Category Archives: Teolis Funeral Home

Ms. Helen Fera, 101

Helen Fera passed away peacefully on October 3, 2014 in her North View Estates residence. Helen was born on April 25, 1913, one year before the start of World War I, in West Virginia to Gulia and Generoso Minnocci. Her parents moved to Ellwood City where she lived with her six siblings, Lena, Mary, Martha, Yolanda, John, and Sam all now deceased. In 1941, she married the boy next door, Rocco Fera, her husband of 49 years, who is also deceased, and a year later gave birth to twin daughters, Julie and Connie. She lived in Connecticut for many years before returning to Ellwood.

Helen was an extraordinary cook and baker, a movie fan, especially of films from the 1940’s, and liked reading mystery novels, particularly those of Sue Grafton, was a good dancer, and had a terrific sense of humor. Later in life she enjoyed playing bingo as well as participating in Golden Agers activities with her friends. But her greatest pleasure in life came from being a wonderful and loving mother to her two daughters and an adoring grandmother to her granddaughter. She made frequent trips to New York City to spend time with her children, who will always cherish the memories of those visits. Helen was also a beloved aunt to her extended family of nieces and nephews and their children who where a great source of joy in her life. Helen was a parishioner of Holy Redeemer Church and an active member of the Christian Mothers Association. Those who knew and loved her will mourn her passing and always miss her.

She is survived by her daughters Julie DeWitt and Connie Sullivan and her granddaughter Kate Dewitt, all of New York.

Her body will be on view at the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home, Inc. in Ellwood City on Monday from 4-7 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday at Noon in the Holy Redeemer Church. Interment will follow at the Locust Grove Cemetery.

Those attending the Funeral Mass are asked to meet at the Funeral Home on Tuesday by 11:20 am. Members of the Holy Redeemer Christian Mothers are asked to meet at the church on Tuesday by 11:50 am to form an honor guard.

Memorial contributions in Mrs. Fera’s name may be made to the Holy Redeemer Christian Mothers.

The family requests you view the obituary and sign the guestbook at http://www.teolisfuneralhome.com/

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Mr. George William Blank, Jr., 90

Mr. George William Blank, Jr., 90 of Franklin Twp. passed away peacefully on Friday morning in his residence. Mr. Blank was born on February 7, 1924 in New Brighton to the late George William Blank, Sr. and Ida Lucinda Schweinsberg Blank. He is a member of the Lincoln High School class of 1941, and a devoted member of the Trinity Lutheran Church. Bill served with the U.S. Navy from August of 1944 until his discharge in March of 1946 as a Radarman 2nd class.

In 1940 Bill became the President of the Geo W. Blank Supply Co. in Ellwood City and held that position until his retirement. He has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since 1936, and is a charter member of the BSA Morain Trails Council. He also had earned the Silver Beaver and Lamb of God awards, which are the two highest awards one can receive thru Scouting and Church. He has been a very active member of the Ellwood City Rotary Club for over sixty years, and is a past president of the club. In 1979 he served as the Rotary District Govenor.

Over the years, Bill hosted several Rotary foreign exchange students and had accompanied some of them on a three month trip to Australia. He also hosted the club’s annual Steak Fry at his residence. Mr. Blank is a member of the Ellwood City Masonic Lodge #599 where he served as Master in 1955. He is a 32nd Degree Mason with the New Castle Consistory and Syria Shrine, and a member of the York Rite Bodies in New Castle Chapter, Council, and Commandery. He served as a Trustee of the Ellwood City Lodge for many years. He is a memebr of the Ellwood City Hospital Board of Directors and the ESB Bank Board of Directors. Bill also served as a Franklin Twp. Supervisor for over 35 years, and is a life member of the American Legion Post #157. Bill has belonged to the Shear Luck Club since 1947, and enjoyed playing Duplicate Bridge, Model Railroading, and being with his family and his many friends.

