What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us



Clarence 'Jay' McKnight


Jay McKnight

Clarence "Jay" McKnight was born on Feb. 7 (or 11), 1896 near Dawson, Fayette County, PA, the son of Charles and Keziah (Stimmell) McKnight

As an adult, he was of medium height and build, with grey eyes and light brown hair.

Jay married Clara Belle Keffer (Oct. 14, 1893-1974), the daughter of Isaac and Virginia (Snyder) Keffer of Dawson. The wedding took place on July 13, 1915 in nearby Westmoreland County, PA, when he was age 19 and she 22.

They resided in Dawson, Fayette County.

The McKnights produced a family of eight children -- Jesse Franklin McKnight, Charles William McKnight, Pearl Sherman, Thomas Elsworth McKnight, Beatrice Nelson Forsythe, Trellis Rae Mellinger, Ruby Livingston and Elma Antonini. 

In June 1917, when he was required to register for the military draft during World War I, Jay stated that he was married with two children, and at the time was a coal miner at the Jimtown Mine of the Jimtown Coal Company.


Dawson along the banks of the Youghiogheny River, 1929



Jay, in doorway, in a 4-generation photo

When the federal census was enumerated in 1920, the McKnights lived in Dawson. The census record shows Jay employed as a machinist in a local coal mine. He also earned a living as a farmer over the Depression years when the mines closed due to the poor economy.

In the four generations photo seen here, Jay stands in the doorway at left, with his father Charles (left) and grandfather Henry McKnight seated, and one of Jay's sons standing at right. 

They were members of the Bryan Methodist Church in Dawson and of the Dawson Grange.

During World War II, at least three of the McKnights' sons served in the United States military -- Charles, Jesse and Thomas. Charles and Jesse were pictured together in a local newspaper article, along with their cousins Oliver and Glenn McKnight, sons of William Stewart and Mary Frances McKnight

In about 1955, at the age of 59, Jay and Clara Belle relocated to Wyoming, settling in the town of Casper. There, he was employed by the City of Casper, and their address was 1004 South Poplar. They remained in Casper for four years until his passing.


Uniontown Herald Standard

After what the Casper Morning Star called "a lengthy illness," Jay died in Casper at the age of 63 on July 29, 1959. His remains were shipped back to Fayette County for burial at their church cemetery. An obituary was published in his hometown newspaper, the Connellsville Daily Courier, which said he was survived by 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Clara Belle survived him by 15 years. She was a member of the Bryan Methodist Church in Dawson and the Dawson Grange No. 419. Her home was on Bridge Street in Dawson.

She passed away at the age of 80 on Feb. 22, 1974 as a patient in Connellsville State General Hospital. She was laid to eternal rest in Cochran Cemetery in Dawson, and was survived by 19 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Her obituary was published in both the Daily Courier and the Uniontown Herald Standard.


~ Daughter Beatrice Maebelle (McKnight) Nelson Forsythe ~

Daughter Beatrice Maebelle McKnight (1915-2011) was born on Sept. 4, 1915 in Lower Tyrone Township near Dawson, PA.

She was married twice.  Her first husband was Julius Nelson ( ? - ? ), son of Nancy G. Nelson. They were wed on Feb. 1, 1934 in Uniontown. 

The couple bore two known children, Fanchon Maetta Pringle and Jay Robert Nelson..

In 1945, citing desertion, Beatrice sued for divorce. She was awarded alimony, but sued him again in 1952 for non-support. In 1953, Julius' home was in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA

She later married Ira Forsythe (Sept. 28, 1909-1985) and lived in Perryopolis, Fayette County. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. She held a membership in the Perryopolis United Methodist Church and Brownfield Community Seniors.

Ira was spirited away by the angel of death in 1985. His remains lie in eternal repose in Mount Washington Cemetery in Perryopolis. 

