Eli and Elizabeth (Strother) Flanagan, and a native of Grass Run, Harrison County, WV. Officiating their service, held in Wallace, was Rev. Kenneth E. Bonnell.
They made their brief residence together in Trouser Leg Run in rural Sardis, Harrison County. Just six months after their wedding, on Sept. 7, 1952, David died from pneumonia. The body was interred in the the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Brown, WV.
Her final home was in Wallace. After enduring diabetes, and suffering a heart attack, she slipped away into the arms of death on May 22, 1958. in Fairmont Hospital. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont.
Son Jesse Orville Falkenstine Jr. (1904-1963) -- also known as "Jesse Swazey Falkenstine" -- was born on Oct. 5, 1904 in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. When he was four years of age, he and his parents moved to Fairmont, Marion County, WV. There, he appears to have remained for the duration of his life, some 55 more years. On Aug. 30, 1936, Jesse at the age of 32 entered into wedlock with 27-year-old Cora "Marie" Renner ( ? - ? ), a native of Monongalia County, WV. Their nuptials were held in the Methodist Church in Fairmont, presided by Rev. J.M. Helm. The couple appears not to have reproduced. Jesse was employed as a freight clerk by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, and he retired from this position. Their address in the early 1960s was 307˝ Walnut Avenue. Suffering from hardening of the artteries and heart disease, Jesse died in Fairmont at the age of 58 on Sept. 28, 1963. The remains were interred in Beverly Hills Memorial Gardens in Morgantown.
Son William K. Falkenstine (1906- ? ) is believed to have been born on Dec. 29, 1906 in or near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA. On Nov. 24, 1921, he and his brother Jesse are known to have attended the West Virginia University Mountaineers football game at Mountaineer Field, a 13-0 loss to Washington and Jefferson, as noted in the gossip columns of the Fairmont West Virginian. He found work in a local bank as a teller, and was employed in this capacity as a bachelor in 1930. At the age of 28, on April 27, 1935, he was joined in matrimony with 25-year-old Dorothy M. Hawkins (1911- ? ), also of Fairmont and the daughter of James Hawkins. Officiating the wedding ceremony, held in the First Presbyterian Church of Fairmont, was Rev. George E. Bevans. The family resided in Fairmont, where William continued to be employed in 1950 as a bank teller. The 1950 U.S. Census shows Dorothy's 80-year-old, widowed father living in their household. William may have died in October 1978, but this needs to be confirmed.
~ Son Russell Earl Falkenstine ~
Son Russell Earl Falkenstine (1891-1978) -- also spelled "Falkenstein" -- was born on June 30, 1891 at Valley Point, Preston County, WV.
When both he and she were age 21, he was joined in holy matrimony with Maude Lenhart (1891-1931), the daughter of Frederick A. and Jennie (Graham) Lenhart of Pleasant Valley, Preston County.
They together bore a trio of offspring -- Herman "Willard" Falkenstine, Donald F. Falkenstine and Virginia Falkenstine.
The family initially lived on a farm at Albright, and later at Bruceton Mills, Preston County. When the United States Census was made in 1930, Russell earned a living as a laborer of "log woods" and 14-year-old son Willard as a general farm laborer.
Maude passed away at the age of 39, on April 17, 1931, of "heart failure due to intoxication." Her death occurred at the City Hospital in nearby Morgantown, Monongalia County. The Morgantown Post simply said she "had been a patient only a few hours" and that "Death was due to pneumonia." She was laid to rest at the Sugar Valley Cemetery.
Compounding the tragedy, just three years later, their son Donald died at age 13, on March 14, 1934, of pneumonia and scarlet fever. He was buried at Sugar Valley.
At the age of 42, on Sept. 2, 1933, Russell married his second wife, 48-year-old Bliss O. (Frankhouser) Wolfe (1886- ? ). Rev. Ira Lyons officiated their wedding, held at the parsonage of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Bruceton Mills.
The census of 1940 shows Russell and Bliss in the Pleasant District, with him generating income as a farm manager. In 1950, his occupation was construction of a retail feed store.
Russell passed away at Bruceton Mills in April 1978, and is buried at Sugar Valley as well.
