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Wesley Miner
(1902-1976)

 

Wesley Miner

Wesley Miner was born on March 20, 1902 in Mill Run, Fayette County, PA, the son of William Henry "Squire" and Sara Jane (Basinger) Minerd.

On April 4, 1923, when both groom and bride were 21 years of age, Wesley married Susie Bertha Roslosnik (Jan. 26, 1902-1965), daughter of Samuel and Susan Roslosnik of Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. Her maiden name eventually was shortened to "Rossnick."

 

Susie Miner's postcard to Lela Rowan

As a schoolgirl, Susie resided in Mill Run and befriended Lela (Rowan) Jordan, the young daughter of Marshall E. and Jennie (Steyer) Rowan. After the Rowans relocated to Mt. Braddock, near Uniontown, Fayette County, Susie sent her friend a penny postcard dated June 1918. The card is seen here.

The Miners produced a family of nine children among them Mary Ann Donnadio, Donald W. Miner, Dolores W. Miner, Hughey Miner, Shirley Jean Childress, Connie I. Miner, Regis D. Miner, Carolyn Lou "Cookie" Means and Brenda Kay Ryan.

Sadly, Wesley and Susie outlived three of their children. Their son Donald contracted a fatal case of typhoid fever and diphtheria in the waning summer of 1930. After lingering for 15 days, he died on Sept. 29, 1930, at the age of four years, 11 months and 17 days -- just 13 days shy of his fifth birthday. He was buried in the Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run.

Wesley was a coal miner his entire adult life. He was employed at mines in West Virginia and also in Pennsylvania,  including at the Phillips Mine, Leisenring No. 1 and 2 Mines. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1930, the family resided in Cass, Monongalia County, WV, with Wesley earning a living as a driver in the mines.

 

Above: Wesley and Susie. Below: Leisenring No. 3 Mine

 

 

Daily Courier, 1955

By 1940, Wesley and Susie had relocated their family back to their old home region of Mill Run. His occupation as shown in the 1940 United States Census was construction laborer. That summer, at the age of about five, their daughter Shirley Jean was struck by a moving automobile and treated at Connellsville State Hospital.

Later, Wesley worked at the Leisenring No. 3 Mine from where he retired in 1966.

In about 1945, the Miners moved from Mill Run to nearby Connellsville, Fayette County. Their address thereafter was at 602 Trump Avenue, and they stayed there for good. They were members of the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

 

Son Donald, who died in boyhood

The family suffered through the untimely deaths of more of their children and grandchildren. In 1952, married daughter Mary Ann, wife of Frank Donnadio, was stricken with cancer of the lungs which spread into the breast. She passed into eternity at the age of 31 on Feb. 7, 1955, and reposes in St. Rita's Cemetery in Connellsville. More about her life is spelled out below.

Then in 1955, son Regis contracted a rare cancer of his bone. He had his appendix removed in Connellsville State General Hospital. Not long afterward, he was admitted to Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh and in October 1955 underwent surgery on his hip. An article in the Daily Courier reported that he was "getting galong as well as can be expected." The family worried as the illness metastasized and moved into his skull. He lingered for two years and succumbed at the age of 16 on Aug. 4, 1957.

Suffering from heart problems and an eventual heart attack, Susie was admitted to Connellsville State General Hospital. There, she passed away on Dec. 3, 1965, at the age of 63. Her remains were laid to rest at the Indian Creek Baptist Cemetery.

 

Wesley Miner

Wesley outlived his wife by more than a decade. He is seen here relaxing in a favorite chair with a birthday cake resting precariously on the arm. In the late 1960s and early '70s, his name occasionally was printed in the Connellsville newspaper at the birthdays of grandchildren. He grieved once again in June 1973, when his infant grandson Robert W. Ryan Jr. was swept away.

As his health declined, Wesley also became a patient in Connellsville State General Hospital. There, he succumbed to death at the age of 73 on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 1976, and is buried beside Susie in the Indian Creek Baptist cemetery. Funeral services were held in a Connellsville funeral home, with Rev. B. Frank Clampa preaching. An obituary in the Daily Courier noted that his survivors included nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Four months after Wesley's death, his offspring published a poem of tribute in the Daily Courier, reading "Oh, the memory of that sad day, As we stood with aching hearts To see our Dear Dad, who we loved dearly, For us forever part..." Simillar poems memorializing him were published in the newspaper in February and June 1977.