Beatrice's final years were spent in Dawson. At the age of 95, she passed away on July 23, 2011. She was survived by six grandchildren, a dozen great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

Anchor Hocking plant in Connellsville

Daughter Fanchon Maetta Nelson married Korean War veteran William L. "Oogie" Pringle (1929-1999). On July 17, 1953, they were wed in Winchester, VA, at the Methodist parsonage, with Fanchon's uncle, Glenn Livingston, giving her in marriage and her aunt, Ruby Virginia Livingston serving as her matron. They are believe to be the parents of David Pringle and Cindy O'Nell. The Pringles resided in Dawson, where Fanchon worked at Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation and William was employed with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad as a fireman. William died at age 69 on Oct. 19, 1999. The widowed Fanchon has maintained a home in Connellsville.

  • Grandson David Pringle relocated to Fort Lauderdale and was there in 2011.
  • Granddaughter Cindy wed (?) O'Nell. Her home was in Connellsville in 2011.

Son Jay Robert Nelson graduated from Dunbar Township High School and immediately joined the U.S. Navy. While in the Department of the Navy in Washington, DC, he met fellow employee LaVonne F. Heiman ( ? - ? ), daughter of Oscar Heiman of Emery, SD. On Feb. 22, 1958, the couple was united in marriage in a ceremony held in the Lutheran church in Winchester, VA. Jay's mother and step-father served as attendants. Four offspring in this family were Jeffrey Nelson, Fanchon Nelson, Steven Nelson and Robert Nelson. The couple lived in Oceana, VA. Jay later was promoted to senior chief aviation electrician's mate and served aboard the USS Forrestal with Attack Squadron 85. The couple eventually divorced, with LaVonne and the children residing in Memphis, TN. In time, Jay married again to Deborah ( ? - ? ). In 2011, their residence was in Dawson.

  • Grandson Jeffrey Nelson ( ? - ? ) has lived in Memphis.
  • Granddaughter Fanchon Nelson ( ? - ? ) was in Memphis in 2011.
  • Grandson Steven Nelson ( ? - ? ) made his dwelling in 2011 in Memphis.
  • Grandson Robert Nelson ( ? - ? ) has resided in Memphis.

~ Son Charles William "Red" McKnight Sr. ~

Son Charles William "Red" McKnight Sr. (1916-1990) was born on Dec. 16, 1916. 

He was a 1935 graduate of Dunbar Township High School. As a young man, he worked on his father's farm and was employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 and received training at Lincoln, NE. He was deployed to the Pacific Theatre. After the war's end, he returned to the states and was stationed in Colorado. Among his citations were a Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal and American Service Medal.


Views of Charles' alma mater, Dunbar Township High School, 1929


In about 1945, when he was age 29, Charles married 24-year-old Juanita Chloe Mershon (Aug. 2, 1921-1984), a native of Tarrant, Tarrant County, TX. Their nuptials were held in Greeley, CO.  

They had two children -- Darrell McKnight and Charles William "Chud" McKnight Jr. Sadly, son Darrell died in infancy.

Circa 1949, Juanita chaired the child care and training department of the Moose Lodge in Vanderbilt.

Within a year, they relocated to Nebraska, and in 1950-1974, they lived in Chadron, Dawes County, NE. Charles was employed for the City of Chadron and the local community hospital. He and Juanita operated a cafe on the Chadron campus and another eatery called the Sioux Skillet. He belonged to the Elks Lodge, Chadron Volunteer Fire Department, National Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Legion Club. 

Sadly, Juanita succumbed at the age of 62 on Feb. 10, 1984. Her remains were placed into eternal sleep in Greenwood Cemetery in Chadron.

Charles outlived his bride by six-plus years. He relocated to Mission, SD where his son was living. Charles passed away at the age of 73 on Nov. 12, 1990, with burial beside his wife. An obituary was published in the Chadron Record.