Son Herman "Willard" Falkenstine (1915-2004) was born on May 31, 1915 in Preston County. At the age of 14, he earned income as a farm laborer in or near Albright, Preston County. On June 27, 1936, when he was 21 years of age, Willard wed 18-year-old Beulah Pearl Ringer (1918-2009) of Bruceton Mills. Because she legally was too young to marry, her parents had to provide written consent. Methodist Episcopal Church pastor Rev. Lloyd Myers officiated the nuptials, held at Albright. Three known children of this union were Frederick Arthur Falkenstine, Sandra K. Falkenstine and Larry K. Falkenstine. In 1940, federal census records show the young family residing in the household of Willard's father, with Willard working as a timberman in the woods. Then in 1950, in Springhill Township, Fayette County, he farmed to generate income. At the time of their 19th wedding anniversary in 1955, when mentioned in a Uniontown (PA) Evening Standard social column, they were making a home at Lake Lynn near Point Marion, Fayette County. The family relocated to Cleveland, OH and were there in 1964. Willard passed away in Fairchance, PA on Jan. 7, 2004. Burial was in Sugar Valley Cemetery in Bruceton Mills. Beulah Pearl survived her husband by five years. Death carried her away on Nov. 26, 2009.
Daughter Virginia L. Falkenstine (1923-2011) was born on July 25, 1923. She was united in matrimony with James "Guy" Kelly (April 5, 1921-2012). During World War II, Guy served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of sergeant. They bore a family of at least three -- Ronald Eugene Kelly, Donna J. Kelly and Marlene Stanton -- and resided in Albright and Bruceton Mills. Virginia passed away on Jan. 7, 2011. Guy only lived for another 15 months, but during that time marked his 90th birthday with a family gathering. He died on April 2, 2012.
~ Daughter Blanche (Falkenstine) Nixon ~
Daughter Blanche Falkenstine (1890-1944) was born on Sept. 27, 1890 in Valley Point, Preston County.
At the age of 20, circa 1910, she married John Nixon Sr. (Sept. 10, 1887-1959), a native of Bridgeport near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA, and the son of Irish immigrants William and Elizabeth (McCaffery) Nixon.
The offspring born to this union were Evalyn Kastner, William Nixon, Mildred Culbert Johnson, George Edward "Rook" Nixon, Paul Russell Nixon and John J. "Jack" Nixon Jr.
They resided in Mount Pleasant, where John earned a living in 1910-1920-1930 as a glass cutter in the Bryce Glass Company factory and in 1940 as a foreman in the plant. Their next-door neighbors in 1910 were Blanche's married half-sister Mattie Davis and family.
In 1925, the family was shrouded in mourning when their eight-year-old son Paul contracted acute tetanus and died on June 15, 1925. The remains were lowered under the sod of Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
The Nixons' address in the early 1940s was 211 College Avenue. John belonged to the Rotary Club of Scottdale, Mount Pleasant Elks Club, Mount Pleasant Fire Department, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Order of Independent Americans of Bridgeport.
During the last three years of her life, Blanche suffered from heart and kidney disease. Grief descended over the family when she passed away in Mount Pleasant on Aug. 10, 1944. Interment of the remains was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
John survived his first wife by 15 years. On Feb. 27, 1954, he wed again to Maolla (Giles) Lipps (July 14, 1889-1959), widow of John T. Lipps and the daughter of Harry W. and Mollie (Maxwell) Giles. Their simple ceremony was officiated by Rev. B.F. Bungard, of the First Evangelical United Brethren Church of Mount Pleasant, in the bride's residence.
Maolla was a longtime educator who taught at schools in Upper Tyrone Township and Scottdale. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Business and Professional Women's Club of Scottdale and Order of Eastern Star.
For the last decade of his life, John endured congestive heart failure and hardening of the arteries. He was admitted to Frick Memorial Hospital in town and there surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 71 on June 15, 1959. Burial was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Rev. Charles E. Hamnett led the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Connellville Daily Courier. He was survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and a sister in Ireland.
Maolla only lived for two weeks as a widow. She passed away at the age of 69 on the Fourth of July 1959.