Mr. Blank is survived by his wife Kathy L. Curtis Thalmann Blank whom he married on May 4, 1996, his two step sons and their significant others, Bryon Talmann (Patty Meyers) of Ellport and Bruce Thalmann (Shariee DeCooman) of Ellwood City, and his nieces and nephews, David (Sandy) Blank, John (Lee) Smith, Rodney (Karen) Smith, Colleen Sicard, John (Susan) Blank, Chris (Mike) Smith, Anne (Charles) Francis, and Nancy (Jim) Horton. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Genevieve Helen Smith Blank in 1995, his sister Margaret Miller, his two brothers Howard E. Blank, and J. Kenneth Blank, his brother-in-law Herb Miller, and his sisters-in-law Norma Blank and Jean Blank.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 1-3 and 6-8 pm in the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home, Inc. and on Wednesday from 10-11 am in the Trinity Lutheran Church. Members of the Ellwood City Masons are asked to meet at the funeral home on Tuesday by 7:30 pm to conduct a service at 7:45 pm.

Services for Mr. Blank will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 am in the Trinity Lutheran Church with Pastor Peggy Suhr-Barkley officiating. Entombment will follow at the Slippery Rock Cemetery Mausoleum. Members of the Veterans Honor Guard are asked to meet at the Church on Wednesday by 10:45 am to conduct full military honors.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Blank’s name may be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church organ fund, 207 Spring Ave., Ellwood City, Pa 16117, the Ellwod City Rotary Club, The Boy Scouts of America, or to the Ellwood City Masonic Lodge #599.

The family requests you view the obituary and sign the guestbook at http://www.teolisfuneralhome.com/

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Anthony J. Yanniello, 89

Mr. Anthony J. Yanniello, 89, of Franklin Twp. passed away on Monday, September 29, 2014 in the Evergreen Nursing Center. The complete obituary will be announced on Wednesday by the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home, Inc. and Cremation Services.

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Joann Johnston, 84

Miss Joann Johnston, 84, of Ellwood City passed away on Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Evergreen Nursing Center.

Miss Johnston was born on June 5, 1930 in Ellwood City to the late Clarence J. and Adrienne V. Fulkerson Johnston. She had graduated from Lincoln High School and was Presbyterian by faith.

Joann worked at ESB Bank as a bookkeeping supervisor and then an insurance clerk in the business office of the Ellwood City Hospital from March of 1970 through her retirement in July of 1992. She was a member of the Daughters of Veterans of the Civil War and the Yellow Ribbon Girls. She was a longtime devoted fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins.

Joann is survived by her niece, Donna Reynolds Fairfield of North Carolina, her cousin, Leah Davis Rowland of Hawaii, and her dearest friends, Helen Hillman Millhorn, Kathy Lanza, Maryann Strickhiesen, and Jeff & Cindy Wehman. Miss Johnston was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Donald Johnston, and her sister and brother-in-law, Virginia Adrienne Johnston Reynolds, and Ralph C. Reynolds.

A private graveside service will be held on Thursday at the North Sewickley Cemetery with Rev. R. Tod Custer officiating. The funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home Inc. and Cremation Services.

The family requests you view the obituary and sign the guestbook at http://www.teolisfuneralhome.com/

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Mrs. Catherine Gatto, 77 (addt’l note)

Mrs. Catherine Gatto, who passed away on Wednesday,  is also survived by her sister-in-law; Sandy (Richard) Winchell of Ellwood City and her two brothers-in-law;  Lou (Cindy) Gatto of Ellwood City and Rocky (Pat) Gatto of Kansas.

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Lena J. Biega, 92

Mrs. Lena J. Biega, 92, formerly of Ellwood City passed away on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 in the Villa St. Joseph in Baden at 2:20 pm.

Mrs. Biega was born on June 4, 1922 in Bellaire, Ohio to the late Samuel and Theresa DiPalma Nardone. She is a former member of the St. Agatha Catholic Church where she was the originator for the church rummage sale in the 1950’s and a past member of the Queen of Heaven Parish in Koppel. Presently she is a member of the Holy Redeemer Parish.