Son Charles William "Chud" McKnight Jr. (1950-2013) was born on Dec. 9, 1950 in Chadron, NE. He attended a local college in Chadron. While in college, he met his future wife Frances Ann Herman (Nov. 14, 1954-2011). She was the daughter of Kenneth George and Mona Fay (Hereman) Wright Sr. and a native of Rosebud, Todd County, SD. They were married on Oct. 16, 1975 and established a home in Mission, Todd County, SD. They were the parents of two daughters -- Lisa McKnight and Larri Faye Kipp. Charles was employed with Foley Belsaw, a tool sharpening and locksmithing firm, and learned how to repair small engines. Over the span of 35 years, he was employed by the Todd County School District and was a longtime bus driver. For 31 years, he was a member of a local fire department and at one point was elected fire chief. Said an obituary, "He had many routes and delivered many children to school and other activities. He loved to drive children to events and support them in whatever activity that they were taking part in. While working with school district he and his wife became involved with the high school spirit council. While working with this young group a toy drive was started. He and his family made it an annual event..." Sadness swept over the family when Frances died in Mission at the age of 56 on Oct. 5, 2011. An obituary was published in the Lakota Times. Charles lived only for another year and a half. He passed away on April 24, 2013. A memorial service was held in the SGU Multipurpose Building in Mission, with interment in Trinity Episcopal Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Lisa McKnight resides in Mission.
  • Granddaughter Larri Faye McKnight lived in Mission, SD in 1990. She wed Darrell Kipp. They planted themselves in Mission.


~ Son Thomas Ellsworth McKnight ~

Son Thomas E. McKnight (1918-2008) was born in 1918. 

He served in Germany with the U.S. Army during World War II, and before the war was employed at a coal mine of the H.C. Frick Coke Co. Later, he worked for Duraloy, and was a member of Flatwoods Baptist Church.

Thomas married Ruth Gilmore (1918-2014), the daughter of Jesse and Alberta (Ridenour) Gilmore of Dickerson Run, PA.

Thomas McKnight's employer, Duraloy Corp., Scottdale. Library of Congress 

They resided in Vanderbilt but did not reproduce. They were members of the Flatwoods Baptist Church.

Thomas passed away at the age of 90 on June 25, 2008, at home. He was laid to rest in Cochran Cemetery. 

Ruth survived her husband by six years. She spent her final time at the Anna Lisa Personal Care Home in Perryopolis, Fayette County. She died there at the age of 94  on New Year's Eve 2014.


~ Daughter Pearl Berdina (McKnight) Sherman ~

Daughter Pearl Berdina McKnight (1921- ? ) was born in about 1921 in Dawson, Fayette County.

In 1936, at the age of about 15, she married Alvie Sherman (Nov. 15, 1916-2005). He was the son of Charles and Ella (Hawk) Sherman of Mill Run, Fayette County. News of their marriage license was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier. Their union endured for a remarkable 58 years.

The couple produced seven children: Arlene Frances Cohoon Farmer, Dianna Rae Zisk Rogers Kastner, Patricia Ruby McDonald Miller, Shelvey Jean Sherman Knox, Tami Sherman, Naomi Grace Wallace and Alvie Sherman Jr. 

Alvie was a longtime coal miner with the Eastern Associated Coal Company. The family resided in Whitsett, Fayette County in 1941. In 1950-1959, they made their home in Vanderbilt, Fayette County. Later, by 1972, they moved to Beckley, Raleigh County, WV, where he was promoted from bratticeman to service foreman at Eastern's Keystone No. 2 coal mine. News of his promotion appeared in the Beckley Raleigh Register. Their address at that time was 511 Rural Acres Drive.

At the age of 68, in 1984, Alvie became an ordained minister for the Assembly of God Church. He went on to a 21-year career as a pastor in California.

Alvie's final years were spent in the community of Goose Creek near Charleston, SC, where his daughter Patricia Ruby Miller was living. He died in a local hospital at the age of 89 on Dec. 23, 2005. His remains were transported to Connellsville for funeral services in the Assembly of God Church followed by interment in Green Ridge Memorial Park. An obituary appeared in the Charleston (SC) Post & Courier.