Daughter Evalyn May Nixon (1908-1940) was born on Sept. 12, 1908 in Mount Pleasant. She was joined in marriage with Jacob "Turney" Kastner (Aug. 13, 1904-1964), son of McClelland and Rachel (Metzler) Kastner of Buckeye near Mount Pleasant. In a twist, Evalyn's first cousin Blanche Davis married Turney's brother Ivan. Two daughters of the couple were Nancy Virginia Kastner and Rebecca Sue Kastner. The family lived as 123 College Avenue in Mount Pleasant. Turney was employed as a furnace man by Bryce Brothers Glass Company at its Mount Pleasant factory. He held memberships in the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Scottdale and the Flint Glass Workers of America, and in 1933 held a set on Mount Pleasant Borough Council. Evalyn was president of the Ladies' Auxiliary to the Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department. Both were members of the United Brethren Church. Joy turned quickly to grief when, after giving birth, Evalyn suffered phlebits of the leg. She was brought home and "was in apparently the best of health" when without warning she died, reported the Connellsville Daily Courier. The cause was an embolism obstruction of the heart, at the age of 31, on March 16, 1940. Her funeral, held in the family church, had "an attendance so large that the church, including the auditorium and balcony, would not accommodate all present," said the Daily Courier. Following rites led by her pastor Rev. E.G. Sawyer, the remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Pallbearers included George Kastner, Donald Queer, Earl Davis, Jeff Falkenstein, William Falkenstein and Willard Falkenstein. The auxiliary held a memorial service in April, and a memorial plate is believed to have been placed in the firemen's room of the borough building. Turney outlived his bride and married again to Helen (White) Beanner (Dec. 9, 1904-1954), daughter of Andrew and Josephine (Smith) White. The couple did not reproduce. Their address was 108 East Main Street, Mount Pleasant. Helen contracted rheumatic fever in about 1949 which led to rheumatic heart disease, and she never fully recovered. Sadly, she died at the age of 49 in Frick Memorial Hospital on Jan. 2, 1954. Rev. M.B. Clendenen officiated the funeral, with burial in Mount Washington Cemetery at Perryopolis. Turney's third spouse was Mildred (Sheaffer) Huff ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles J. and Elizabeth (White) Sheaffer. Mildred too had been wed previously and brought two stepchildren into the union -- Jack Huff and Jean Perrete. Their address was 108 East Main Street, Mount Pleasant. In his final years he was burdened with kidney disease and inflammation of the skin. At the age of 59, on Jan. 24, 1964, he died in Frick Community Hospital. Rev. Gereald Pardoe presided at the funeral, with the Daily Courier carrying an obituary.
Son William Nixon (1911-1974) was born in about 1911. He relocated to Detroit by 1940 and was there in 1959. He is believed to be the same "William Donald Nixon" who was born on June 23, 1910 in Mount Pleasant and was married to Mary Catherine (1910- ? ). They did not reproduce. This couple lived in Detroit in 1935-1940 at 1549 Harding Avenue, with him earning a living with Progressive Welder Company. The 1940 federal census lists the couple in Detroit, with William working as a purchasing agent for the welding firm, and providing a home for Mary Catherine's bachelor brother Philip Cummings. In 1950, the pair was still in Detroit and he continued his work as a welding company purchasing agent. Their final residence was in Warren, Macomb County, MI. William passed away on Nov. 21, 1974, in Royal Oak, MI.
Daughter Mildred Nixon (1912-1989) was born in about 1912. She was a 1930 graduate of Mount Pleasant High School. She then trained as a nurse at Columbia Hospital in Wilkinsburg near Pittsburgh. On June 24, 1933, in nuptials held in the parsonage of the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Greensburg, PA, she entered into marriage with William J. Culbert Jr. (Nov. 26, 1901-1960), son of William J. and Elizabeth (Batchelor) Culbert of Millvale near Pittsburgh. Rev. William Owen led the ceremony. The marriage was announced on the pages of the Connellsville Daily Courier. William's name often was misspelled over time as "Covert" and "Colbert." He is believed to have brought a stepson into the union, James R. Culbert. The pair went on to bear one son of their own, John W. "Jackie" Culbert. Circa 1938-1940, they resided in Wilkinsburg, with him working as a clerk in a department store. Their address in the late 1940s was at 744 Delano Drive in Pleasant Hills. Tragedy befell the family on May 10, 1948, when their three-year-old son John badly cut himself at home by falling on a broken glass jar. Said the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, he "and some other boys were having a water pistol battle. When the water ran low, the tot ran back to the garage and filled a glass jar. While he was running back to his friends, John fell and the jar smashed. His hand was cut badly [and the] gash was so eeep that the boy was taken to the operating room for treatment..." While undergoing surgery to repair his right hand, the boy went into respiratory failure under anesthetic and died in the wee hours of the next day. His remains were laid to rest in Jefferson Memorial Park, and his photo was published in the Sun-Telegraph. By 1950, the federal census enumeration shows the couple had moved to Pleasant Hills near Pittsburgh, with Mildred and William both employed in a department store, her in toy sales and him selling furniture. At one time she was a member of the Anna M. Rote Memorial Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star. In 1959, she made a home in Detroit, and in 1960 at 310 Saratoga Drive in Pleasant Hills. Sadly, on the fateful day of Feb. 3, 1960, the 58-year-old unemployed William made the decision to end his life. While in his garage at home, he arranged to breathe carbon monoxide until death swept him away. His obituary appeared in the Sun-Telegraph. Burial was in Jefferson Memorial Park. By 1966, Mildred had married again to J.L.V. Johnson ( ? - ? ) and was named in the Pittsburgh Press obituary of her brother George. She died on March 28, 1989. Interment also was in Jefferson.