In 1999, Wesley was honored among hundreds of cousins at our national family reunion for their longtime work in the coal, coke and steel industries. He also was pictured in our 1999 reunion booklet, Coal, Coke & Steel.

 

Graves of brothers Donald and Regis. Below, their parents' resting place.

 

~ Daughter Mary Ann (Miner) Donnadio ~

Daughter Mary Ann Miner (1923-1955) was born on May 31, 1923.

At the age of 22, on April 26, 1946, she was united in marriage with Frank H. Donnadio (Oct. 31, 1923-2004), son of Mary Donnadio of Youngstown, OH.

They had two known daughters, Sandra Sue Knopsnider and Frances Ann "Fran" Walker.

Frank earned a living through employment with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad and later Conrail, working as a conductor and brakeman.

The Donnadios were members of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church.

Sadly, Mary Ann was felled by cancer. She fought for two-and-a-half years, including surgery in Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, but could beat the infernal disease. Her passing in 1955, left her husband and two young daughters behind. Interment was in the church cemetery following requiem high mass led by Rev. Henry Geible.

Mary Ann's mother helped provide care for the motherless girls and in 1957 threw a party honoring granddaughter Fran's eighth birthday. Fran's photo and related article were published in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Frank married again, in about 1957, to Doris J. Zaronsky ( ? - ? ), daughter of Paul A. and Helen (Long) Zaronsky Sr. The second marriage endured for 47 years until cleaved apart by death.

Frank and Doris produced at least two more daughters, Kimberly Jean Donnadio and Lori Lynn Kosisko. A son also was involved, Joseph C. Wisniewski.

Frank passed into eternity on Dec. 4, 2004. A funeral mass was held in the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, led by Rev. Fr. Terri Hercik.

Daughter Sandra Sue Donnadio (1946- ? ) was born in 1946. On June 29, 1974, she married Gilbert W. "Bud" Knopsnider Jr. (1952- ? ), son of Gilbert W. and Virginia Knopsnider Sr. They dwelled along the Star Route near White, Fayette County and were the parents of Gilbert W. Knopsnider III and Neal Henry Knopsnider.

  • Grandson Gilbert W. "Gibby" Knopsnider III (1975- ? ) was born in about 1975. When he turned one, his photograph was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier. He lived in White.
  • Grandson Neal Henry Knopsnider (1979- ? ) was born in 1979. He wedded Melissa ( ? - ? ). In 2004, their home was in Connellsville.

Daughter Frances Ann "Fran" Donnadio (1949- ? ) was born in 1949. On Oct. 9, 1969, she wedded James A. Walker Jr. (1947- ? ). They have a daughter, Jamie Ann Walker.

  • Granddaughter Jamie Ann Walker (1970- ? ) was born in about 1970. At her third and seventh birthdays, she was pictured in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

~ Daughter Dolores W. Miner ~

Daughter Dolores W. Miner (1928-2010) was born on April 13, 1928 in or around Monongalia County, WV or in Mill Run. (Sources differ.).

She never married. For many years she resided at home with her parents at 602 Trump Avenue.

Dolores worked at the Anchor Hocking glass plant in Connellsville, "where she was employed as a selector for more than 40 years, working on the D crew," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. She enjoyed pets and had a special dog, Winston. 

She passed away at the age of 81 on March 13, 2010. She was laid to rest in the Indian Creek Baptist Cemetery in Mill Run.

 

~ Son Hughey P. Miner ~

Son Hughey P. Miner (1931-2011) was born on Sept. 6, 1931.

He never married.

Hughey passed away on July 13, 2011. He rests for all time in Indian Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Mill Run.

Inscribed at the base of his grave marker are the words "Beloved brother."

 

~ Daughter Shirley Jean (Miner) Childress ~

Daughter Shirley Jean Miner (1935-2015) was born on St. Patrick's Day 1935 in Springfield Township, Fayette County.

In the summer of 1940, at the age of about five, she was struck by a moving automobile and eventually was taken to Connellsville State Hospital.

As an adult, Marlene was employed as a switchboard operator by Bell Telephone in or around Connellsville. Later, she relocated to Oregon. What took her there is not yet known.In Oregon, she continued her work as a telephone operator and receptionist in a physician's office.

In the mid-1950s, Shirley wed Kenneth Childress (1936- ? ).

They produced three offspring -- John Curtis Childress, Douglas Childress and Debra A. Tilden.