Daughter Arlene Frances Sherman ( ? -2020) was born on (?). She appears to have been married twice. Her first spouse was (?) Cohoon ( ? - ? ). Later, she wedded (?) Farmer ( ? - ? ). The Farmers dwelled in Bruceton, TN circa 2005. Sadly, Arlene died on March 9, 2020.

Daughter Dianna Rae Sherman (1944-2013) was born on Feb. 22, 1944 in Connellsville. During her lifetime, she was married at least thrice. Her first husband was (?) Zisk ( ? - ? ). She married a second time to (?) Rogers ( ? - ? ). Her third spouse was Robert Kastner Sr. ( ? - ? ), who previously had been married to Mary Collette Hearns. The children and stepchildren of her combined families included Jeffrey Zisk, Brenda O’Leary, Cheryl Sandquist, Robert Kastner Jr., Bryan Kastner, Diane Fleming, Faye Barkdull, Beverly Kastner and Barbara Kastner, the latter two dying young. In 2005, she dwelled in Brunswick, OH and held a membership in Grace Church Bible Study Fellowship. She died in Brunswick at the age of 69 on Nov. 5, 2013. Her survivors included a dozen grandchildren. Her remains were interred at Medina Center Cemetery.

  • Grandson Jeffrey Zisk married Elaine.
  • Granddaughter Brenda wed Mark O’Leary.
  • Granddaughter Cheryl entered into marriage with Todd Sandquist.
  • Step-grandson Robert Kastner Jr. was joined in wedlock with Janeen.
  • Step-grandson Bryan Kastner (1968-2017) was born on April 18, 1968 in Berea, OH. For 29 years, he was employed as a truck driver with Discount Drug Mart. In his free time he like to work on his lawn. He was united in matrimony with Tammy Darleen Lauderback ( ? - ? ) in about 1999, daughter of Robert and Maureen Jones. They stayed together for 18 years until the separation of death. The couple did not reproduce and dwelled in Brunswick, OH. Sadly, at the age of 48, Bryan died unexpectedly on Feb. 5, 2017. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial contributions be made to Christ Church of Columbia Station, OH.
  • Step-granddaughter Diane Kastner tied the knot with Chris Fleming.
  • Step-granddaughter Faye Kastner wed Scott Barkdull. They have made a home in Akron, OH. 

Daughter Patricia Ruby Sherman ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). Evidence suggests she was twice-wed. Her first spouse was (?) McDonald ( ? - ? ). Her second husband was (?) Miller ( ? - ? ). She resided in Goose Creek, SC in 2005.

Daughter Shelvey Jean Sherman ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She was a 1958 graduate of Uniontown High School. Shelvey married (?) Knox. Her home circa 2005 was in Brunswick, OH.

Daughter Tami Sherman ( ? - ? )

Daughter Naomi Grace Sherman ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She was united in matrimony with (?) Wallace ( ? - ? ). She was in Niceville, FL circa 2005.

Son Alvie D. Sherman Jr. ( ? - ? ) spent his teenage years in Beckley, WV. He joined the U.S. Army in 1974 at the age of 17 and trained at Fort Knox. He is known to have been in Raleigh, NC in 2005.


Brothers Charles and Jesse

~ Son Jesse Franklin McKnight ~

Son Jesse Franklin McKnight (1924-1995) was born in 1924 in Dawson.

As a teenager, in the early 1940s, he was employed by A. Overholt & Company at its Broad Ford Distillery near Connellsville.

He married Edna Ruth Fretts (March 18, 1924-2004), daughter of Albert C. and Ruth J. (Stoner) Fretts of Scottdale.

The McKnights produced seven children -- Susan Martucci, James Russell McKnight, Barry Donald McKnight and Jay McKnight, along with three who died in infancy -- Jesse McKnight, Jay McKnight and Jerry McKnight. Two of the infants, born prematurely, died in Connellsville State Hospital on Feb. 12, 1947 from "constriction foramen ovale" -- problems with a small flap opening between the heart's left and right chambers. The baby boys' tender remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Cochran Memorial Cemetery in Dawson.  