Son George Edward "Rook" Nixon (1913-1966) was born on Christmas Day 1913. On Aug. 6, 1939, in Mount Pleasant, the 25-year-old George wed 22-year-old clerk Sarah Ruth Brooks (1917-2014), daughter of Edward F. and Maude (Williams) Brooks of Mount Pleasant. Rev. V.O. Barnhart officiated. They became the parents of two -- Janet Louise Fescemyer Snively Moore and George Edward Nixon Jr. The Nixons dwelled with George's parents in Mount Pleasant in 1940, where he was employed in a local glass factory, likely Bryce Glass Company where his father worked. By 1959, they had moved to Pittsburgh, where he was worked as a yardmaster for the Union Railroad. The couple's address in the mid-1960s was 1554 Marlboro Avenue, Wilkinsburg. George belonged to the Loyalty lodge of the Masons. He became afflicted with hardening of the arteries and an enlarged heart. When developing into congestive heart failure, he passed away in Wilkinsburg's Columbia Hospital at the age of 52 on Jan. 31, 1966. Burial was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Sarah Ruth lived for another 48 years as a widow. She died at the age of 97 on Feb. 11, 2014. An obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The headcount of her survivors was six grandchildren and a dozen grandchildren.
Son John J. "Jack" Nixon Jr. (1921-1976) was born on July 3, 1921 in Mount Pleasant. During World War II, on Nov. 12, 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy and trained as an aviation cadet. He was assigned to the Marine Night Fighting Squadron of the 534 Mag, and was deployed to Guam from August to December 1945. John received his honorable discharge on March 2, 1946. From there he migrated to Detroit's Ferndale community where he appears to have met his future wife. On Nov. 29, 1947, John entered into marital union with Rita B. Prekel (1926-2011), a native of Detroit and the daughter of Joseph and Veronica (Porczak) Prekel. Rita was an alumna of Pershing High School. Together they produced a family of three sons -- Dennis Nixon, John J. Nixon III and Paul Nixon. The Nixons' residence initially was in Royal Oak, Oakland County, at 2513 North Wilson as of 1950. Then in 1970 they moved to Troy, MI, where they spent the last five-plus year of their lives together. John was employed as general manager of Genuine Parts Distributors, an automotive parts business in Ferndale. He also was an usher at St. Hugo Catholic Church. Rita has been described as a servant leader -- said an obituary in the Oakland (MI) Press, she "was a servant to everyone in her life. Her life was guided by her faith, and she was a true prayer soldier. Every ounce of her energy was dedicated to her loving husband, three sons, grandchildren, and community. Her mission in life was to continue to find creative ways to give, not receive." She was a longtime volunteer at St. Irenaeus Church, the Criminal Justice Ministry of the Oakland County Jail Chaplain Office, St. Patrick's Church Food Pantry and Baldwin Center in Pontiac. Sadly, at the age of 54, John died in William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak on May 9, 1976. His obituary was published in the Detroit Free Press. Rita survived her husband by 35 years and dwelled in Rochester Hills, MI. At the age of 84, she passed away on July 11, 2011. Her memorial mass was held in the family church, with the cremains placed into eternal sleep in the White Chapel Cemetery.
~ Son Alva "Gay" Falkenstine ~
Son Alva "Gay" Falkenstine (1893-1975) -- also spelled at times as "Falkenstein" -- was born on Sept. 23, 1893 in Valley Point in the Pleasant District of Preston County, WV.
Gay stood 5 feet, 11 inches tall in manhood and weighed 145 lbs. At the age of 25, he was joined in marriage with 19-year-old Erma "Faye" Everly (Aug. 29, 1900-1990), originally from Laurel Run, Preston County.
Four known offspring of the pair were James "Carlus" Falkenstine, Mary "Maxine" Darby, Gay "Junior" Falkenstine Jr. and Lilly "Marie" Spitzngle.
Circa 1917, Gay was a farm laborer, working for Sam Miller near Valley Point. Then during World War I, Gay joined in the U.S. Army, serving from July 25, 1918 to Dec. 7, 1918. He is known to have been a sawmill laborer in 1930.
The family home in 1941 was in Bruceton Mills. Gay farmed and also worked for the Monongahela West Penn Public Service Company of Morgantown. In 1947, they dwelled in Albright, Preston County. Federal census records for 1950 show that Gay's occupation was as a foreman with a power company.
