July 22nd, 2011
Tom and Sue VanGiesen on Tuesday heard the worst news parents can ever hear.
Their 30-year-old son-- Staff Sgt. Kenneth VanGiesen-- had been killed in Afghanistan while serving with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
As can be imagined, it's been a painful four days for the VanGiesen family as plans still are being made for the soldier's funeral in Kane.
Despite their heartache and tears, the VanGiesens both claim their faith in God will see them through these darkest days of their lives.
Marguerite W. â€śMockieâ€ť Clark, 95, a resident of Pinecrest Manor and formerly of 372 Chestnut Street, St. Marys, died Thursday, July 21, 2011 at the Elk Regional Health Center after a brief illness.
She was born May 31, 1916 in St. Marys, daughter of the late Joseph and Anna Stauffer Wiesner. She was a lifelong resident of the area. She was a graduate of St. Benedictâ€™s Academy and Lock Haven Teacherâ€™s College. She was a retired math teacher from the St. Marys Area School District. She was a member of the St. Maryâ€™s Church, the BPOE (Elks) Auxiliary and the St. Marys Country Club.
The Jay Township Supervisors meeting was filled to capacity Thursday evening as residents gathered to voice their thoughts and opinions about ATV use within the township.
The Ridgway Heritage Council will present the sixth annual 'Tasting in the Wilds' festival this Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. at the Firemen's Grounds along Route 219 in Ridgway.
The festival offers a great opportunity for patrons to sample beverages from eight local wineries and an even larger selection of beers from breweries such as Otto's Pub and Brewery out of State College, Erie-based Erie Brewing Company, Straub Brewery of St. Marys and more.
With a tasting ticket, participants can sample beers by Troegs Brewing Company, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Samuel Adams and many others.
St. Marys City Council this week approved the release of several downtown properties to the St. Marys Redevelopment Authority (RDA) for possible future development and improvement projects.
Following the meeting City Manager Dave Greene said the city has an agreement with Impact Pennsylvania, Inc. of Turbotville regarding any development in the redevelopment area of downtown St. Marys. Any projects not done by Impact Pennsylvania must be approved by developer Bob Yoder.
Ken VanGiesen always has been a soldier's soldier.
He earned this distinction by his attention to detail in every assignment he was ever given as a 12-year member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
VanGiesen, the 30-year-old son of Tom and Sue VanGiesen of 137 Lincoln St., Kane, died Monday when an improvised explosive device (IED)Â exploded on a convoy near Bagram in eastern Afghanistan. Two other soldiers riding in the same vehicle also were killed in the explosion, Sgt. Edward Koehler, 47, of Lebanon, and Sgt. Brian Mowery, 49, of Halifax. Five others were wounded.
The 2011 Picnic In the Park continues to grow, offering even more family-friendly events than before. This year's community summer celebration, taking place Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 at Memorial Park in St. Marys, features a variety of activities, games, food, entertainment and vendors.
Louis J. DiIulio, 84, of Sixth Avenue, Johnsonburg, died Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at Elk Regional Health Center in St. Marys following a lengthy illness.
He was born December 12, 1926 in Keystone, son of the late Armundo and Viola (Cherry) DiIulio.
He married Carrie Beer, who preceded him in death in 1990.
Jerome A. "Tony" Frank, 88, of 118 Straub Ave., St. Marys, died on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at Elk Regional Health Center following a brief illness.
He was born September 27, 1922 in St. Marys, son of the late Edward G. and Anna Thiel Frank.
On November 7, 1968 in the Sacred Heart Church, he married Zora M. Lombardo, who survives.
He was a lifelong resident of the area and was a graduate of Central Catholic High School, Class of 1940. He was a former employee of Speer Carbon and was a 30-year postal employee and served as postmaster from 1962-1981.
Ken VanGiesen never had any regrets about his decision to join the Pennsylvania Army National Guard after graduating from Kane Area High School in 1999.
"If I had it to do over again, I still would do it," VanGiesen told The Kane Republican in 2005 before the firstÂ of his two deployments in Iraq. "I'm proud to be able to do it."
This brave and loyal American lost his life Monday while serving with a National Guard unit in Afghanistan.