Their homes over the years were on Bridge Street in Dawson and in Scottdale. They belonged to the Bryan United Methodist Church of Dawson, and she held a membership in the Brownfield Community Center.

Overholt advertising

During World War II, in January 1943, Jesse enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He held the rank of seaman first class. He was pictured in a local news story along with two of his brothers and a cousin, with the article saying that he "went into the service last December, [and] is somewhere at sea with the fleet. When last heard from, he was operating in the Atlantic."

The federal census enumeration of 1950 shows the family in Dawson, with Jesse employed as a coal loader in the mines, working about 35 hours a week. 

Circa 1954, Edna is known to have helped organize Children's Day at the Bryan Church, for some 40 participating children, working with her sister-in-law Alma Antonini and Mrs. Eugene Rowe. 

Jesse died at the age of 70 on July 11, 1995.

Edna outlived her spouse by nine years and maintained her residence on Morgan Road in Scottdale. Said an obituary, "Edna was well known as a servant of God who truly inspired all of those she knew. She was a loving mother, devoted grandmother and sister to her family and a true friend to all who knew her."

Death swept her away without warning on March 29, 2004 at 80 years of age. She was survived by 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Co-officiating her funeral service in the Bryan Church were Rev. Randy Costolo and Rev. Keith McIlwain, with burial in Cochran Cemetery.

Daughter Susan McKnight (1948-living) was born in 1948. She entered into marriage with Dennis Rudolph "Denny" Martucci (1947-2022), son of Rudolph Valentino and Norma Ruth (Campbell) Martucci of Cleveland, OH. They tied the knot on March 16, 1966. At one point the pair divorced but they remarried to each other four years later. In all, their  union endured for 55 years. They became the parents of Bryan Martucci and Michael D. Martucci. Circa 1976, their address was 914 Mulberry Street in Scottdale. They relocated to Carlisle, PA, where for 25 years Dennis was employed with Harley-Davidson of York as an electrician and maintenance manager. Active in the Bethel Assembly of God Church of Carlisle, he served on the board, taught Sunday School and handled facility maintenance. At one time he was a fireman in Scottdale and worked as an emergency medical technicial and chaplain, and was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve. Said an obituary in the Connellsville Daily Courier, he enjoyed "reading (especially American history), his model train layout, watching Cleveland Indians baseball, playing cards with his family, riding his bike through Carlisle, working with the Carlisle Car Show events, and taking his family to Virginia Beach for a week together each year." Sadly, Dennis passed away in Carlisle, PA on Feb. 24, 2022. Pastor Jason Lamer led the funeral rites, with interment in Connellsville's St. Rita's Roman Catholic Church Cemetery.

  • Grandson Bryan Martucci (1966- ? ) was born in 1966. He wed Jodi ( ? - ? ). They lived in Vanderbilt, PA in 2022.
  • Grandson Michael Dean Martucci (1975- ? ) was born in 1975. At his first and second birthdays, he was pictured in the Connellsville Daily Courier. He was joined in wedlock with Sharon E. Barris( ? -living). They produced two sons -- Deacon M. Martucci and Cannon D. Martucci. They resided in St. Marys, GA circa 2001 and on Birch Lane in Glenville, NY and in 2022 at Ballston Spa, NY. Sadness swept over the family when their 16-year-old son Deacon, an athlete at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Senior High School, died on Aug. 17, 2018. Father John Varno celebrated a mass of Christian burial at Our Lady of Grace Church in Ballston Lake, NY. Michael is employed as a senior section manager with the equipment engineering section of AME Lithography, part of Global Foundries, one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers.