At the age of 81, Gay passed away on April 29, 1975. Burial was in Sugar Valley Cemetery.
Faye endured as a widow for 15 years. She surrendered to the spirit of death at age 89 on July 29, 1990.
Son James "Carlus" Falkenstine (1921-1969) was born on Jan. 31, 1921. He received a bachelor of science in agriculture and a master's degree in agriculture education from West Virginia University. He then taught science and agriculture in West Virginia. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Armed Forces. In Aug. 1949, in nuptials held in Danforth Chapel on the Berea College campus, he wed Frances M. Lafferty ( ? -2008), daughter of W.A. Lafferty of Canmer, KY. The marriage was announced in the Louisville Courier Journal. The two offspring born into the family were James Carlus Falkenstine Jr. and Carol Sue de Rosset. The newlyweds first lived in Bruceton Mills, and moved to Frances' home state of Kentucky in 1955. Carlus was hired by the Scott County School system in Georgetown, KY to teach vocational agriculture at the Stamping Ground School. The couple made their residence in Paris, KY. He was promoted to principal of the school and then in early 1957 was named vocational agriculture instructor at Bourbon County High School. Moving quickly into the new school system, he received a promotion to principal of North Middletown High School in August 1957. In May 1965, Carlus received a doctorate in education from the University of Kentucky. Then on the recommendation of the university's president Dr. John Oswald, he was tapped to be director of Southeast Community College of Cumberland, KY. There, he remained for the final three-and-a-half years of his life. In the community, he was president of the Rotary Club of Cumberland and belonged to the Cumberland Chamber of Commerce as well as chairing the board of the Cumberland United Methodist Church. He also was chairman of the Citizens Advisory Board and held seats n the Harlan County Library and Rebecca Caudill Library boards and belonged to the Little Shepherd's Trail Association. On the fateful Sunday of Jan. 5, 1969, after "completing a jogging session around the campus," he collapsed and died at the age of 48, reported the Lexington Herald-Leader. He was pictured in an obituary in the Courier-Journal. Rev. James Wilson presided at funeral services held in the family church. The body then was transported back to Preston County to sleep for all time in Sugar Valley Cemetery. In his memory in May 1971, the college dedicated a new academic affairs building, "Falkenstine Hall," comprirised of a four-story structure, theater, bookstore, classrooms, offices, grill and shower facilities. Frances lived for another nearly four decades. Her final home was in Berea. She passed away at the age of 95 on Feb. 3, 2008. Her obituary appeared in the Herald-Leader. The funeral was conducted in the Sugar Valley Methodist Church.
Daughter Mary "Maxine" Falkenstine (1922-2008) was born on May 15, 1922. On Nov. 30, 1939, when she was 17 years of age, she married Hugh Warren Darby (1916-1994). The Darbys dwelled in Bruceton Mills and became the parents of four -- Warren "Butch" Darby, Jane Ann Monroe, James Darby and Thomas Darby. Hugh died in 1994. Burial was in Sugar Valley Cemetery. Maxine survived for another 14 years and remained in Bruceton. She was carried away by the angel of death a week after her 86th birthday on May 22, 2008.
Son Gay Junior "June" Falkenstine (1929- ? ) was born on July 11, 1929 in Kingwood, Preston County. He wed Cossie "Elaine" Rehe (April 26, 1930-2013) and made a home in Kingwood, WV. Junior died at the age of 55, in Bruceton Mills, on Oct. 28, 1984. Interment was in Sugar Valley Cemetery. The widowed Elaine lived to the age of 82. She succumbed to the spectre of death in Kingwood on Jan. 9, 2013. Her burial was conducted in Maplewood Cemetery, Kingwood.
Daughter Lilly "Marie" Falkenstine (1935- ? ) was born on Nov. 5, 1935 in Bruceton Mills. She grew up in Albright, WV and apparently did not marry until later in life. She was in Bruceton Mills as of 1969, using her maiden name. Marie eventually was united in wedlock with Clark Spitznogle Sr. ( ? - ? ). Having been married previously, he brought five stepchildren into the second union -- Margie Mason, Mary Ruth Burke, Doris Neff, Clark Spitznogle Jr. and Mark Spitznoble. They established a residence in Waynesburg, Greene County, PA, at the address of 85 South West Street. She died in Morgantown at the age of 67 on Nov. 19, 2002. The funeral was led by Pastor Fred W. Tomlinson at the Mount Morris Gospel Tabernacle. She sleeps in the same grave plot as her parents. An obituary was published in the Morgantown Dominion Post.