Mrs. Biega is survived by her two daughters, Sheila Mardahl and Kathleen Poncer both of Reading, Pa, her two sons, Dennis (Angie) Biega of Economy Boro, and Robert (Barbara) Biega of Lexington, KY, her seven grandchildren, and her five great grandchildren. She is also survived by her two sisters, Rose Sheeler of Koppel, and Alvida Guandolo of Chippewa Twp., her three brothers, Evan (Judy) Nardone of Connellsville, Nick (Shirley) Nardone of Darlington, and Tony (Darlene) Esoldo of Koppel, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Albert M. Biega whom she married on October 9, 1939 and passed away on January 4, 2011, and her two sisters, Melina Nardone, and Connie Priestas.

Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4-8 pm in the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home, Inc.. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday at 11:30 am in the Holy Redeemer Church with Father Mark Thomas officiating. Entombment will follow at the Holy Redeemer Cemetery, St. Peter’s Mausoleum.

Those attending the funeral mass are asked to meet at the funeral home on Friday by 10:50 am. Memorial contributions may be mad to the Villa St. Joseph, 1030 State Street, Baden, Pa 15005.

The family requests you view the obituary and sign the guestbook at http://www.teolisfuneralhome.com/

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Catherine Martino Gatto, 77

Mrs. Catherine Martino Gatto, 77, of 214 Division Ave., Ellwood City passed away on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 in her residence.

Mrs. Gatto was born on July 24, 1937 in Ellwood City to the late Giovanni “John” and Assunta Zona Martino. She is a member of the Lincoln High School class of 1945 and the Holy Redeemer Parish. Catherine was the co-owner and operator, along with her husband Ricky, of K&R Tone & Tanning from 1989 until 1996. She was an avid reader and enjoyed gardening and being with her family.

Mrs. Gatto is survived by her two daughters, Lisa (John) Vincik, and Kathy (Jim) Donley, her son, Randy (Sue) Gatto all of Ellwood City, her four grandchildren, Mark Donley, Kristen Donley, Kasie (Mike) Hawrylak, and Randi A. Gatto, and her four great grandchildren, Gracie, Hunter, Parker, and Kyle. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Ricardi “Rick” Gatto, Sr. whom she married on June 25, 1955 and passed away on January 28, 2012, her son, Rick “Moose” Gatto, Jr. in 2010, her three sisters, Jean Pirrera, Florence Faraone, and Margaret Balin, and her two brothers, Michael Martino, and Louis Zitell.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday in the Holy Redeemer Church at 10:00 am with Father Mark Thomas officiating. Interment will follow at the Holy Redeemer Cemetery. The funeral arrangments have been entrusted to the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home, Inc. and Cremation Services.

The family requests you view the obituary and sign the guestbook at http://www.teolisfuneralhome.com/

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Robert E. Forsyth, 91

Mr. Robert E. Forsyth, 91, of Enon Valley, formerly of Ellwood City, passed away on Friday, September 12, 2014 in his residence.

Mr. Forsyth was born on October 23, 1922 in Ellwood City to the late Emil and Marie Steinecke Forsyth. He graduated from Lincoln High School and West Point Academy where he earned a degree in Marine and Mechanical Engineering. Robert served with the U.S. Merchant Marines from 1943 until 1954 as a Chief Engineer Officer. He then had worked for Matthews Conveyor from 1955 until its closing in 1974, and then for the Aetna Standard Engineering Company until his retirement. He is a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church in Glenshaw. Robert enjoyed cutting firewood, being in the outdoors, and reading. He had also been very active with the Ellwood City Area Public Library.

Mr. Forsyth is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elsie Sommer Forsyth, his two sons, David Forsyth of Enon Valley, and James (Joyce) Forsyth of Springfield, Ohio, nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren, his sister, Lois Wallace of West Virginia, and his brother, Jack Forsyth of Kentucky.

A private visitation and service was held on Monday in the Samuel Teolis Funeral Home, Inc. and Cremation Services with Mr. Forsyth’s pastor, Rev. Arthur E. Litke, officiating. The family requests you view the obituary and sign the guestbook at http://www.teolisfuneralhome.com/

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