Son James "Russell" McKnight ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He first wed a distant step-cousin, Sally "Selene" (Fisch) Rimel ( ? - ? ), daughter of Gilbert Wayne and Annetta (Jaynes) Fisch of Connellsville and widow of Uriah P. Rimel, of the family of Aaron M. and Ida (Murray) Ritenour. Selene brought a stepson into the union, Paul David Rimel. Her first husband had been killed on Aug. 19, 1974 when, after failing to negotiate a curve, his motorcycle careened over an embankment near Dawson, plunged 100 feet and struck a tree. He was rushed to Mount Pleasant Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The McKnights were in Connellsville in 1976 and in Vanderbilt in 1977. One known son of this union was Jason Russell McKnight. Later, Russell was joined in wedlock with Barbara ( ? - ? ). As of 2004, their residence was in Ridgeway, PA.

  • Step-grandson Paul David Rimel (1972- ? ) was born in about 1972. At his fifth birthday, his photograph appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier.
  • Grandson Jason Russell McKnight (1975- ? ) was born in 1975. He was pictured in the Connellsville Daily Courier on his first birthday. 

Son Barry Donald McKnight ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He was a 1975 gradaute of Southmoreland High School in Alverton, PA. Barry entered into marriage with Christa ( ? - ? ). The pair has made their dwelling-place in Scottdale.  

Son Jay A. McKnight ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He dwelled in Scottdale in 2004.


~ Daughter Ruby Virginia (McKnight) Livingston ~

Daughter Ruby Virginia McKnight (1926- ? ) was born on Feb. 26, 1926 in Dawson. 

She wed Glen A. Livingston (1925-1999), believed to have been the son of H.C. Livingston of Dawson. 

They had two sons, Daniel J. Livingston and Dennis J. Livingston.

Glen was a 1943 graduate of Dunbar Township High School. He then joined the U.S. Army during World War II and was deployed to Germany. On his occasional passes he is known to have traveled to Paris and Frankfurt.

The Livingstons made their home on Bridge Street in Dawson. In 1947, he took over management of the former Seefelt Service Station of Dawson. The 1950 federal census enumeration shows him employed in a by-products factory at a local coke works. He is known to have served as an officer of the Dawson Volunteer Fire Company, holding the position of sergeant-at-arms in 1959-1964. 

Ruby was active with the Philip G. Cochran Memorial Methodist Church in Dawson as a member of its Estelle Prayer Class. She belonged to the Ladies Auxiliary of the fire department and the Brownfield Community Center.

Glen passed away at the age of 74 on Oct. 18, 1999.

Ruby outlived her spouse by a baker's dozen years and remained in Dawson. The angel of death claimed her at the age of 86 on Sept. 24, 2012, while in Excela Hospice. Rev. Roger Appleby preached the funeral sermon, with interment in Green Ridge Memorial Park. An obituary appeared in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Daniel Livingston's workplace, the Irvin Works of U.S. Steel. Painting by Howard Fogg for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, New York Central System

Son Daniel J. Livingston (1948-2014) was born on Oct. 19, 1948 in Mount Pleasant, PA. He was a 1968 graduate of Connellsville High School. He joined the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He trained at Fort Bliss, TX and was assigned to Battery C of the 6th Battalion, 61st Artillery. After the war's end, he obtained employment at the Irvin Works of United States Steel Corporation. Daniel entered into marriage with Betsy E. (1954- ? ). The pair did not reproduce. They made their home in Dawson. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "Daniel enjoyed the outdoors and riding his motorcycle." Sadly, at the age of 66, Daniel died in Excela Health Frick Hospital on Dec. 18, 2014. Burial was conducted at Green Ridge Memorial Park, by the hand of Rev. Roger Applebee, with an obituary appearing in the Daily Courier

Son Dennis J. Livingston ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with Vickie. They have made their residence in Dawson and are the parents of Justin R. Livingston.

  • Grandson Justin R. Livingston ( ? - ? ) 


~ Daughter Trellis Rae (McKnight) Mellinger ~

Daughter Trellis Rae McKnight (1929-2020) was born on Christmas Eve 1929 near Dawson, Lower Tyrone Township.

On July 19, 1947, when she was 17 years of age, she married 24-year-old Theodore Garrett "Gary" Mellinger (Feb. 10, 1923-2008), a native of Perryopolis, Fayette County and the son of Theodore R. and Catherine (Wilkes) Mellinger.  Rev. Samuel Harper officiated the ceremony, held at the Flatwoods Baptist Church. Their union endured for an extraordinary 60 years.