At some point, Kenneth and Shirley purchased Weece's Market in Gresham, OR. The entire family worked there until it was sold. They relocated to Prineville and later to Beaverton and Shirley was rehired by GTE, which had purchased Bell.

The couple eventually divorced.

Shirley belonged to the Beaverton Methodist Church and later transferred to Scholls Community Church.  After retirement, Shirley volunteered at St. Vincent's Hospital assisting patients post-surgery. She also cooked dried nuts and raised colorful flower gardens, liked to paint, knit, sew and golf, and for a period of time owned a beach house.

At the age of 80, Shirley passed away on Nov. 13, 2015.

Son John Curtis Childress (1956- ? ) was born in 1956. When he was age 20, on May 14, 1977, he married Jeri Lynn Bushard ( ? - ? ) and has lived in Prineville. The four children they produced are John Curtis Childress Jr., Jeannie Marie Childress, Joy Childress and Jeffrey Childress.

  • Grandson John Curtis Childress Jr. (1978- ? )
  • Granddaughter Jeannie Marie Childress (1980- ? )
  • Granddaughter Joy Childress (1983- ? )
  • Grandson Jeffrey Childress (1985- ? )

Son Douglas "Doug" Childress (1958- ? ) was born in 1958. He wedded JoAnne ( ? - ? ). The couple bore one son, Kenneth Roy Childress. They make a home in Redmond, OR

  • Grandson Kenneth Roy Childress (1987- ? )

Daughter Debra A. Childress (1959- ? ) was born on June 29, 1959. She married Vincent Tilden ( ? - ? ). The pair resided in Beaverton, Washington County, OR. Sadness covered the family when Debra was gathered in by the Angel of Death on Feb. 12, 1993 at the age of 33.

 

~ Daughter Connie I. Miner ~

Daughter Connie I. Miner (1938-2019) was born on Nov. 16, 1938 in Mill Run.

She appears to have never married.

For three decades, she was employed in the Budget Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. Circa 1976, she resided in Arlington, VA.

She maintained her membership in the Otterbein United Methodist Chuch. In retirement, she returned to Connellsville.

Connie died in Uniontown Hospital at the age of 80 on June 2, 2019. Rev. Dr. Martin Watson officiated at her private funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

 

~ Daughter Carolyn Lou "Cookie" (Miner) Means ~

Daughter Carolyn Lou "Cookie" Miner (1944-living) was born in about 1944.

At the age of 19, on Sept. 14, 1963, she was joined in matrimony with 26-year-old Terry Wallace Means Sr. (1937-living), son of Naomi Means of Vanderbilt, Fayette County. The nuptials were held in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. At the time, Terry was employed as a tire changer and made a home in Vanderbilt, Fayette County.

The Meanses resided in Dunbar and had three children, Terry Wallace Means Jr., Deane Sue Petzel and Gregory Scott Means.

They have attended many of our national Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunions over the years.

Son Terry Wallace Means Jr. (1964- ? ) was born in 1964. On June 10, 1989, he was joined in matrimony with Kelly Sue Edenfield (1965- ? ).

Daughter Deane Sue Means (1967- ? ) was born in 1967. She wedded (?) Petzel ( ? - ? ). At one time, she was employed as a territory manager for Pepsi Co.

Son Gregory Scott Means (1972- ? ) was born in 1972.

 

~ Daughter Brenda Kay (Miner) Ryan ~

Daughter Brenda Kay Miner (1951-living) was born in 1951 in Connellsville.

When she was 19 years of age, on Nov. 12, 1970, she married 24-year-old laborer Robert W. Ryan Sr. (1946- ? ), son of George E. Ryan of South Connellsville. The ceremony took place in Cumberland, Allegany County, MD.

The Ryans' home in 1973 was at 606 West Gibson Avenue in Connellsville. 

Their children were Robert W. Ryan Jr., Carly Beth Guerrero, Amanda Sue Johnson and Ian Ryan.

They mourned in June 1973 when their infant son Robert W. Jr. died in Frick Community Hospital. The precious baby's remains were placed into rest in Green Ridge Memorial Park, following a funeral officiated by Rev. B. Frank Clampa.

Daughter Carly Beth Ryan (1974- ? ) was born in 1974. She wedded (?) Guerrero.

Daughter Amanda Sue Ryan (1976- ? ) was born in 1976. She was united in holy wedlock with (?) Johnson.

Son Ian Todd Ryan (1978- ? ) was born in 1978.

 

Copyright 2004-2005, 2010, 2015, 2017, 2019-2020 Mark A. Miner