During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army as a surgical technician and was deployed to Europe. He received a Good Conduct Medal, European Theatre Service Medal with three Bronze Stars and a Victory Medal.

As a GI, he met and in 1945 married 19-year-old Margaret Rainey (Oct. 16, 1926-1946) in her hometown of Belfast, Ireland. He brought his war bride to the United States to dwell in Layton near Dawson. But fate quickly intervened. Within a few weeks, suffering from bone cancer, the newlywed bride Margaret was admitted to Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital and remained for 45 days. She lost weight and muscle mass. Death spirited her away on June 24, 1946. Burial of her remains was in Mt. Washington Cemetery in Perryopolis.

Trellis and Gary made their home in Dawson and produced a family of three children -- Janice Carocci, Pamela Philburn and Theodore Garrett "Gary" Mellinger Jr.

Composing room of Trellis' employer, the Mennonite Publishing House


Trellis lived a very busy life of work and community. For 23 years, she was employed by the Mennonite Publishing House of Scottdale, Fayette County. During election seasons, she worked at the polls of Lower Tyrone. Among her many other activities were bowling, dartball, puzzles, word search games and camping in northcentral Pennsylvania with a special delight in spotting elk. Gary was politically active for more than three decades as a Lower Tyrone Township committeeman on the Democrat ticket.

Gary earned a living as a bricklayer. He eventually founded the Brownfield Senior Citizens. As time allowed he loved to hunt in the mountains. He also was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

When the pair marked their silver wedding anniversary in 1972, a party was held in their honor at the Dawson Grange Hall, with some 125 guests in attendance. The happy event generated an article in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Sadly, their son Gary Jr. died at the age of 37 on June 11, 1994.

Gary Sr. passed away on April 15, 2008 at the age of 85. Rev. David Bell presided over the funeral service, and interment followed in Cochran Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Daily Courier.

Trellis outlived her husband by a dozen years. She was gathered away by the Angel of Death at the age of 90 on Aug. 28, 2020. She was survived by seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren.

Daughter Janice Mellinger ( ? - ? ) was  born in (?). Circa 1964, she married Robert Louis "Peanuts" Carocci Sr. (June 13, 1945-2021), a Perryopolis resident and son of Albert and Alverta (Chick) Carocci. News of their marriage license was printed in the Uniontown Evening Standard. Their union withstood the ups and downs of a remarkable 57 years. Together, they produced a brood of children -- among them Lori Stickle, Connie LaPorte, Kimberly Boyd and Robert L. Carocci Jr. The Caroccis' home in 1966-1967 was in Dawson and in 1972 was in Cleveland, OH. By 2005, they had relocated back to Dawson and remained for good. Robert earned a living over the years as a machinist with Danly Machine, groundskeeper at the Linden Hall facility and finally as a baler with National Envelope. He olso owned and operated Bob's Mowers and was an officer at the Sons of Italy in Perryopolis. In his free time, he liked to fish, hunt, attend cash and gun bashes and small tractor pulls. The Caroccis attended Bryan United Methodist Church. Sadly, at the age of 76, Robert died on Oct. 5, 2021. He was survived by eight grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson. Funeral rites were conduted at the family church, led by Pastor Ed Sutton, with burial following in Dickerson Run Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Lori Carocci (1964- ? ) was born in about 1964. News of her birth was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. At the age of two, she was hospitalized after ingesting 20 vitamin pills. Evidence suggests that Lori has been twice wed. Her first spouse was (?) Franklin. Their one known daughter was Brittany Maureen Franklin. Later, she married Charles Chris Stickle. The Stickles have lived in Star Junction, Fayette County.

    Great-granddaughter Brittany Maureen Franklin was a companion of Phillip Andrew Knight, son of Phillip Monosky and Connie Knight. They were the parents of two. Sadness covered the family when their baby son Brayden James Knight died in Uniontown Hospital on Feb. 22, 2004 and their infant son Gregory Lewis Knight in Pittsburgh's Magee Womens Hospital on June 23, 2005. Brittany subsequently moved to Grindstone, Fayette County. Grief again cascaded over the family when infant son Blake Charles Franklin died in Uniontown Hospital on St. Patrick's Day 2010. The baby's tender remains were interred in Green Ridge Memorial Park, with an obituary appearing in the Connellsville Daily Courier

  • Granddaughter Connie Carocci wed Doug LaPorte.
  • Granddaughter Kimberly Carocci was joined in wedlock with (?) Boyd. Later, she was a companion of Michael Borris.
  • Grandson Robert L. Carocci Jr. was united in matrimony with Margie.

Daughter Pamela Mellinger ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). In about 1975, she wedded Leslie H. Philburn (June 30, 1950-2021), son of Frank and Margaret (Stewart) Philburn of Connellsville. Their union lasted for 46 years. Together, they produced three sons -- Leslie Philburn, Jeffrey S. Philburn and Gregory S. Philburn. The Philburns dwelled in Dawson, Fayette County and belonged to the Bryan United Methodist Church. For years, Leslie owned and operated Les’s HVAC and Appliance Repair. He also once served as an elected supervisor for Lower Tyrone Township. He and friend Lynn Capan donated their time at recycling events. In his free time, Leslie liked to boat at the Yough Lake, and his favorite local bands were the Poverty Neck Hillbillies and the Crazy Cowboy Band. Sadly, at the age of 70, Leslie passed away at home on May 6, 2021. Pastor Ed Sutton presided over the funeral service held in the family church, with burial in Cochran Cemetery.

  • Grandson Leslie Philburn married Mary Beth. Their two sons are Garrett Philburn and Chase Philburn.
  • Grandson Jeffrey S. Philburn
  • Grandson Gregory S. Philburn wedded Kristy. They are the parents of Madison Philburn, Emma Philburn and Greyson Philburn.


~ Daughter Alma June (McKnight) Antonini ~

Daughter Alma June McKnight (1931-living) was born in 1931. 

At the age of 18, on Dec. 17, 1949, she was united in holy wedlock with 22-year-old Fiorello "Fritz" Antonini (1927- ? ), son of Emedio and Domonica "Minnie" (Orsini) Antonini and stepson of Tony Fair. Their marriage endured for 69 years until cleaved apart by death.

They were the parents of an only daughter Loretta Clara Williams.

Fritz earned a living in early adulthood as a railroader and then employment at the Layton Brickyard. He went into business for himself as a trucking contractor, making deliveries for C&C Lumber of Tarrs, Westmoreland County. Said the Connellsville Daily Courier, he "also built many houses and assisted contractor Stanley Johnson in the construction business."

The Antoninis' residence was in Dawson, and they were active in the Bryan Methodist Church in Dawson. Alma served as president of the Golden Rule Class, and Fritz helped raise funds by constructing an ice cream stand for the annual fair. Said the Daily Courier, he "enjoyed attending the Brownfield Community Center activities and served as janitor and building/ grounds superintendent. He was a member of the Sons of Italy Lodge in Perryopolis and actively enjoyed fundraising, singing and fishing.

Sadly, Fritz passed away at the age of 91 on Jan. 22, 2019. Funeral services were held in the Bryan church, led by Pastor Ed Sutton, followed by interment in Cochran Cemetery.

Daughter Loretta Clara Antonini ( ? -living) was born in (?). She was united in matrimony with Thomas "Tom" Williams ( ? -living). They too dwelled in Dawson and produced two sons, Chad Austin Williams and Troy Aaron Williams.

  • Grandson Chad Austin Williams married Christin. They make a home in Waynesboro, PA.
  • Grandson Troy Aaron Williams wedded Amity. They reside in Dawson.


Copyright © 2008, 2015, 2018-2020, 2023 Mark A. Miner